The SUN and SUMMER

Compiled by Robyn, South Africa ~ © Jan 2005

 

 

 

We began the year with this Summer Unit filled with lots of outdoors fun and learning.If youíre doing this unit in January (Southern Hemisphere), this may be a good time to introduce calendars ~ months of the year and days of the week.Here are some songs and poems that may help you from Can Teach on months and days.

 

INFORMATION

 

The Sun is a star that appears in the sky during the daytime.It is a huge ball of hot gas, which breathes life into our world by sending out heat and light.Without it, the Earth would be cold, dark and lifeless.The Sun rises every morning in the east, climbing higher in the sky until it reaches its highest point at midday.In the afternoon, the Sun sinks lower until it finally sets below the horizon in the west.The Sun is not really moving though, we are.The Earth spins round like a top on an imaginary line called an axis.The Earth takes 24hrs to spin around once.It is daytime when our side of the Earth is facing the Sun and night time when we face away from the Sun.The Earth also orbits or moves around the Sun.It takes 365ľ days to make a full orbit.As the Earth orbits around the Sun, it also spins on its axis.The Earth spins at an angle, so the seasons change as the Earth moves around the Sun.A season is a time of the year that has a particular kind of weather.In many parts of the world there are four seasons ~ Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer.It is summer in the part of the world that tilts closest to the Sun.Summer is the hottest season of the year.Summer begins on the day when the Sun is at its highest point in the sky.In the Southern Hemisphere summer begins on December 21st (Northern Hemisphere is June 21st).The first day of summer is the longest day of the year.The Sun rises earlier and sets later in summer, so the days are long and warm.Summer is full of bright colours.The grass grows thick and tall, butterflies flutter, bees buzz and the fields are full of flowers.It is perfect for long outdoor walks, days at the beach, ice creams, watermelons and outdoor fun.

 

The way I explained spinning and orbiting was by using a little drama.We took turns in acting out the Sun and the earth.I stood in the middle of the room with fingers splayed while Ruby would walk around me holding the globe and spinning it at the same time.Itís better to see how things happen rather then trying to just imagine.As we did this, I discussed the Sun, day and night and the seasons.It was absorbed really well!

 

 

 

 

 


RECOMMENDED READING from Kalahari Books

 

Summer (I Can Read it All by Myself, Beginner Books) by Alice Low (Ages 4-8) >>See Amazon Reviews>>

A classic from the Dr. Seuss "Beginner Books" series.This newly re-coloured backlist provides a nostalgic look at a carefree season through the eyes of a boy, a girl and their dog.They share the joys of summer ~ swimming, fishing, gardening, watching fireworks, chasing butterflies, and toasting marshmallows.

 

Summerís Vacation by Lynn Plourde (Ages 3-7) >>See Amazon Reviews>>

Summer enthusiastically spends all her time shaping sand castles, jumping in the waves, picking berries, and camping.Mother Earth reminds her not to neglect her chores but she is having too much fun.It's not until she sees the dull, parched land from the top of a mountain that she realizes what she has done.She grabs her sprinkling can and gets to work.The golden illustrations radiate off the pages to warm your heart.

 

A Kid's Summer EcoJournal: With Nature Activities for Exploring the Season by Toni Albert (6-12) >See Amazon>

Invites children to explore, read and write about nature.It offers nature activities like making a map, growing a giant flower, baking a potato with heat from the Sun, collecting fireflies, making a mushroom spore print, following snails and dozens of other activities that teach them to love the world of nature.

 

 

 


IN THE KITCHEN

 

Make Your Own Ice Cream

Put Ĺ cup milk, 1 T sugar & a few drops of vanilla into a small zip lock bag and seal well!Put about 1 tray of ice and add 6 T salt into a large zip lock bag.Place the small bag into the large bag, and seal.Shake the bags for five minutes until thick like ice cream.Pop into the freezer for a few minutes if you need to.

 

Sun Tea
Fill a large glass jar with cold water one glassful at a time, measuring how many glasses you put in.Add Rooibos or any herbal tea bags, 1 for every two glasses of water used.Seal jar and place in full sunlight.Predict what is going to happen.When the jar has a rich colour (about 4-6 hours) itís ready.Document what you think has happened.Add honey, lemon and ice to your liking and enjoy drinking your sun tea.

 

Watermelon Bowl

Cut a watermelon in half lengthways.Scoop out all the watermelon with a melon-ball scoop.Add other types of melon if you like.Serve as a tasty cool afternoon snack for the whole family.Save pips for crafts.

 

Yoghurt Lollies
Mix some plain yoghurt with the same amount of fruit juice or pureed fruit (orange juice works well).Add honey to taste.Pour into paper cups or empty yoghurt containers and freeze.Insert wooden lolly sticks when mixture is partially frozen so that they stand upright.Takes at least 24hrs to freeze.Enjoy these healthy lollies.

 

Frozen Bananas Lollies
Cut a banana in half.(Optional - roll each half in a little brown sugar.)Insert a lolly stick almost to the top, wrap in foil and freeze.Makes a very popular, healthy frozen treat for the next day.For impatient helpers, make another sugar banana to eat right away.

 

Homemade Lemonade

Collect the juice of 3 lemons in a jug.(This can be done by liquidising three skinned lemons and then putting them through a sieve to obtain the juice.)Dip a plastic spoon into the juice for tasting.Is this lemonade?Add 1 litre of water and honey or sugar to taste.Try taste testing again.Makes a refreshing summer drink.

 

 

SCIENCE, CRAFTS AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

 

Glass Prisms

Hang a glass prism in a sunny window and investigate the sunís rays through the prism.What happens?Many educator shops or flea markets sell prisms that can be displayed near windows for children to explore.

 

Sprinkler Rainbows

Another way to investigate the Sun is by going outside and running through the sprinkler.Can you see a rainbow in the sprinkler?Explain that the water is the window that lets the sunís colours in just like the prism!

If there's no pool to keep you coolŪŪThe sprinkler's spray is a very good wayŪŪTo wet your feet on a summer day

Colour Spectrums

For another must-do sun colour experiment see the water rainbow experiment from Sun-Sational Science

 

Pavement Chalk Drawings

Colour a paving or bricked area in your garden using white or coloured chalk and create your very own masterpiece.Play games together such as noughts and crosses, hopscotch or hangman if you like.

 

Paint the Pavement

Put out a bucket of water and some large paintbrushes and paint the pavement, bricks, house, or fence.

Watch how quickly the sun dries up the water on a hot summers day!After children have created their pavement chalk drawings as above, they can then Ďpaintí over them and watch them disappear.

 

Car Wash
Fun for hot summer days.Either your child can help you wash your car, or they can wash toy cars, bikes or scooters using huge sponges and a bucket of soapy water.Rinse with hosepipe or bucket of clean water.

 

Bubble Pool
Add bubble bath to an empty kids pool and fill with water.Add various toys like empty plastic bottles, straws, or cups.Create a bubble wonderland, right in the garden and thereís no need for bath time!

Tracing Shadows

In the sunlight, people and trees throw dark shadows on the ground.Shadows move as the sun moves across the sky.They shrink and grow throughout the day.They are at their biggest in the morning and again in the evening.Prove this by standing in exactly the same spot several times during the day.Each time, get someone to do a chalk drawing around your shadow and make note of the time.When is your shadow the longest, or shortest?

 

Sunís Strength

Cut out a paper man chain from dark coloured recycled paper.Dress each man with a cut out item of clothing made with fold-over tabs to keep in place.Put your people out in the hot midday sun for a few hours.When you bring them in and Ďundressí them, you will see how the strong sun has affected the parts of the body that werenít protected and what the Sun is capable of doing.Talk about how strong the sunís rays are and the importance of using sunscreen protection on our skin.The Sun radiates invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays causing burning and other skin damage.

 

Summer Collage
Look through magazines and travel brochures and cut out pictures of your favourite summer things.Using glue and paper, make a collage.Talk about the things you like to do in summer.Ask the children to tell you about the pictures in their collage and write down their words on the paper.

 

Paper Plate Sun

Paint a paper plate yellow.Use scissors to snip triangles out around the edges of the plate to make the Sunís rays.Bend rays, some in and some out, for contrast.Draw a happy face on the Sun with marking pens.

 

Sunset Watercolour

Use a spray bottle to dampen a sheet of white paper with water.Paint the sky using sunset colours.Hang up to dry allowing the colours to blend and run.When dry paste a half orange circle at the bottom for the setting sun.Discuss sunrise and sunset.

 

Sunshine Handprint Craft

Make yellow paint handprints going around in a circle for the Sunís rays.Alternatively you can trace around and cut out handprints from yellow and orange construction paper and glue them around a cut out circle.As a lovely gift idea, write one of these poems in the centre of the handprint Sun and give to granny!

 

 

 


Watermelon Wedges
Cut a
large circle out of green paper and a slightly smaller circle out of pink paper.This is excellent for cutting practice.Stick the pink circle on top of the green circle and glue real watermelon seeds all over the pink circle.Cut in half for two beautiful watermelon art slices.

 

Watermelon Seed Counting

Write a number on each section of an empty egg carton.Provide a container of watermelon seeds.Count out the required number of seeds and place in each section to match the number written on the section.††

 

Bubble Prints

This is VERY messy but makes beautiful pictures.Lay out lots of newspaper!Mix some dishwashing liquid into a small amount of water in a dish.Add powdered or liquid paint until the colour is intense.  Blow bubbles in the mixture with straws until they rise up over the edge of the dish.  Gently place paper on top of the bubbles to make amazing bubble prints.  Keep doing this until you have covered the piece of paper.Continue the process using different colours if you are brave enough.This makes very nice wrapping paper or cards.

 

Make Your Own Bubbles

1Ĺ cups warm water, ľ cup dishwashing liquid, 1t sugar (add 1t of glycerine to make even better bubbles)

Mix all ingredients together.Combine well, but do this gently.Using funnels, straws, fly swatters or blowers, blow or wave through the air like wands to make bubbles.Store in a plastic container with a tight lid.

 

Bubble Art
Mix a little kool aid powder into some bubble mixture.Go outside and blow bubbles.Children run around and catch the bubbles on a piece of paper to create a stunning bubble art picture.This really works well!

 

Blow Painting

Using a watery paint, put a few drops of different coloured paints onto a piece of paper.Using a straw, blow the paint around to make a pattern.Add more drops and blow until you are happy with your design.

 

Kool Aid Art
This is messy, but fun and makes an interesting picture!Sparingly sprinkle different colours of dry kool aid onto a piece of paper.Using a spray bottle, spray water onto the paper and watch your picture come alive.Another idea is to use the left over kool aid powder mixed with a little water as a non-toxic paint and paint some summer pictures!These smell lovely!

 

Fence Painting

Hang a big piece of paper on an outside fence or wall.Squirt the paper with bottles of coloured water.This is fun and a great way to see how secondary colours are made.For example spray blue and red water on the paper to make a beautiful purple design.Hose down the fence or wall with water afterwards.

 

 

SONGS AND RHYMES

 

 

The Sun makes the outside a warm place to play
(arms above head in circle)
It makes the flowers grow each day
(holding up hands wiggling fingers)
The Sun hides its face during the night
(cover face with hands)
But during the daytime it shines so bright
(arms above head in circle)

 

š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š š

 

In the morning the Sun is low;
At noon he's high overhead.†††††††††††††††††††††††††
In the evening he dips again
Before he goes to bed.

This is a good stretching exercise.

Have children bend low to left,

Stretch arms up high and stand on tiptoes,

Then bend low to the right.

 

 
Mister Sun

Oh Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me

Oh Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun,
Hiding behind a tree..

These little children are asking you
To please come out so we can play with you

Oh Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on, please shine down on...
Please shine down on me!

 

Hello Mr. Sun

(tune ~If you're Happy and You Know It)
Hello, Mr. Sun, how are you?

clap, clap
Hello, Mr. Sun, how are you?

clap, clap
We're so glad you're out today,
And we hope that you will stay.
We just love to see you shine, yes, we do!

clap, clap

 

 

WORKSHEETS

 

Summer Colouring Pages

Make Patterns with these cut out ice-cream scoops

Circle the things you wouldnít need in Summer

Easy Preschool Shadow Matching

Label the Seasons of the Year

Sample Worksheets from LearningPage.Com - Sun Facts Ė Kindergarten and Grade 3

(Register with LearningPage.com for free to get access to hundreds more excellent worksheets

including fact files, maths, science and language worksheets, lesson plans and moreÖ)

 

 

 

 


LINKS

 

DLTK Summer Ideas

Summer Crafts from Enchanted Learning

Pre K Funís Summer Unit with great ideas

Sun-Sational Science - Excellent

The Virtual Vine ~ Wild About Watermelons Unit

Introduction to the Sun from Enchanted Learning

 

 

SUMMER SAFETY

 

Sun Safety for Kids

 

Wear Sunglasses - Warning: Never look at the Sun directly with your eyes.It is so bright that it will damage your eyes and may even blind you!

 

Summer Tips from Lana Kids including bees, mosquitoes, ticks, poisonous plants, sunburn, jellyfish, water safety.

 

 

OUTINGS

 

For your summer outings, go to the beach or for a special ice-cream family outing.Go for a walk in the country and have a picnic.Have a scavenger hunt.Go for a bicycle ride.

 

 

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