Summer Solstice falls on Saturday (20th June 2020) and while looking for inspiration I found a list from a Summer Solstice gone by I’d shared on my old blog. It was lovely to revisit and remember the Solstices when my two were really little and had no idea what we were celebrating but loving it anyway. Now they run with the celebrations and have plenty of suggestions of their own. In case it’s useful for you Mamas, I thought I’d revamp that list to share here. I’ve added suggestions for how you could combine marking the solstice with doing something lovely for yourself. The cycles of the year can provide a lovely opportunity to check in with yourself and tend to your own needs and nature connection, as well as marking it with your children.
Lovely Solstice Activities for Children
- Eat outside – some summer veg for dinner, a bowl of strawberries and a jug of elderflower cordial with a few summer flowers in a jam jar on the table – lovely!
- Light a candle and sing a summery song or read a poem – we love the National Trust book ‘The Seed that Grew the Tree’ for it’s simple and seasonal daily poems.
- Make paper suns together to hang in your windows.
- Light a solstice fire in your garden, toast marshmallows, sing, tell your children happy stories from campfires of your childhood.
- Take a short walk after dinner in the evening light – make it different somehow so it stands out in your memories – a pyjama walk or all wear something sun-coloured!
- Do something you wouldn’t usually do outside – bath the kids in a warm paddling pool or baby bath on the grass – make it fun.
- Task your children with making a sun mandala on the grass – grab building blocks, crystals, play cloths, yellow and orange toys, or petals and arrange them into a sun – they’ll love it.
- Glue torn strips of summery shades of tissue paper around a jam jar and take it in turns to write down something simple you’d like to do together this summer and pop it into the jar, for inspiration over the holidays. Or make it a gratitude jar – write down some of the light-filled things around you.
Lovely Solstice Activities for You
- A Solstice Bath
I know a bath is a cliché but I find it’s rare that I give myself the time to have a good long soak and by making it a really nourishing bath it feels like a real gift to myself. You could use some summery floral essential oils like lavender and geranium diluted in a carrier oil, adding orange essential oil as well can be really uplifting. Wild dog rose is abundant in the hedgerows at the moment and you may have calendula (marigold) or chamomile in your garden. These flowers are all used medicinally as bathing herbs since they’re wonderfully nourishing for the skin and the spirit. Scatter some in the bath (or dried version if you have them in the cupboard work just as well) and delight in bathing with the flowers. I often add to cup of Epsom Salts to my bath for the magnesium. I find I sleep really well afterwards, if children allow. Tip: have a sieve ready to scoop out the petals afterwards!
- An evening ‘alone time’ walk
If you crave some alone time, an early evening walk around a nearby nature spot is a lovely thing to gift yourself. Go somewhere you feel comfortable and inspired. Take it slow or power walk if it feels good to walk at adult pace for a change. If you love taking pictures, making it a photo walk can be lovely and help you really notice the beauty that surrounds you. Up the nourishing stakes with a flask of your favourite tea and a snack and take a pit stop.
The markers of the year can be lovely times to check in with yourself. How are you feeling this Summer Solstice? What do you need? This is a time of long days and plenty of light, how would you like to invite that into your world right now?
Making time to create something just for the pure joy of it can be the hard to manage but such a gift when we do. Is there something you love making? What could you create just for the joy of it? Draw or paint something? Make a nature mandala? Blends some oils or tea? Try out that thing on your pinterest board you’ve been longing to try?
- Watch the sun go down
It used to be my tradition pre-children to watch the sun go down on the longest day. I ditched it when I wasn’t getting much sleep (and it might not be for you if you have wakeful babies or toddlers right now) but this year if it’s dry I think I’ll set myself up in the garden with a book, a drink and a blanket and soak up the evening.
- Dream the rest of the year
I fully subscribe to Summer daydreaming. With the light as it is now, the possibilities usually seem broad. Coming out of lockdown, I admit, it all feels a bit different, but nevertheless. It’s sometimes nice to take a wander around our imagination and dream our way through the second half of the year. Come the Winter Solstice what’s one thing you’d like to have done, seen, manifested or experienced?
My advice always with this kind of thing is to keep it simple. While lots of the suggestions might appeal, perhaps picking one thing to do with your children and one thing for you is the kindest approach. I’ve fallen foul of trying to squeeze too much in and not being as present as a result. And I freely spread these things over the days around the Solstice. That way it’s a relaxed and easygoing thing rather than a slightly time-pressured tick in the box.
I’d love to hear if you’ve used any of these suggestions, in the comments here or over on Instagram or facebook. Enjoy dear Mamas!