Preschool May Day Theme

Book List

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Songs & Fingerplays

A May Basket

Up the steps,
One, two, three, four.
I will ring the bell on your front door.
I'll leave a May basket just for fun,
I'll turn around and I'll run, run, run!

~Submitted by Cindy

May is Here - sung to "Frere Jacques"

I see daisies, i see daisies
Bloom in May, bloom in May.
May's the month for flowers,
No more April showers.
May is here, May is here.

Ring Around the Maypole - sung to "Ring Around the Rosies"

Ring around the Maypole,
Pocket full of roses.
Ribbons, ribbons,
We all fall down.

Hurray for May Day! - sung to "London Bridge"

May Day's here with sun so bright,
sun so bright, sun so bright.
May day's here with sun so bright.
Hurray for May Day!

May Day's here with flowers in bloom,
flowers in bloom, flowers in bloom.
May day's here with flowers in bloom.
Hurray for May Day!

May Baskets - sung to "Did You Every See a Lassie?"

Did you ever see a May basket,
A May basket, a May basket?
Did you ever see a May basket
That looked so good?
I worked for hours,
Then filled it with flowers.
Did you ever see a May basket
That looked so good?

~Submitted by Fema

Arts & Crafts

Cute May Day Craft

May Day Baskets

Paste or staple two paper plate halves together. Decorate both sides of the basket with crayons or paint. Paste a strip of colored construction paper to the ends for a handle.

~Submitted by Cindy

How about taking a strawberry basket and weaving different colored ribbons in each row and putting some flowers (either fake or real) in it?

~Submitted by Denise~MN

One of the crafts my kids and I will be doing is making maypoles out of Paper Towel Rolls. They decorate a paper with all kinds of stamps or drawings or whatever they want... wrap it around the tube. Then tape on strips of satin ribbon in various springy colors from the top... strings about 12" long. Then we will do the MayPole chant that someone on this list sent while rolling the tube back and forth in the palm of our hands, causing the streamers to twirl around.

~Submitted by Beverly

Another fun thing to do and very nice for the children to give to the parents or have the parents take them to give to a relative or neighbor is to make May baskets. I have so many fond childhood memories of going to hang May baskets on the door handles of friends and family and ringing the doorbell and running away. Make the baskets out of plastic berry baskets or use bright springtime colored construction paper strips woven together or just take large squares and fold the corners up into a square basket shape or cone shape and tape together. Attach a paper strip or fuzzy pipe cleaner handle attached and fill the basket with some pretty spring flowers.

I prefer not to use staples or hot glue guns around the toddler set and like crafts and activities that even the very youngest ones can get hands-on with, so I use tape or non-toxic glue to make the baskets. If you don't have any fresh springtime flowers available for picking or that the children can bring in from their own gardens, then make the flowers out of crumpled up art tissue taped to green fuzzy pipe cleaner stems or make the flowers using different colored construction paper petals and leaves glued to a pipe cleaner or white or green plastic drinking straw stems. I've also baked simple pastel-colored sugar dough flower-shaped cookies to use to fill the May baskets with.

~Submitted by Fema

Theme Ideas

I am going to be having them make coffee filter flowers and I will weave construction paper baskets(my dck's are 2 yo) and will be putting them on doors in the neighborhood, and 1 to send home.

Ok, we have wild daffodils growing in our yard so I usually have the children pick a bunch of them and we put them into bunches with a rubber band. I like the old fashion on May Day when the kids knock on your door and leave a small bouquet. I did that when I was younger.

Make a Maypole and dance around it singing the song "Ring Around the Maypole". The Maypole could be a broomstick anchored in a bucket, a patio umbrella on a stand, a long wooden dowel anchored into the ground outside, or if inside a bucket filled with bags of rice or beans. Something that you can tie or securely tape one end of the ribbons to near the top of the pole so that each child can take a ribbon in hand to hold onto as they dance in a circle around the Maypole. For the ribbons, you can use different brightly colored crepe paper streamers or spools of wide cloth ribbon. Ask each family to send each child with a different color of a spool of a wide non-wired fabric ribbon or a roll of crepe paper on May Day. Have a few in reserve for those that might forget so no one is left out. Make your own music to dance to by singing the song "Ring Around the Maypole.: Here are the lyrics and movements:

Ring Around The Maypole - sung to "Ring Around the Rosie"

(Join hands with others and move in a circle.)
Pocket full of roses.
Ribbons, ribbons,
We all fall down!
(Drop to the floor.)

~Submitted by Fema

We make paper cones for May Day. We decorate the paper and roll them into cones. Staple a ribbon to make a handle. Then, we go for a walk to pick wildflowers. The children fill their cones w/ the flowers and take them home to their parents.

~Submitted by Anne in TX

May Streamers - Great Explorations by Amy Nolan

Pipe cleaners
Tissue paper cut into long strips (1" X 14-18") or crepe paper
Mylar cut into strips the same size.

Punch a hole on the end of the tissue and Mylar, about a half-inch from the edge. Thread the streamers onto the pipe cleaner. Twist the pipe cleaner together to form a ring for the child to hold onto.

Use the streamers to do this dance:

May Streamers Dance - sung to "London Bridge"

It's the merry month of May
The month of May, the month of May.
It's the merry month of May
Come and dance with me!

Walk to the right now, one, two, three.
One two three, one two three.
Walk to the right now, one, two, three.
Come and dance with me!

Promenade left now, let me see,
Let me see, let me see.
Promenade left now, let me see,
Come and dance with me!

Shake it in and shake it out,
In and out, in and out.
Shake it in and shake it out,
Come and dance with me!

Do your own dance if you will,
If you will, if you will.
Do your own dance if you will.
Your very special way.

We've also made the streamers by coloring paper towel tubes, and taping lengths of multi-colored crepe paper to the end of them. The kids enjoy the way the paper streams out when they run. We usually do this up at the park, so there is lots of running room.

~Submitted by Anne in TX

I had a few suggested activities to add to the site if you would like - very simple ones! First, have the children make wreaths of flowers for their heads - this can be done with some fake ivy (real is best of course) & some flowers (again real is best but fake will last longer) Have the wreaths already twined in a circle for the kids & help them to add flowers with colorful ribbons - traditionally there is also a few long pieces of colorful ribbon hanging down the back - the wreaths can also easily be made from construction paper. I also have the children string bells to tie around their ankles, the idea being that as they dance around the maypole they are helping to wake up the earth. I am planning a big May Day celebration for my middle dds class & these are some of the things we are doing. Oh, my own dds favorite activity is to leave a gift of fairy cakes in the garden on the eve of May Day (we call it Beltane), the next morning check to see if the cakes are gone, if they are that means you have fairies in your garden, the "fairies" in our garden also generally leave a little surprise for my dds in the garden. I have a specific recipe but any yellow or sweet cake mix is fine to use. We also make a Beltane punch - it consists of fruit juice with strawberries floating on top - if you some ginger ale in it adds sparkle & helps the berries float!

~Submitted by Patricia from MA


May Day - Bry Back Manor
May Day Activities - DLTK
May Day Theme - Everyday Preschool
May Day - First-School
Happy May Day - Holiday Station
May Day - Perpetual Preschool


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