Winter Solstice

Luminaries by Fran W.
Did you know…

The winter solstice is the shortest day and the longest night of the year and marks the first day of winter!

Activity: Make a luminary

Help light your way during the longest night of the year!

You will need...

  • A clean plastic milk or water jug any size – see through works best
  • Serrated kitchen knife - parental supervision suggested
  • Scissors
  • Black construction paper
  • Glue
  • Rice or sand (for use with a tealight with a flame)
  • A tealight candle flame-lit or battery powered, or a glow stick

Optional items: Foam stickers with a winter or Christmas theme, stencils, paper punches

What to do...

  • Starting from the bottom of the handle of your container, cut the top off with a scissor, or a serrated kitchen knife, and trim any jagged edges.
  • Cut out winter related icons from black construction paper and glue them to the outside of a plastic jug, or put foam stickers around the container.
  • Add your light source and turn out the lights or put the luminary outside.

Note: Put about an inch or two of sand or rice on the bottom of your container if you decide to use a flame-lit tealight candle and keep out of children's reach. If your flame is not bright enough, pop small holes in discrete places around the edge of the rice/sand to give the flame oxygen.

Here are some ideas...

Winter icons

Snowmen, snowballs, sled, candle, pine tree, snowflake, sleigh, holly, ice skates, penguin, mittens, cup of hot cocoa, hat/cap, cardinal, wreath, pine cone, gingerbread cookies, a bare tree, yule log, stag, a cabin with smoke coming from the chimney

Christmas icons

Santa, present, candy canes, reindeer, poinsettia, star, tree, Christmas ball, stocking, angel, bell  

Question of the day:

What is winter solstice?

Learn more:

The Winter Solstice

Explains the winter solstice

Sue Ellen's Scrapbook: Solstice

Read Sue Ellen's scrapbook to learn about solstice and the Yule celebration

Artists Helping Children: Winter Solstice

Crafts to celebrate the Winter Solstice

eThemes: Winter

This site provides educational links to other sites about the winter season

Connect with Funschooling & Recreational Learning!

Spark of the Day: Santa's Reindeer

Hand and foot reindeer with lights by Fran W.
Santa is looking for a reindeer to help pull his sleigh on Christmas Eve! You can help by creating a reindeer for Santa's famous Christmas Eve journey!  

To make the reindeer above, you will need:

Your hand, construction paper, a shoe, markers or crayons, scissors, glue, pom-pom, and googly eyes

Optional reindeer making items: Glitter, paper punches, stencils, bathroom tissue tube, paper bag, craft sticks, clothes pins, milk carton, paper plate, paper, paint and paint brushes, etc.

For more reindeer making ideas, please visit Artists Helping Children

How to make the reindeer in the picture above: