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MAY DAY

MAY BASKETS
Have your children decorate and fill some May baskets.  Then, have them leave the baskets on the door knobs (or steps) of friends or family members.  Here are a number of simple ways to make May baskets.
CONE BASKETS  - either use a plain colored cone party hat, or make your own cone by cutting out half circles and wrapping them around into cone shaped.  Add paper or Chenille handles
CUP BASKETS – use paper, styrofoam, yogurt or margerine cups for baskets.  Poke holes on opposite sides of the cups and tie on handles.
CIRCLE BASKETS – use large cut paper circles or large doilies.  Tape a ribbon handle to opposite sides of the circle.  When held up the circle will fold into a open-ended basket.
BOX BASKETS – use small box bottoms, cut-down milk cartons, or berry baskets.  Add handles and decorate.
 
MAY DAY BASKET FLOWERS
Fill baskets with real flowers if possible, or have your children make one of these simple paper flowers.
TISSUE CIRCLE FLOWERS – give your children different colors of 4-6” tissue circles.  Have them fold the circle in fourths and wrap the center point with a Chenille stem.  Unfold the tissue folds.
PAPER FLOWER CUTOUTS – Help your children poke Chenille stems through the center of the paper flowers and bend or twirl into a circle.
BON BON CUPS OR BAKING CUPS – These are great for making small flowers.  Add Chenille stems up through the center of the cups.
PICTURE FLOWERS – Use flower heads cut from magazines or bulb catalogs or have your children draw their own flowers.  Have children tape the flower heads to a Chenille stem or paper straw for a stem.
 
MAY DAY CROWNS

Let every child be Kind or Queen of the May by making a flower crown to wear.
Cut the centers out of paper plates and have the children paint both sides of the rims green.  (or use green paper plates)
Cut various colors of tissue paper into small circles.
Then let the children crumple the circles and glue them on their paper plate rims to make flowers.

Variation:  Let children glue strips of colored tissue or crepe paper streamers to the sides and backs of their crowns.

Variation:  Let children place real flowers on their crowns by making slits in the rim so that the flowers can be poked through.
 
FLOWER LEIS
These are fun to make and require children to use small muscle and coordination skills to complete.   Besides paper, you will need straws, yarn and some tape for this project.
Cut out 12 simple 3” flower shapes for each child from colorful paper.
Punch a hole in the middle of each flower with a pencil point large enough for a piece of yarn to go through but not big enough for a straw to go through.
Cut straws into 1” sections.
Give each child an 18” piece of yarn with tape wrapped around one end and a piece of straw tied on the other end.  The tapped end is the “needle”.
Have children string a section of straw onto the yarn, then a flower, then a section of straw, and so on.
The flowers should stay in place between the straws.
Tie the yarn ends together when the child is finished stringing.
WARNING:  Always supervise children when they are handling sections of yarn over 12” long.
 
FLOWER FRAMES
These make nice May Day gifts for family and friends.
Cut 4” flower petal shapes out of various colors of construction paper.
Cut the centers out of paper plates.
Give each child a paper plate rim.
Have the children glue the petal shapes around the rims of their paper plates.
When the glue is dry, let the children use their Flower Frames to frame a special May Day picture they have drawn themselves.
 
ADDITIONAL FLOWER ACTIVITES- can be found under Spring Art at the Art Station.
 
MAY DAY GAMES
 
MAY DAY FLOWER COUNTERS
Select five pieces of paper.
Draw one green stem on one paper, two green stems on another paper, three green stems on the next and so on.
Invite your child to draw a flower on the top of each stem and add leaves.
Together, count the number of flowers on each paper and write that number at the bottom of the page.
Hang up the flower pictures or staple the pages together into a book.
 
FLOWER VASES

Set out five flower vases
Number the vases 1-5.
Set out 15 silk flowers.
Have children take turns, placing flowers into the vases, matching the number found on the front of each vase.
Hang up the flower pictures or staple the pages together into a book.
 
MAY BASKET GAME
Select a small basket for a May basket.
Cut several pictures of familiar flowers out of a magazine or seed catalog and spread them on a table.
Name the flowers and their colors with your child.  Then say:  “Can you find a red tulip and put it in the May basket?  What about a yellow daffodil?  And so on.
When all the flowers are in the basket, start the game again, this time letting your child give you the directions.
 
RING AROUND THE ROSIE

Here is an adaptation of the usual “Ring Around the Rosie” game for May Day.
Have your children stand in a circle around a pretend Maypole.
Let one child stand in the middle and choose the action at the end of rhyme.
As children march around the circle recite the following rhyme.

“Ring around the rosie.
A pocket full of posies.
Flowers, flowers
All (fall down, twirl around, bend way down, touch the ground, etc.)

Choose another child to stand in the middle and repeat the chant.
 
MAY DAY LANGUAGE
 
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?
Recite the familiar rhyme “Mary, Mary Quite Contrary” with your children.
Ask them if they where planting a garden what flowers they would grow.
Make a list of flowers with your children.
 
MAY BASKET M’s
Cut out 24 small flower shapes from construction paper.
Write a letter in the center of each flower.  (5 with the letter M and then other letters on the rest.)  Make the letters capital or lower case depending on your children.
Tell your children that they should hunt for the letter “M” for May and Maypole.
Children take turns searching for M’s and placing them in the May Basket.
 

MAY DAY SCIENCE
 
LET’S GO A-MAYING
In olden times, young people went out early on May Day to gather blossoms for their May Day celebration.
Take your child (or children) “a-Maying” by walking around your neighborhood and looking at spring flowers in bloom. 
Or visit a local plant nursery nursery and pick out a special flowering plant to bring home for May Day.
 
MAY DAY SNACK
 
MAY BASKET SNACK
Make cup baskets for your children.. 
Fill each one with small finger foods, such as; pretzels, raisins, cereals, fish crackers, etc.
Or make fruit salad cups.
 
MAY DAY MUSIC
 

A MAY BASKET
Tune:  “A Tisket, A Tasket”

A tisket, a tasket,
I made a May basket.
I put it on your door today,
Then I ran far away!
                        Jean Warren

 
LET’S WALK AROUND THE MAYPOLE TODAY

Tune:  “The Mulberry Bush”

Oh, let’s walk around, the Maypole today,
The Maypole today, the Maypole today.
Oh, let’s walk around the Maypole today.
On the 1st of May.
                                    Jean Warren
(Continue with other verses, such as; dance around, march around, skip around, etc.)
 

MARY WENT ‘ROUND THE MAY POLE
Tune:  “The Bear Went Over The Mountain”

Mary went ‘round the Maypole,
Mary went ‘round the Maypole.
Mary went ‘round the Maypole
Dancing all the way.
                                    Elizabeth Scofield

(Let your children take turns, pretending to go around the Maypole dancing.)

 
Everybody came to town
To celebrate the day.
They brought baskets full of flowers
It was the first of May.

‘Round the Maypole children danced.
Sometimes high, then low.
Some threw blossoms in the air
As ‘round and ‘round they’d go
                              Jean Warren