Celebrate the winter solstice with your children

Take time out of the hectic festive season to celebrate winter and and the returning sun.

Celebrate the winter solstice with your children

This is such a busy and fun time of the year for families but that does mean we can become a bit depleted by the festive season. My solution? Take time out, put down the paperchains, turn off the festive music, pack away the wrapping paper and reconnect with nature and the seasons once more.

This year the winter solstice will happen on 22 December – a Thursday. Although traditionally the winter solstice is thought of as the first day of winter, I love that it means it's the shortest day and therefore the light will be returning!

Celebrating the solstice, which means "sun stand still", doesn't have to add much to your ever increasing to-do list or overload your stretched budget. It's actually a lovely way to stand still yourself and take a moment out of the chaos that seems to build as we head towards the 25th.

Follow our ideas for a simple and cheap celebration:

  • Food obviously has to be included and this is easy to do by making a cake. Cut out a sun picture from icing or draw one on with icing pens. Get the children to light a candle each and place it on the cake while making a wish
  • Make salt dough ornaments of the sun and stars. Don't forget to make a hole with a straw before baking them in the oven if you want to hang them up at your windows
  • Go for a walk. Celebrating the winter solstice is gentle reminder about the seasons so taking a walk is a wonderful way to relax and immerse yourself in in nature. While out see if you can pick up a log and  other natural treasures or raid your kitchen cupboards to make a Yule log (see below)
  • Decorate your Yule log by wrapping ribbon around it and then using that to hold feathers, cinammon sticks or twigs in place. Fir cones and dried berries (such as cranberries) can be stuck on with glue. This can be used as a centre piece for your table or you can burn it if it's dry enough

For more facts about this ancient ritual read the history of the winter solstice. If you want some more craft ideas try making a solstice wreath or these winter solstice art projects.

Photo: Debbie Webber



  • Maggie


    Maggie Christie

    13 December, 2010

    What an absolutely brilliant idea. I have made a note on the calendar so I don't forget. Thanks.

  • Ellen


    Ellen Arnison

    13 December, 2010

    Lovely ideas.

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    Ready for Ten admin

    13 December, 2010

    I agree with Maggie what a lovely idea Deb! This isn't something I a) knew anything about really, and b) ever thought about taking time out to do. I love this idea and am also putting in in the diary.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Ready for Ten Team

  • Small_blank

    22 December, 2011

    These are great ideas- will be doing some of these later with our children. We lived in Brighton for 10 years and I miss the local winter celebration 'burning the clocks' (, the procession of lanterns is amazing!

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