Showing posts with label May Day activities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label May Day activities. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Celebrate May Day!

May 1 is May Day, celebrated around the world – even if not by the average US citizen. But considering that May Day celebrates the arrival of Spring, this day is a special opportunity to create an annual family tradition that can be both educational and fun.

May Day has a rich history in many countries, honored in different ways down through the ages, and differently from one country to the next. In some places, it is a day of political protests, while in others it's a neopagan festival. In some, it's a saint's feast day. But the common thread is a celebration of Spring throughout the northern hemisphere. To help you make May Day special in your family, we're offering you this collection of family-friendly spring celebration activities, crafts, and tidbits.

Family playing football


1.  Celebrate May Day outdoors


With the weather finally warming up in many places throughout the US, consider making a family tradition of the great outdoors, celebrating spring by immersing the family in it. Just a few outdoor activities to consider:
  • Create an annual family picnic – or even a neighborhood block picnic, if you and your neighbors like to do things together.
  • Start doing a yearly May 1 hike through the woods at your family's favorite park.
  • Take to the skies with a family go-fly-a-kite day, as long as you are already at that favorite park.
  • For a more active family, the annual outdoor event could be a friendly, competitive sporting activity, such as touch football, disc golf, ultimate frisbee, or a softball tournament.
There are probably a dozen more May Day outdoor activities you can think of, and probably some that would have special meaning or value to your family. However you do it, the goal is to establish May Day as one that your family thinks of as being together and outside the house.


2.  Plant some great memories – in a garden!


Grandmother and granddaughter planting a garden
Depending on where you live, there's a good chance that the final frost risk has now passed. As nature is beginning to awaken, with budding leaves, flowering plants, and sudden growth, you can make this season of rebirth a family event by starting a flower garden or vegetable garden at your home. There are many ways to involve every member of your family. Even the youngest ones can help press the seeds into the dirt or, if you purchase seedlings or plants, they can help by watering. Involve your older kids with tasks such as tilling the soil and adding fertilizer. And dad or your oldest teams can help with the really heavy gardening tasks, such as creating protective fences or decorative brick borders.


3.  Get crafty with your May Day activities


As a mom or dad, you probably already have an arsenal of favorite crafts related to the spring season. You can make May Day into a lifetime of great memories by proclaiming the day as an annual spring celebration craft day.  To get your creative juices flowing:
  • Rather than just fly a kite, as suggested above, consider also making homemade kites.
  • Create a May basket – a tradition still celebrated in some parts of the US. A May basket is one that is filled with treats and-or flowers, and then sneakily left upon someone's doorstep. As you or your kids put the flowers down on the porch, ring the bell and run away. Here is an optional addition to the May basket tradition that may work best when giving the basket to a relative or close friend; when the person sees the basket on their doorstep, they give chase and, if they catch the runaway giver, they give the giver a kiss.
  • Create a tabletop version of the Maypole. This tabletop twist to the traditional Maypole is one that makes a great shared activity with kids six and older.
  • You can also add a Hawaiian twist to your May Day celebrations.  In May Day in Hawaii is also celebrated as Lei Day – a day to celebrate native Hawaiian culture.  What a great excuse to make Hawaiian Leis with your kids! Two good websites that show you how to make a Hawaiian Lei:  Ehow.com and the TheCraftingChicks.com.
  • If spring reminds you mostly of flowers, maybe the right craft for you and your family is to make craft flowers.  This is a particularly good idea if weather doesn't permit going out to enjoy flowers on May Day.
This list is just a teaser to get you started.  Anything related to common Spring sights, sounds, and smells is the right place to brainstorm for unique ideas that would be perfect for your family. Consider crafts related to flowers, spring colors, or crafts involving wind, for instance.


Learn more about May day


Want to know more about May Day? Here are some good places to dig:
Have any great ideas for crafts or activities of your own that can make this springtime holiday memorable? Use the comments below to share!

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer