Longest Day (midsummer day)

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Description

Introduce the session with a little history of Summer Solstice - longest day (hours of daylight) in the year. In some places more north it will be daylight all day and night at this time of the year and at the opposite pole (southern parts) it will be darkness all day and night.
In pre Christian times people believed the world was ruled by 2 kings who met in battle twice a year (Midsummer day - Litha and Yule (near Christmas). At Yule the oak king (also known as Green man) would win and bring longer days and growth. At Litha the Holly King would win and bring shorter days and a time for rest and learning.

Due to the sun being at its strongest, midsummer is regarded as a magical and healing time. Girls would get up early and wash their faces in the dew to make themselves beautiful. Older people would do the same to look younger.

Have a game at the start one of your choice or see how good the cubs are at estimating.
1) Hands up, put hands down when they think a minute is up. Time but don’t tell them when a minute is up. Look at see who is closest and tell the group who it was, they should have an idea if they were before or after that person.
2) how long is a metre/2 metres etc. Have a starting line and cubs need to stand where they think 1 m or what ever distance you have chosen is.

A series of activities to be completed as bases for small groups - as many as possible based on a long theme.
Each activity is planned to take between 10 and 15 mins.
Some activities can be being done by 2 or more groups at the same time as long as there is space to spread them out.

Resources

A4 paper
Scissors
Tennis balls or similar
Garden canes
Tape measure
Wellies
Water balloons
Spaghetti, saucepan and a means to cook it

Instructions

1) Longest paper aeroplane flight
Each cub to be given a piece of paper and make it into a paper aeroplane. They have 7 mins to make and test their aeroplane before a final flight - which will travel the furthest. 10 mins total
2) Longest piece of paper
Each cub is given one piece of paper and has to try to create the longest single strip of paper from it (cut or tear on one continuous strip). 10 mins
3) Long sports
Longest throw of a ball (shot put), garden cane (javelin), longest standing jump. 10 mins
4) Long sports (well maybe sports)
Longest welly wang, water balloon throw (cubs pair up and stand 1m apart, throw the water balloon to their partner, if it doesn’t burst each takes a step backwards and they throw again, continue until there is a winner, how far apart can the winning pair get?). 10 mins
5) Longest spaghetti string
Cubs given uncooked spaghetti, they need to cook it and tie it in knots to create the longest string they can in 15 minutes. Access to kitchen/gas burner needed.
6) Longest shadow - as a group make the longest shadow you can. 5 mins sitting down planning - what do they know about shadows, how do they form, what will they need to create a shadow. 5 mins to test out ideas about shadows and then 5 to create the longest. Hopefully this can be completed outside using the sun, if not a lamp and darkened room will be needed.

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Badge Links

  • Skills - Problem solving
  • Teamwork - Team game
  • Teamwork - Team-building