If you’re in the northern hemisphere like me, then the summer solstice, or Litha, is approaching! To me, there is nothing more hygge than aligning yourself with the seasons, the natural world around you, and traditions associated with each spoke on the wheel of the year.
To that end, this week I have a few super simple, low-energy activities planned to do with my kids. I am all for low-cost, low-prep ways to ground yourself in the season and reap what it has to offer. But I never seem to have time or energy to put a ton of effort into anything elaborate. That’s not really necessary, though! Do things up as big or as small as you like, but in my opinion, simplicity never goes amiss.
Summer Treats: Fruit Salad, Herbed Lemon Bars, Popsicles
The summer solstice revolves around the idea of transformation. The fruits of the season are ripe for the picking! So I’ve been making super simple fruit salads with local fruits, fresh herbs, raw honey, and squeezed citrus. This is an excellent way to experience the transformation of spring blossoms into summer bounty.
Later this week, the kids and I plan to also incorporate some of those fresh fruits and herbs in simple homemade ice pops! We are going to add vanilla yogurt (you can use dairy or plant-based) to make it a creamy, satisfying treat.
Finally, lemon bars are a summer favorite of mine. Add summer rosemary or lavender, and you’ve got a festive, cottagecore-worthy baked treat! While you can find some excellent recipes on Pinterest, I am probably just going to make a boxed mix and add my own herbs in. (No shame in the boxed mix game!)
Summer Sips: Cooling Iced Sun Teas
You can’t beat the power of the sun to brew tea. It’s so simple, and you feel like you’re sipping on summer sunshine when you drink your brews! Just add about a tablespoon of herbs per cup of water in a tea strainer or eco-friendly paper teabag, place in a glass jar, fill with cold water and put the lid on tightly, and leave in full sun for 2-4 hours. I sometimes stir in a bit of sweetener (honey works great or your own choice of sweetener), place in the fridge for several hours, and then sip straight from the jar with a reusable straw.
I have been mixing up hibiscus-based teas for the kids and I lately. Hibiscus is a delightfully tart, cooling botanical that is perfect for hot summer weather. It tastes a lot like cranberry juice as an iced tea, so it’s great for kids! Hibiscus is also known to be beneficial for your heart, circulation, and blood pressure.
Here are my two favorite hibiscus blends:
Hibiscus, mint, lemon balm, chamomile, blueberries
Hibiscus, lemongrass, orange peel, rooibos, mint, calendula, gotu kola
Summer Moments: Fires and Flowers
Recently we took the kids for their first trip to a “beach,” at one of the largest lakes in our state. We had a blast swimming and playing in the sand! If you are lucky enough to live near a lake or ocean, it’s obviously a fun way to experience some nature in the summer sun.
Most of my plans for marking the solstice are much lower key, however. Taking evening walks when the heat of the day has just passed, burning citronella candles on the back porch (we don’t even have a fire pit, let alone a place for a bonfire!), and maybe making a craft from spent flower petals are all possibilities on the list.
So, those are some of my simple plans for celebrating Litha / the summer solstice this week! How are you planning to celebrate?