History for Kids: May Day

Print This Activity
What is May Day?
May Day is May 1st and is a celebration of the arrival of spring. It is believed that the holiday originated in Roman times as a festival of flowers.

Today, children celebrate this day by making small baskets filled with treats or flowers to give secretly to friends and neighbors. It is a common custom (and lots of fun) to leave the basket on the doorstep of a friend, ring the doorbell and run away. If the friend sees you before you get away, you owe them a kiss!

May Day Paper Basket Craft

  • Pastel colored construction paper
  • Liquid starch
  • Paintbrush
  • Yogurt containers, emptied and washed
  • Treats to fill the completed baskets
  • Cut out an 8-inch circle from the pastel paper.
  • Paint both sides of the paper with liquid starch.
  • Turn over the yogurt container so the open end is on the table.
  • Then form the wet paper around it.
  • Place a rubber band around your project, about an inch from the bottom. Then fan out the edges to create the basket's rim.
  • When the paper dries, remove the rubber band and slide the paper basket off the yogurt container.
  • Fill with treats.

I'm a Little Basket:

A May Day Song Sung to the tune of I'm a Little Teapot.

I'm a little basket,
Look at me-
Filled with treats
And pretty as can be
Hang me on a friend's door on May Day
Then ring the bell and run away!

Credit: Elizabeth McKinnon