Jay County Public Library 
315 N. Ship Street, Portland, IN  47371 
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December 2015 KIDSHEET

printable version (pdf)


Winter Solstice

or The Longest Night of the Year


December 22nd marks the Winter Solstice which is also the day with the least amount of daylight hours.

The solstice is an astronomical event, caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis, and its motion in orbit around the sun.

At the December solstice, the United States is leaning the most away from the sun for the year. This causes us to have just a few hours of daylight on this day—about 9 hours and 17 minutes, which leaves 14 hours and 43 minutes of darkness!

You will notice the late dawns and early sunsets during December and the low arc of the sun across the sky each day. You might also notice how low the sun appears in the sky at noon. And be sure to look at your noontime shadow. Around the time of the solstice, it’s your longest noontime shadow of the year!


If you’re looking for things to do to celebrate the Winter Solstice, try this website for enough activities to last the whole day—and probably the next, since this one is so short!

The library’s junior non-fiction section has a couple of books about the winter solstice. Check out these two:

The winter solstice by Ellen Jackson ; illustrated by Jan Davey Ellis.

The shortest day : celebrating the winter solstice by Wendy Pfeffer; illustrated by Jesse Reisch.


And books about just winter are available as well, these in the Early Books or Early non-fiction section:

It’s Winter! by Linda Glaser

I Like Winter by Lois Lenski

Winter lights : a Season in Poems & Quilts by Anna Grossnickle Hines



Jay County Public Library  Portland, Indiana