We are well into Summer now! Spending time outside it’s clear the first Harvest time is approaching with fruits and crops in abundance. I have started my celebrations with the family for the first Harvest/Lughnasadh/Lammas whatever your preferred terminology! We have been berry picking and baking today to make the most of this amazing time of year and everything it provides!
So here’s my list of kid-friendly fun ideas for celebrating this time of year!
- Go fruit picking– my kids loved seeing how fruit grows and being able to harvest it ourselves. It’s the perfect way to appreciate where our food comes from and how the earth provides.
- Visit an outdoor music event – Lughnasadh is a festival of musical talent so it’s the perfect time to enjoy the (hopefully) good weather and some good music.
- Have a picnic – it’s a time of abundance so it’s the perfect time to eat outside and appreciate the long warm days and all the food we are lucky enough to be able to enjoy at this time of year
- Play outdoor games – this is a big traditional part of Lughnasadh so get some family and friends together on a sunny afternoon to play together. Look up some traditional games. My kids especially love a variation on rhibo where they are tossed into the air on a blanket!
- Write a story, song or poem – Lughnasadh is a time of celebrating creative talents, so whether you make up stories round the fire on an evening or get inspired by nature to write a poem it’s the perfect time to get creative!
- Make corn dollies – this is the quintessential Lammas craft and you can make a doll from corn husks or other crops, there are plenty of tutorials online and I will update when we have had a go at this!
- Wheat weaving – it’s not just dollies you can make with crops but lots of nice decorations for your home for the harvest.
- Make some popcorn! – Celebrating grains that are harvested, this is a perfect one for the summer days that aren’t so sunny! (Which is many in the UK!) And a firm kid favourite. Buy some corn kernels and pop them in a pan, everyone can add their own favourite toppings and you can have a movie day/night.
- Apple candle holders – this is a lovely simple craft that looks great and incorporates the abundant fruits of the season
- Salt dough charms – this is the season of flour and you can make some super simple salt dough to shape and paint however you like and they make sweet decorations.
- Have a fire – this is a main part of my celebrations for most Sabbats and this is no exception. The heat of high Summer and the fire that bakes the bread is greatly symbolised by a fire on a Summer’s evening.
- Fresh Bread – this is the time of wheat harvest so it’s a great time to bake some fresh bread. Kids will love kneading the dough, and watching it rise, and it’s a great opportunity to learn about how yeast works!
- Berry crumble/pie – what should you do with all those berries you picked? Bake them into a gorgeous summer crumble or pie!
- Blueberry cookies – one of the only things we’ve successfully grown in our garden is blueberries and these blueberry and oat cookies are a brilliant bite of summer harvest!
- Donate food – with all the harvests, it’s a time of abundance and now is a great time to appreciate all you have and to help others if you’re able to by picking up some extra food to donate to food banks, shelters or anywhere else that needs it
- Volunteer reading – if you have the time to spare it would be wonderful to volunteer to read to others such as in a hospital, hospice or residential home. This is the festival of stories it would be great to share that with others.
- Seeds and the life cycle of a plant – now is the time of year that many plants are producing seeds to continue their species existence into the future. See if you can find different types of seeds while you’re exploring outdoors, look at how they can be all different shapes and sizes. Get some books from the library, or research online to learn more about plant reproduction and life cycles and how these are affected by the seasons.
- Learn about the history of agriculture- humans had to learn the skills to plant, care for, harvest and store their food to ensure survival throughout the year. It’s because of that that most of us are here now!
- Learn a new talent – it’s the festival of talents and creativity. Have you wanted to take up a new hobby but not got round to it? Dancing, an instrument, a new language, a new sport, seize this opportunity to expand your talents!
- Homemade ice cream chemistry experiment – the sun is shining, what better than a nice refreshing ice cream? This is a firm favourite in the simple science experiments and great to learn about the chemistry and physics involved.
- Crystal seashells– we love going to the beach in the summer so this is a great experiment to observe how crystals can grow and they look brilliant.
I always try and have a seasonal feast for the Sabbats, this year we are having:
garlicky corn on the cobs,
Pizza with a freshly made base and late summer veggies, and
a berry based dessert.
Great seasonal foods to choose from are: anything wheat or corn based, beetroot, aubergine, celery, carrots, globe artichoke, lettuce, radishes, peppers, spinach, most herbs, apples, grapes, pears, blueberries, raspberries, hazelnuts. Check what’s local to you.