Remember making a paper basket, adding a few flowers (real or paper creations), sneaking over to the neighbor’s porch, ringing the bell and running away? Such exciting stuff and lots of fun! We loved the creating, the anticipation, and the thrill of seeing happiness on another’s face. What a tender memory for us to pass along to our children today.
In order to continue this tradition, Discover! has gathered a few resources and links. Here you will find a short history of the day, simple crafts and other activities related to this spring celebration. Our hope is that you will find time to involve your little one(s) in creating a May Day that will be remembered long into their adult years.
History of May Day
Many years ago, May 1st or May Day was a magical time to welcome spring. On the night before May Day, children danced in the moonlit woods. They gathered spring flowers and made crowns of daisies.
Some countries still celebrate May Day. In France, May Day is a flower festival. Delicate white flowers called lilies of the valley are believed to bring good luck. In Denmark, sweethearts give each other bouquets of lilies of the valley. Holland celebrates May 1 with a tulip festival. On May 1 in Greece, the schools are closed. The students trek into the woods to gather flowers. In some other countries, May is a day of parades.
Make a Simple Basket – like the one pictured above
A May Day basket is a fun activity, because when you are done making it, you can go look for flowers to pick and put in your basket. Kids love to display their handy work for decorations!
- Construction paper
- Tape, Glue or stapler
- Crayons or foam pieces (if you would like to decorate the outside of the basket)
- Cut one of the pieces of construction paper into a square.
- Cut a one inch thick piece of paper from another color for the handle.
- If you want to decorate your basket, color or glue on your items on the square paper
- Loop square piece of paper around to make a cone
- Staple or tape together to keep it a cone
- Staple one inch piece of paper to top of cone to form handle
- Pick or make flowers to place in your basket.
Make a Spring Flowers Mobile
Contributed by Leanne Guenther
This is a simple mobile made up of single and double spring flowers. We usually create our mobiles by using one paper towel or gift wrap roll with all the pieces tied to it. You can also criss-cross straws, or use a large plastic lid.
- some crayons, paint, markers or pencil crayons,
- scissors, glue, string or yarn
- paper towel roll
- printer and paper
- link to flower pattern template:
Steps for Paper Towel Roll Mobile:
- Print out the template. You can print out as many as you want to fill up your mobile. You can mix and match the double and single flowers.
- Color (where appropriate) and cut out the template pieces along the dotted lines.
- You can color the decorations with sparkle glue or sparkles if desired or use paint, crayons markers or pastels.
- Fold the flowers in half and glue the back and front together. Let dry.
- Poke a small hole in the top of each piece and tie with yarn or string to the mobile you’ve chosen.
- Decorate your paper towel roll as desired: You can use paint, paper, stickers, etc to match your theme.
- string each mobile piece from the paper towel roll
- Put a piece of string or wool right through the paper towel roll to use to hang from the wall or ceiling
Links to More May Day Ideas
Always keep in mind that the most important goal is to have fun spending time with your child. So relax, and enjoy being together Discover! crafters!