There’s no better time to introduce kids to the culture of Old World Europe and the natural beauty of spring than on May Day. But, how can you have a great May Day celebration that keeps the kids excited about learning? The answer is simple – Have a May Day party! Here are a few ways to have a modern May Day party for kids. [photo via flickr]
Make History Come Alive
A fun way to cover the origin of the May Day festival is to select a few of the traditional customs and update them. For example, during the traditional May Day festival, the participants chose a woman as the “May Queen” and adorned her with a crown of flowers. Let the kids pick out flowers from the area and make their own crowns! You can also find a few folk music recordings of traditional Celtic and English songs and play them during the party. Pick a very simple folk song and have all the kids sit down in a circle for a sing-along.
Keep Them Moving
Nothing bores kids more than having to sit still for long periods of time. Keep your guests moving by engaging in several short activities that let kids get up and jump around! Invite everyone to join hands and do a circle dance to some of the traditional folk songs. Take the kids on a nature hike so they can observe some of the signs of early summer – one of the traditions of May Day. You can even decorate a tree trunk in your yard with ribbons and streamers as a makeshift May Pole and have the kids dance around it together.
Invite Their Input
Letting the kids choose their own activities is another great way to keep them entertained during your modern May Day party. Select a few low-maintenance May Day crafts and let kids choose which ones they’d like to do. You can even spread out the craft supplies in a “buffet” style arrangement.
Some of the May Day crafts you can offer include:
- May Baskets – Lay out a few plastic baskets, along with various craft supplies such as stickers, sequins, and pom-poms, and let kids decorate them the way they like. Older kids can use strips of construction paper to weave their own baskets and fill them with flowers from the nature hike.
- Mini May Poles – Collect a few empty paper towel rolls and let kids choose colored ribbon and markers to make their own small May Poles.
- Construction Paper Leis – In Hawaii, May Day is celebrated as “Lei Day”. Cut some basic flower shapes out of colored construction paper and use a hole puncher to put a hole in the middle of each one. Lay the paper flowers on the craft table along with colored pieces of yarn and let kids thread the flowers onto the yarn to make their own May Day leis.
A May Day party for kids doesn’t have to be a stuffy affair. Let kids have fun while learning about world culture with these modern May Day party suggestions!