“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.
By Beth Pinyerd
I love the song, “Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer” by Nat King Cole. I especially love the lyrics “Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer.” The other night I was pleasantly awakened by the bright light of the smiling moon shining through my window. Just like the song says, it brought my heart a song of peace, security and cheer.
Children seem to truly light up when we talk about the lights of summer and their experiences. One activity that just naturally happens at home, vacation and camp is sky and star gazing. “The man in the moon”, the Constellation Orion, a hunter wearing a belt and sword, the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper and Venus, the bright evening star, are all present on many summer evenings. When you are camping out on a dark, dark night, you might become a spectator of a falling star is breath-taking, Campfires provide a light of fellowship. Church children’s fellowship brings out flashlights in order to do Bible Scavenger Hunts. Light seems to bring us all together, young, old and hearts of joy,
Children love to chase, catch and let go of fireflies, better known as lightning bugs. Yellow, green or pale red blinking lights are done to attract mates as well as signal undesirable tastes in the insect world.
When you vacation by the beach, children love to scrape the sand and observe the beautiful light from a sea sapphire at night. These sea creatuers sparkle. They catch the light and reflect it back. One might think their eyes are playing tricks on them because they light up quickly then the light is gone.
Summer lights are so special because the season allows us to go outside and enjoy what we see.
July 4th lights up the whole sky as we celebrate our independence with beautiful firework displays in our communities!
One thing that we study is that light is a reflection of a certain source. An example is the moon and stars which are a reflection of the sun.
Summer also opens up weather watching for young meteorologists as well as we adults. Start out by explaining even to the youngest children the weather is the condition of air here on earth around us. But we cannot see air. Guide your child in understanding that air is felt when the wind blows, fan your child in order for them to understand the concept of air. Blow a balloon up to show that air takes up space.
Explain to your child the sun is responsible for heating up air or atmosphere which causes water to evaporate into the air and the air rises. A way you can explain evaporation is to put a ¼ cup of water outside for several days till you and your child observe that it has evaporated into the atmosphere.
One observation that fascinates the young scientist’s eye is the formation of clouds. It is so neat for young children to observe the little bit of a cloud build up for a cool afternoon shower. Guide your child’s eye to identify three different kinds of clouds. Cirrus clouds are feathery clouds that look like a curl. These kind of clouds remind us of cotton candy. Usually cirrus clouds are associated with fair weather. Cumulus clouds are heaping clouds. I love these clouds because they look like pillows you can jump on. Stratus clouds look like layers or blankets. Stratus clouds produce rain and drizzle. Children also love to use their imaginations in making different shapes from different clouds. Fog is also something your child can observe draping over outside early in the morning.
Summer safety rules are also connected with weather. Calmly discuss thunderstorms and lightning with your children in which they do not need to be in a swimming pool, or under a tree or playing outside during lightning and thunderstorms.
One reason I mention to discuss calmly is that we do not want young children to be scared of storms, we want them to respect storms. In the classroom when I have had children to panic or be anxious when they see a storm appear we say and repeat the truth of God’s Word, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” This refers to God in Psalm 56:3.
Also the most beautiful sight after an afternoon of summer rain is to see an arching rainbow, Explain to your young children that rainbows are caused by sunlight penetrating raindrops and is broken into the beautiful colors of violet, indigo, red, orange, yellow and green. I love to see how rainbows light up a child’s life when I see them trying to chase a low lying rainbow after a storm.
Going back to summer lights, just like lighthouses keep ships and boats on the right track, Psalm 119:105 reads, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
The Bible is truly a welcome light for our lives. Right now Vacation Bible School programs are being planned at our local churches in the community. Check online or call different churches to find out when and what times their Vacation Bible Schools are being offered. Children and families truly light up to know that God’s love is a light as we jump into HIS world of summer and extend our love in helping and being with others.
Happy June’s Beginning!
Beth Pinyerd, Classroom Observer