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Sunshine-themed Children’s Books & Activities

Jul 20, 2023    |   Children’s BooksSummer
preschool child looking at a book for young children

Every season of the year presents an opportunity for children to learn and explore something new. Summertime brings thoughts of sunny days, and is an ideal time to engage little learners in conversation and observations about the sun. In this article, we share a variety of children’s books (also available via video) that are sure to spark interesting and engaging STEM conversations about the sun. We’ve included a couple of sun-themed activities that can be paired with a book, or done on their own.

Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun by Deb Vanasse, illustrated by Jeremiah Trammell

This rhyming children’s book is set in Barrow, Alaska, where the sun rises in May and sets 83 days later, in early August. During this time of  year, the sun shines all through the night. The story follows a young girl and her family as she tries to stay awake to see the solstice sun at midnight. This story is a great way to introduce conversations about the Arctic Circle and the earth’s rotation with young children. 

A free read-aloud video of the story is available on youtube

Sun! One in a Billion by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by Stevie Lewis

This humorous book, told from the perspective of the sun, explores all of the things that the sun does for our planet, including providing us with heat and light. The book explains what kind of star the sun is, as well as its size and what it’s made of. This book will spark conversations about the sun and outer space for young learners who are interested in learning more about the universe, the sky, and the stars. 

A free read-aloud video of the story is available on youtube

The Sun Is My Favorite Star by Frank Asch

Simple, colorful illustrations help tell a story from the perspective of a young girl who loves the sun. Throughout the book, she describes her love for the sun and her appreciation for all of the wonderful things the sun does for her – from waking her up every morning to playing hide and seek with her.  

A free read-aloud video of the story is available on youtube

I Like the Sun by Sarah Nelson, illustrated by Rachel Oldfield

This simple rhyming story is filled with vivid summer-themed illustrations. The book highlights fun activities that we can do to enjoy a sunny day – from playing at the beach to going for a swim and enjoying an ice cream cone. This book is a great way to start conversations with young children about the summer activities they enjoy! 

A free read-aloud video of the story is available on youtube

Sun-themed Activities 

The following fun and easy activities support further discovery and conversation about the sun. They pair well with each of the stories above.

  • Paper Plate Sun Painting: This activity requires only paper plates and red, orange, and yellow paints! Little ones can use paintbrushes or their fingers to paint their very own sun in this process art project. 
  • Solar Printing: This simple activity is an art project and science experiment in one! Grab dark-colored construction paper and different items from around your classroom and leave them out in the sun to see what kinds of shapes are left behind! 
  • Paper Plate Sun Catchers: This simple art project is a fun activity for children that, when completed, will look beautiful hanging in the windows of your classroom! Encourage children to color and decorate the outer part of the plates to create the outside of the sun, and the sun’s rays, and then use contact paper to stick tissue paper and other colorful items into the sun’s center.
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