The 1st May is traditionally known as May Day and is celebrated with the May Day Bank Holiday on the first Monday in the month. May day is celebrated to welcome in Spring. The night before May Day it self, children would dance at night in the woods. They would find daises and spring flowers and made crowns to wear on their heads. The next day villagers would go and find the thinnest and tallest tree in the woods to make a may pole out of it. Ribbon, handkerchiefs and flowers was tied and stuck around the tree and the children would dance around the may pole by holding on to the ribbon, weaving in and out and around and around. The villagers would also choose a May Day Queen and given a crown made of flowers. May Day is celebrated in different ways around the world mainly through flower festivals and parades and celebrating spring.
- Take a strip of paper long enough to fit around your child’s head.
- Draw and cut out daisy shapes in different colours of paper to put on to the strip of paper.
- Stick the daisy shapes on to the strip of paper using glue.
- Once dry wrap the strip around your child’s head to make up the crown and cellotape in place.
MayPole Kitchen Towel Roll
- Take a kitchen towel roll and paint it in different colours.
- Glue strips of tissue paper/ ribbon to the top of the kitchen roll.
May pole for the garden
If your like me I don’t have a pole in the garden to use, so we tied long thin bits of material to the top of the washing line and weaved in and out of each other. This activity is great for developing spacial awareness and responding and following directions. It is also lots of fun too.
Turn your little one into a Morris Dancer
Provide them with hankerchiefs and bits of material to hold on to in each hand and wave around when dancing and bells to shake. If you do not have any bells why not make a shaker out of a clean yogurt pot and add a little rice, pulses or beans to it, put over a circle piece of paper over the top of the pot and cellotape securely around the ages to stop anything coming out when shaken. Morris dancers tend to wear white tops, black trousers and coloured belts across their chests but it does depend on what country you are from. You could cross over two of daddy’s ties around their chests, just be careful because of strangulation.
May Day Dancers
Take a hula hoop and wrap ribbon around the hoop. Next draw and cut out flower shapes and cellotape them on to the hoop. You could even use real flowers if you wish. They then hold the hoop above their heads when dancing. To make a ribbon belt. Take a belt or piece of material that will fit around your child’s waist and tie and dangle pieces of ribbon on to the belt. Lastly wear the Daisy Crown they made earlier.
There are many types of costumes Morris Dancers and May Day Dancers wear but I found these two the most easiest to use for the children to enjoy role playing.