Since the spring equinox and the lacklustre attempt I made to celebrate the change of the seasons, I made a commitment to myself to do a better job to welcome summer. Given that the summer solstice is tomorrow, and with no other ideas really motivating me, I decided to flip through All Year Round for inspiration. And after a bit of humming and hawing, I chose to lead Nature Club in creating a paper summer solstice spiral.
Before we made our spirals, we talked a bit about the summer solstice. We talked about the equator and how it separates the northern and southern hemispheres. We talked about how summer in the north is winter in the south. We talked about the earth's axis, and how the tilt of the earth leads to the number of daylight hours changing throughout the year. This led us to a little chat of how ancient cultures created stories to explain the changing seasons and the changing positions of the sun. We talked about how some cultures believed that fairies would be full of mischief on midsummer's eve. Then I read a story out of All Year Round called The Rusty Dirk.
Once we finished the story and tidied up after our snack, we started making our summer solstice spiral. It was simply two smaller spirals inside one large spiral. The spirals stay in place by resting on top of wooden beads, which are secured with knots. The instructions called for gold foil, which I could not find. I replaced it with a gold translucent vellum paper, which was about normal paper weight. Next time, I would experiment with a heavier weight paper, even though I think that a heavy card stock would be too heavy. I found that our six- and seven-year olds were able to do the cutting fairly well, but some needed help with handling the slinky gold thread we used.