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Welcome the New Moon

We love celebrating each full moon together as a community — carefully anticipating the moment of peak illumination and getting extra excited to see if each new full moon comes with a special name, color or even the distinction of "supermoon."
This year, we’ve also welcomed the opportunity to slow down and savor the other end of the moon's amazing series of phases, too —the new moon. People have been noting and celebrating the new moon for centuries, and this fresh start moment is worthy of its own fanfare.
As part of our monthly Calendar of activities, we share these ways to get in tune with a brand new Buck Moon (just one common nickname for the moon that will be full in July). 

The Guide

Enjoy a Cosmic Reset:
A new moon is a time of fresh starts. Take the moment to make new intentions, either yourself or as a family. Fill a jar, hat or box with ideas for brand new things you'd like to try, learn about or experience as a family.
Or, wonder to yourself, what is a project you'd like to start or a new habit you'd like to form? Now is the time! And, you can let kids know you'll be trying something new right along with the brand new moon, just like people have done for ages!

Learn About This Moon:
Learning about the moon names attunes us to what is happening in nature. In much of the US, the July moon cycle is known as the Buck Moon and the name can be traced to several Native American tribes and traditions. Deer begin to grow new antlers each spring and by mid-July, most will be sporting a mature and fully-formed set that are ready to harden — what a time of growth and change! This is where the name Buck Moon comes from. 
You can find the names of moons in many places and we like this list for the range of cultures it includes.

Sense the World Around You:
Slow down to notice the world around you. The new Buck Moon falls as we are saying goodbye to June and welcoming the month of July. Talk about the new Buck Moon this week and go on a noticing walk with kids in your yard, neighborhood or local park. Notice the colors, the smells, the creatures that share these spaces and the sounds you hear— summer is here! If it helps, use our Welcome Walk activity as a guide. Welcome older kids to build a photo slideshow or create art to capture things that are changing in your biome.

Embrace the Longer Days:
The longer days and sweet nights of summer are here. Slip into your PJs and take a sunset stroll before bed and as you walk, notice the sun setting and, if you can catch it, the moon appearing later. Or, if you have a window that can see the sky, turn out all of the lights and sit and gaze out as the night sky begins to appear.

Behold the Sight:
Full moons have a humbling, awesome beauty, but the tiny sliver of a new moon is gorgeous in its own delicate, almost-can't-believe-it sort of way. Be sure to behold it and wonder how it makes you feel and what it reminds you of.

Watch the Moon Grow:
Then, make a habit of watching each night to see how it grows, waxing its way a bit more each day. The Buck Moon will become full and reach its peak illumination on Wednesday, July 13th — and this month, it will be the third of four supermoons this year! Compare the moon each day to the image below. Where does the moon belong in the chart? Watching how the moon changes is pure celestial magic!

Why is this activity great for kids?

The new moon is a monthly invitation to slow down, look up and really connect the wonder of that glowing rock in space with the changes we see in the world around us.

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