Let’s celebrate May Day with kids! Here is a lovely set of May Day activities to do with kids of all ages – from toddler, to preschooler to older kids! Learn about May Day Maskets, Maypoles and more.
What is May Day and why is it celebrated?
May Day is an ancient celebration of spring, rebirth, and fertility in many countries. May Day is the half way mark between spring and summer. It marks the transition from spring to summer. Ancient Celts call May Day Beltane or Beltaine.
(Spring/ Summer) May Day is always celebrated on the 1st May! This year, May Day is on Sunday 1st May 2022. Many countries have a holiday on the first Monday in May (e.g. the UK! It is our “May Bank Holiday”).
May Day is also often a celebration of worker’s rights – though in the US Labor Day falls in early September. Read more about the demonstration, strikers and riots of May 1st 1886 and find out about how May Day also became an official holiday or labor day in many countries!
May Day Celebration Ideas for Kids of all Ages & Grown Ups
The most classic of all activities is the Maypole! These are usually errected in town squares. It is a tall pole with long ribbons attached to the top of the Maypole. Children or young adults of the village are encouraged to dance create simple dances that plait the ribbons around the pole in a simple pattern.
Read all about this ancinet tradition from the Romans from Oak House Foods here.
Moody Moons shows you how to make a maypole at home! These are adorable whimsical maypoles for your very own backyard or garden May Day festival! All you need is a pole and some colorful streamers and maybe some flowers to get started!
Alternatively, have a local area search for Maypole dancing activities coming up in you are! I think you will be surprised at how many local events there are!
Make Flower Crowns
As spring transitions to summer, we head into the ambundance of FLOWERS!! May Day celebrations are indeed all about flowers. So a DIY Flower Crown most definitely is in order!
Learn how to make a simple flower crown! We love the whimsicalness of these nature flower crowns. We mainly used dandelions – so plentiful this time of year.
Another lovely May Day crown is this one by Cedar Wood School. It is uses a combination of yarn and real flowers. So pretty.
When the kdis where little, my mother in law used to let them pick or collect the flowers that were just about to turn in her garden. They then had a lovely basket full of flowers and petals to play with. One year, we used some sticky tape turned “inside out” to make this simple flower crown for their cuddly toys. Such a lovely sensory activity for toddlers, kindergarteners and preschoolers!
But of course, you don’t have to use REAL flowers to make a flower crown! You can make any kind of Flower Craft and either attach it to an alice band or a paper strip to make a crafty flower crown DIY. For example, these Tissue paper flowers are super easy to make and could so easily be stuck onto a long strip of light card to turn into a lovely flower crown for preschoolers!
May Baskets or May Day Baskets are a classic way to Celebrate May Day
In the US, it is popular to celebrate May Day, by making some Flower May Baskets or May Day Baskets for friends and neighbours. Making a May Day Basket really isn’t hard. It is often simply a pretty paper cone, filled with fresh spring flowers, such as Daffodils.
Make a gift of flowers to someone – this can be simply a decorated mason jar filled with some flowers from the garden or make a May Day Flower Basket or Flower cone like Ever Mine has made as a door decoration. So sweet!
You can also color some paper plates, roll them up and fill with wild flowers, to make some cute and simple May Day Baskets as Mom It Forward has done here! Preschoolers and toddlers will love this activity!
Or why not make these lovely paper baskets? I decorated ours for Easter.. but instead of chicks and bunnies, you can either leave your baskets plain or decorate with paper flowers. Then fill with some lovely May Day gifts – e.g. some spring bulbs and seed packets or DIY seed bombs. Wouldn’t that be lovely?
Go for a Nature Hike or a May Day Nature Walk
The key thing about May Day though, is to take the opporunity to get OUTDOORS and enjoy nature. Many families go on a lovely Natrue Hike on this may holiday.
You can combine the nature walk with a picnic (see below) or other activities, such a rainbow photo hunt or other nature hunt activities. Remember when hiking and nature hunting:
Wilderness Org has some great tips on how to enjoy nature responsibly. Please pop over for a good read!
Maybe this year, challenge yourself to walk somewhere new? Get out a map of your local area, find a green space you have been to before and go explore!
Host a May Day party or May Day Picnic
Have a May Day picnic! Nothing quite like heading outside and celebrating summer – you don’t have to go far, your own garden, balcony or local park is plenty!
If the weather isn’t playing ball, you can always have an indoor picnic..
Some top tips when packing a sustainable picnic outdoors:
Where to go:
- Stay local and avoid long car journeys or choose to take public transport
What to bring:
- Avoid disposable cups, cutlery and plates or make finger food that doesn’t require plates
- Avoid disposable BBQs – they may sound like a great idea, but are incredibly environmentally unfriednly and are also a fire risk
- Make your own food – avoid take aways as they tend to create more waste
- Bring food in tupperware
- Avoid bagged fruit and veg
- Think about the beverages and whether you can bring your own drinks containers and avoid additional plastic bottles
- Use one of your empty tupperwares as a food waste bin to then dispose of at home (do not leave foot left overs “for the animals” as it may do more harm than good.. and things like banana peels takes years to biodegrade)
- Bring a couple of plastic bags and sort your waste before taking it home (into recyclables and non recycables)
- Do NOT leave your waste in the park (even if there are bins, they always overfill or wildlife get into them and make a mess)
- When tidying up, do litter pick at the same time and keep the place clean and tidy for wildlife and the eco system. This is also has the added benefit that you can teach your children about how others litter and how to avoid yourself
Celebrate May Day with a fabulous May Day Cake
May Day is all about celebrating life, so why not make a cake using fresh ingredients – e.g. a delicious carrot cake or a traditional vanilla sponge topped with lots of fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries?
I also love Studio DIYs mini maypole cake. How cute!
Hope you have found lots of inspiration for how to celebrate May Day and have some lovely May Day activities to have a go at! Enjoy!
More May celebrations to look forward to here: