OKIDO SUMMER SALE: Use code SUMMER20 at checkout to save 20% on all plans + get a free sticker scavenger map!
Summer Solstice: The Longest Day of the Year

Summer Solstice: The Longest Day of the Year

Summer Solstice: The Longest Day of the Year

Let's talk about the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Have you ever wondered why some days are longer than others? Well, today we're diving into the amazing phenomenon of the summer solstice – the longest day of the year, which happens on June 20th this year. 🌞

What is the Summer Solstice?

The summer solstice is a special day when the sun stays in the sky for the longest time. Imagine having extra hours to play outside, enjoy picnics, and soak up the sunshine! This day marks the beginning of summer and is celebrated in many cultures around the world.

Day and night cycle

Why Does the Summer Solstice Happen?

To understand the summer solstice, we need to take a little trip to outer space. Our planet Earth doesn't stand straight up. It tilts a bit on its axis – like a spinning top that's slightly off-balance. Because of this tilt, different parts of the Earth get more sunlight at different times of the year.

On June 20th, the North Pole is tilted closest to the sun. This means that the sun takes a longer path across the sky, giving us the longest day and the shortest night - at least for the northern hemisphere. 

Explanation of how the Earth is on a tilt as it rotates the sun

Did You Know?

  • In some places like Stonehenge in England, people gather to watch the sunrise on the summer solstice. The ancient stones align perfectly with the sunrise, creating a breathtaking view.
  • The word “solstice” comes from the Latin words “sol” (sun) and “sistere” (to stand still), because it seems like the sun stops moving in the sky for a moment.
Summer Solstice

Science at Home

Try this simple experiment to understand the Earth's tilt. You will need: 

  • A torch
  • An orange
  • Felt tip pens
  • Chopstick
Materials for activity illustration
  • STEP 1: Pierce the centre of an orange with a chopstick. Let’s pretend this orange is the Earth & the chopstick is the axis on which it spins!
  • STEP 2: Draw yourself on one side and Messy on the other. These drawings will help us to imagine we are on opposite sides of Earth, or in different countries.
  • STEP 3: Shine a torch on one side of the orange and rotate the chopstick to change between day and night time. This copies how the Earth rotates as it orbits the Sun, changing from night to day!
    Finished activity illustration

    The summer solstice is a wonderful reminder of how amazing our planet is. It's a time to enjoy the warmth, learn about nature, and appreciate the science that makes our world so fascinating.

    Happy Summer Solstice, everyone! Let's make the most of this bright and sunny day. 🌞




    Excerpts from June's issue of OKIDO magazine are included in this blog. In this month's magazine day meets night in a whirl of fun and learning!

    Shop the story