Spring Equinox For Kids
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The first day of spring (also known as the Spring Equinox) will be here soon! March 20, 2021, to be exact. Do you typically celebrate the first day of spring? It is one of those special days that is not quite a holiday but seems like it needs some recognition. As the marker of a new season, it provides a great opportunity to learn about the natural world with your kids.

Plus, isn’t it adorable when little kids use big words like Equinox?

Let’s review what it’s all about and share some simple ideas about how to celebrate the Spring Equinox with your kids this year.

spring equinox for kids

Changing Season

To understand the significance of the Spring Equinox, it is important to explain how the seasons work in kid friendly terms.

  • The Earth goes in a big circle or orbits around the sun. It takes one year for the Earth to make a complete circle around the sun. That’s like a birthday for the Earth!
  • As the Earth makes its big orbit around the sun, it is also spinning around. It takes 24 hours to spin all the way around, which is one day. In those 24 hours, when our part of the Earth faces the sun, it is morning. When we face away from the sun, it is night.
  • As the Earth orbits the sun, it is tilted on a slight angle. This tilt causes areas to receive different amounts of sunlight and creates the four different seasons.

spring equinox for kids

  • The Earth is made up of two halves. The top half is called the Northern Hemisphere. That’s where we live! The bottom half is called the South Hemisphere. The equator is an imaginary line that separates the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
  • Because the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are on opposite sides of the Earth, they receive different amounts of sunlight throughout the year and have reversed seasons. When it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere is cold and snowy!

spring equinox for kids

Yoga Learning Activity

To help your child understand how the tilt of the Earth affects seasons, try this simple yoga exercise using mountain pose and crescent moon pose.

  • Choose an object to represent the sun, like a lamp or the actual sun if you can see it.
  • Put your arms over your head and lean to the side toward the sun in crescent moon pose. This is like summer, when the Northern Hemisphere tilts toward the sun and creates warmer weather.
  • Now stand up tall leaving your arms over your head in mountain pose. This is like fall, when the sunlight hits the earth more equally and results in milder weather.
  • Keeping your arms up, lean your body in crescent moon pose in the other direction away from the sun. This is like winter, when the Northern Hemisphere tilts away from the sun and results in colder weather.
  • Finally, stand tall and return to mountain pose. This is like spring, when the sunlight once again hits the earth more equally and provides milder weather.

spring equinox for kids

The start of each of the four seasons is designated by these special astronomical dates:

  • Spring/Vernal Equinox – March
  • Summer Solstice – June
  • Fall/Autumnal Equinox – September
  • Winter Solstice – December

What is the Spring Equinox?

The word Equinox is Latin for “equal night.” On the day of the Spring Equinox, the tilt of the Earth lines up with the sun’s rays at the equator and sunlight hits the planet mostly equally. This means everywhere on Earth experiences roughly the same amount of daylight and darkness, about 12 hours each.

This phenomenon occurs only twice a year during the Spring Equinox and the Fall Equinox.

spring equinox for kids

From this day forward, the Northern Hemisphere begins to tilt more toward the sun, resulting in increasing daylight and stronger rays. Hooray for more sunlight! (But don’t forget the sunscreen.) The Northern Hemisphere will continue to gain more sunlight each day until it reaches the Summer Solstice in June, which is the longest day (or day with the most sunlight) of the year.

Ancient Civilizations

In ancient times, people were very connected to the sun and its patterns. Before we had digital clocks and smart phones, ancient civilizations charted changes in the sky as a way of telling time and creating calendars. They even built impressive structures that aligned with astronomical phenomenons like the Spring Equinox.

spring equinox for kids

One example is a huge pyramid built by the Mayan civilization at Chichen Itza in Mexico. The sunlight on Spring Equinox makes it look like a snake is slithering down the pyramid.

Ideas to Celebrate Spring Equinox

Even today, the changing seasons can influence our daily lives. As dormant plants begin to bloom and animals come out of hibernation, the season of spring embodies the concepts of rebirth and renewal. Here are some simple ways to mark the occasion of the beginning of spring with your family.

 

Spring Equinox For Kids

Watch the sunrise.

With daylights saving time scheduled the week before the Spring Equinox for clocks to move forward an hour, chances are you and your kids will be awake at sunrise. Take a few minutes to watch the beauty of the sunrise and feel thankful for the warmth the sun provides and all the other blessings in your life.

Try something new.

Spring is about turning a new leaf and trying something new. Maybe order takeout from a local restaurant you’ve been meaning to check out, pick up an exotic fruit from the grocery store or explore a new hiking trail. Spring Equinox is the perfect time to add a new experience to your day.

Let go of something you don’t need.

In the spirit of new life, there may be some items you own that could use a new life of their own. Go through your clothes, books and household items to see what you can let go of and give to someone else. Have your kids go through their toys and books as well. See if you can fill a whole box to donate.

Spring Equinox For Kids

Make cute spring themed snacks.

This is one time it is okay to play with your food! Making cute spring themed snacks, like this beautiful pineapple sun, is a fun way to celebrate the beginning of spring. See lots more fun and healthy snack options here – Healthy Easter Snacks For Kids.

Pick up fresh flowers or a new plant.

Nothing says spring like blooming flowers or foliage. Treat yourself to a pretty bouquet or a new houseplant. Besides bringing some new color to your home, houseplants can have several health benefits like improving air quality and reducing stress.

Plan a summer garden.

With the sun shining more, now is a fantastic time to start thinking about a summer garden. Gardening with kids is a great way to learn where our food comes from and practice responsibility for taking care of plants. If you have never gardened before, start small with a container garden. If you grow a garden each year, start dreaming with your kids about what you want to plant – some old favorites or some new treasures?

Read spring children’s books.

There are children’s books for every occasion and spring is no exception. Look through the books you own to see which ones take place in spring or pick up one of these great spring children’s books from your local library or independent bookstore.

Spring Children's Books

Looking for more great spring ideas for kids? Check out Spring Nature Activities for Preschoolers or 15 Creative Spring Break Activities At Home.

Resources

First Day of Spring 2021,: Celebrate the Spring Equinox | The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Spring Equinox – Vernal Equinox, Southern & Northern

For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you.

Happy Spring!

How do you plan to celebrate the Spring Equinox this year? Share below!


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18 thoughts on “Spring Equinox For Kids

  1. Oooh!

    I remember as a kid, my dad loved to celebrate the seasons. I always thought that was “weird” since no one else seemed to do it. Growing up in the 90’s, we only had the neighbors to compare with!

    But we always got a nice dinner with some “wine” (sparkling apple juice) and we would spend the day making decorations related to the change of season. Spring was my favorite, I made flowers out of tissue paper lol!

    Thanks for reminding me of this, it’s definitely something I want to share with my kids one day 🙂

    1. What a fun family tradition of celebrating the changing seasons! Isn’t it funny how the simple things like having a special beverage and making decorations can be so memorable?

      Wishing you a happy early Spring Equinox this year and many more to come!

  2. Hi Leah,

    I love this article and I love this time of year because here in the UK it is getting more and more like spring each day. I cannot wait until the weather stays good and we can eventually come out of this lockdown. My nephew and niece would absolutely love the spring equinox adventures and books that you talk about. I am going to share this article with my brother and sister-in-law and hopefully they can take the kids on these adventures.

    I will let you know how they get on and if they start to read the books too.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.

    All the best,

    Tom

    1. Hi Tom,

      We’ve had quite a bit of snow and cold temperatures in the US, so the increasing sunlight and warmer weather is most welcome. Spring is definitely on the way! Please do share. I hope your niece and nephew have fun reading and learning about nature this spring. Lots of these ideas can be done safely indoors as well like the yoga exercise and spring themed snacks!

      Wishing you well in the UK!

  3. Hi Leah,
    Reading your blog post, made me feel like a kid again. I love the way you explain the four seasons. I didn’t know about spring & fall equinox or summer and winter solstice.
    My husband and I are going to make your healthy pancakes. I am already looking forward to them.
    I will share your post with a friend of mine who has three kids. They will really enjoy the special activities for the spring equinox.
    We still have piles of snow here, so our spring will start late this year.

    1. Hi Jeannette,

      One of the great things about teaching kids is that you can learn a lot yourself in the process! I’ve learned so many random things from reading children’s books 🙂 I hope you and your husband enjoy the Healthy Flaxseed Pancake recipe. I make them almost every week for my family.

      Please do share. I hope your friend’s kids have fun learning about and celebrating the Spring Equinox.

      Happy Spring (however late it may be)!

  4. Thanks for this post. I like how you explained the 4 seasons. I felt like I was in science class – and you made it super easy for me – a 55 year old to understand it. I loved your yoga pose analogy. That’s how the post actual made so much sense to me. Also, I liked the video as it allowed me to picture the earth spinning around the sun.

    1. Hi Shalisha,

      That’s great, I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. I think visuals and hands-on learning always help us understand things better at any age.

      I hope you find some simple ways to enjoy the beginning of spring this year!

  5. Hi Leah, What a lovely article! I believe it is a fantastic idea to teach children to stay close to nature. I love spring because winter is finished, and we are heading towards summer. In spring, everything is changing, giving new motivation and hope. I love to work in my garden, see the flowers are coming.
    You are brilliant in finding tools like Yoga to explain to your kids how the seasons and the moon works. Wonderful article! Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Sylvia, so glad you enjoyed this article! I love the focus on new beginnings and hope at springtime as well and gardening is the perfect place to see those concepts in action. I enjoy gardening too and my kids love playing in the dirt so it’s a win-win situation here!

      Enjoy the warmer weather as you work in your garden!

  6. Hi Leah!

    I love celebrating the cycles of the seasons. I think introducing it to kids is great and important and I love your ideas! Yoga is important to me and I love to do refreshing morning yoga when welcoming spring. Fresh flowers are a must at my house and I usually spend the weekend cleaning!

    I love to light incense or fresh scented candles, open the windows (weather permitting) and keep all activities and foods light that day. Almost like a reset! Most people think of the new year as new beginnings and even though spring isn’t my most favorite season (mainly because of horrid allergies), it like to think of it as the official fresh start of the year. When everything is quite literally, coming into bloom with new life.

    I love these ideas to do with kids. Especially watching the sunrise if you can get everyone up early enough! We always witness sunsets, but there’s something special and really magical about witnessing a sunrise.

    1. Hi Haley,

      I love that idea of spring being the official start of the year. It’s a great reminder that every day is a fresh new day. One of my favorite quotes is from the book Anne of Green Gables, “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.”

      There is nothing like fresh air! It will be so nice to have open windows with the fresh air coming in soon.

      I hope you enjoy the sunrise and some yoga this Spring Equinox!

  7. I love the pineapple sun! Kids will love that! I also enjoyed the explanation of the Equinox for kids, so easily done, step by step. This could also be great in class, especially with the yoga exercises. It makes learning a lot more fun!
    I have never done anything special for the Spring Equinox, but I think that this year I will, I’ll probably get a nice take out meal.

    1. Thanks Christine! Yoga can be such a great way to understand the natural world for kids and adults alike. Moving our bodies really helps a lesson sink in to the mind as well.

      I hope you have a delicious take out meal to enjoy the Spring Equinox!

  8. I enjoyed reading your article! Especially loved the yoga poses to learn the way the earth moves. I have young nieces and nephews and I can’t wait to take this education to them and see how excited they would be to learn!

    1. So glad you enjoyed this article, Sasha! I hope your nieces and nephews have fun learning doing the yoga poses to learn about the Spring Equinox!

  9. Hi Leah,

    Nostalgic feel all around:) truly amazed after reading this article, I love the way you explained each concept of seasons in such an interesting manner and illustrated ways to encourage kids to stay connected to nature.

    Your ideas to celebrate Spring Equinox with kids in creative ways are so much fun! Spring is the most beautiful season to celebrate new beginnings, renewals and engage kids to learn about the planet, science, nature art, crafts, and enjoy the season of joy.

    Thanks
    Cheers!

    1. Hi Samantha, I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this article! I completely agree that spring is the perfect time to celebrate new beginnings and to learn about science and nature.

      Happy Spring!

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