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What's the Fall Equinox?

Explanation For Kids


Cooling weather, leaves changing colors, and earlier nights- fall is taking the reins.

While it's lovely to watch and experience the season change, there is a certain something that is taking place whether recognized or not, and that something is the Fall Equinox.

I had inadvertently planned for a homeschool unit study that seamlessly fit into taking a closer look, and further explanation, of the astronomical event as this unit was planned for the week leading right up to the Fall Equinox-

Machu Picchu Unit!

It doesn't happen often unintentionally, but it seemed that everything was lining up just right for a study all about Machu Picchu, even the planet!

Deep into research about Machu Picchu, revealed the sacred stone, the "hitching post to the sun." the Inca used to try and capture the sun during a special ceremony. Although this ceremony was during the winter solstice, I did find their stone and ceremony relative to our upcoming Fall Equinox, so I hitched up our study right alongside our exploring of Machu Picchu.

In order to further my little learners' understanding, I chose to highlight some key events that take place during the Fall Equinox, making our first look into it, not too complicated.

Here's some helpful facts to making exploring, and teaching, the Fall Equinox to young ones not too mysterious.





When Does It Occur?

The Fall Equinox occurs every year, between September 22nd or 23rd, depending on where you are on the globe. Most of the world will experience the Fall Equinox on September 23rd.

Why Does It Occur?

Equinoxes, as well as solstices, occur because our Earth is constantly orbiting around the sun as well as spinning as it orbits. The different seasons therefore depend on how the Earth is moving, and where its rotation is, in relation to the sun.

What Happens When It Occurs?

For most of the year, Earth's axis is tilted away from or toward the sun. That being true, the Earth's hemispheres get unequal warmth and light in each half of the planet. The exceptional time of year that this fact changes, is during the Fall Equinox. During this occurrence, the Earth's axis and orbit both line up to where both hemispheres receive equal light and warmth from the sun.

Who Does It Affect?

Like the Spring Equinox and Solstices, the Fall Equinox has an affect on us, as well as nature around us. From the colors of plants changing, to the trees dropping leaves in preparation for cooler temperatures, there are several changes that have affect on us too. Daylight hours get shorter, with earlier sunsets and later sunrises, making outdoor activity hours less opportunistic. Additionally, while the change in weather and daylight is welcomed by some, it can cause seasonal depression in some people. Lastly, the change in season affects animals, as they begin to prepare and store food for the upcoming winter months.


*Get the FREE "What's Exciting About the Fall Equinox" Activity Page for Your Learner HERE!*

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