May Day takes place on the first day of May. It is a time when people come together to welcome the arrival of spring, and to honour the changing of the seasons. It is normally associated with flowers, dancing and Maypoles and, in recent years, an extra day off work and school for May Bank Holiday! For children, May Day can be an exciting time filled with activities that promote learning, creativity, and fun.
Maypole Dancing and Morris Dancing
Maypole dancing is a traditional May Day activity that has been enjoyed for centuries across many parts of Europe. It involves a tall pole decorated with ribbons and flowers, and children dancing around it, weaving the ribbons in and out as they go. The traditional maypole dance is thought to have evolved into Morris dancing, which is also often seen at May Day celebrations. Morris Dancing is an energetic form of English folk dance performed to lively music, often involving bells, handkerchiefs and sticks.
As we’ve explored in our blogs about dance classes for kids, any kind of dance has great benefits for children. As well as being lots of fun, dancing also promotes teamwork, coordination, and rhythm.
Flower Crown Making
Making flower crowns is another popular May Day activity that children can enjoy. It is a great way for kids to get creative while also connecting with nature – both of which have some wonderful benefits for mental health, keeping active, and boosting self-esteem. Children can get out and about and collect flowers, leaves, and other natural materials to create their unique and stunning crown – this blog from Bloom and Wild shows how easy it can be to do, too. And, if they enjoy exploring and communing with nature as they collect their craft materials from the garden, why not find a local forest school to help encourage their love for the natural world.
May Day is all about welcoming the summer, making it the perfect time to start planting seeds in the garden. Children can learn about the different types of plants and how they grow, while getting their hands dirty in the process. Planting seeds is a great way to teach children about the importance of taking care of the environment and how to work towards a sustainable future.
May Day Picnic
A May Day picnic is a wonderful way to celebrate the arrival of spring. With a day off school and lots of adults off work for the bank holiday, children can enjoy a delicious picnic lunch with family and friends while taking in the beauty of nature. With May Day signalling the start of better weather, going to the park for fresh air and fun with friends is a nice way to burn off some excess energy.
May Day Crafts
May Day crafts can be a fun and creative way to celebrate the day. Children can make May Day baskets, decorate flower pots, or create their own May Day cards. These activities promote creativity and imagination while providing children with a sense of accomplishment and pride. We’re big fans of crafting here at Pebble, as well as being a low-cost activity, the benefits of art run deep. Art stimulates both sides of the brain and increases the capacity of memory, attention and concentration as well as creativity. As well as the intellectual benefits, art is known to be great for mental health, making us feel more engaged and resilient and helping to combat negative feelings. Read more about the benefits of arts and crafts for kids here.
May Day is a time of celebration and fun for both adults and children. These activities for kids are just a few examples of the many ways in which children can enjoy this special day. Whether it's dancing around the maypole, making flower crowns, planting seeds, having a picnic, or making crafts, May Day activities provide children with an opportunity to learn, be creative, and have fun – which is what Pebble is all about!