Summer is almost officially here but after a long, drizzly Autumn/Winter/Spring the hot days have suddenly arrived. But what’s the thing that makes summer what it is? [Hint: It’s actually with us all year round. Through rain and shine, day and (technically) night?]
What else could it be but … the SUN!
It’s big, it’s bold, it’s gold. Stand out in it too long and it burns as well! [Well, it is literally on fire. – Ed.] You really can’t ignore it, so children will be naturally fascinated by it. So, what can we teach them about it? [Well, the first thing should probably be, “don’t stare at it!” – Ed.] After that however …
Ideas about the Sun and Earth, the Solar System, etc. may be a bit beyond the grasp of your average toddler, so most early concept books will invariably incorporate two main themes. First, all the activities and adventures that go with getting up in the morning, going to bed at night; the time of the day – like, lunchtime at noon, a bath in the evening; and so on. Or second, will revolve around the simple things that happen with the passage of time and across the year, like day and night, the changing of the weather with the seasons, etc.
There is quite a variety of lovely examples. Most will, of course, end up with a summer theme – the last one even gets the time of year Christmas really happens right!
The sun is as old as … er, the Sun! So why not engage young imaginations with some tales of myth and legend. Every ancient culture has stories to explain the origins of the natural world and the life-giving sun is no exception.
Although most ancient fables hold a cautionary tale, not all cautionary tales have to be old. The book on the right is a classic Aussie summer tale, sneaking valuable lessons on being “sun smart” in for good measure.
If you want to get a little deeper and more philosophical with your children’s books, a story that can provoke thought about our world and how we all live in it is always something worth sharing.
Here is a wonderfully illustrated book that will introduce young readers to the growth cycle of a seed, from its planting to flowering.
I wanted to finish with a nice, sun related rhyme but can you believe I could not find one! I searched high and low but drew a complete blank! So, as a last resort, I have the lyrics to the chorus of an old song for you:
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away
Summer Sensory Scavenger Hunt
In case you’re not aware of haven’t seen them in the library, Better Beginnings puts out a Home Literacy Calendar each month to help you Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play every day.
This year they have also released a Summer Sensory Scavenger Hunt for you to get out and enjoy some sunny [Ed: see what I did there?] weather.