Before I was a mom I didn’t even realize that there was a holiday associated with today…May 1st. I was just like everyone else…ready for my summer to begin and this was just one more day to get us closer to those warmer temps. “April showers bring May flowers!” I’m writing this and my area has a Winter Weather Advisory for tonight…2 to 4 inches of snow is coming, groupies. I feel like summer is never coming at the rate we are going and our flowers are just going to hibernate forever, kindof like I am about ready to do too.
After I became a mom I realized that there is guilt associated with this holiday. That mommy guilt would come because I always seemed to just forget that May 1st required some planning and prep with the kids. We have NEVER had May Day baskets ready ahead of time for the neighbor friends. We would always put them together and rush with this mini-project as soon as they would get home from school. The doorbell would ring, they would run to check out the candy that was left for them, ooh and ahh for a bit, and then go back to finishing up their May Day baskets.
We would pass out candy, collect more candy…and just let the sugar rush continue another day.
I don’t dread May Day but as I’ve written before, I do dread the holidays that seem to be wrapped around candy (Candy Takeover…and Makeover). Our society is having a hard enough time with childhood obesity that we really are going to have to look at these holidays a bit closer and re-examine what the priorities for our little ones.
I do understand that having candy tastes good and that kids should have a chance to enjoy it. I hear that all the time...”I just want my kid to be a kid” or “They deserve to have these special treats”. The problem is that we are consuming WAY TOO much of it and it is more of the norm rather than a special treat for most families. Candy is not supposed to be consumed everyday…it is a sometimes food. Sometimes means…maybe once or twice a week and in small proportions.
Did you know what was originally intended for May Day baskets here in the states? Flowers were placed in a basket with the occasional treat. Every culture seems to have their own take of how they celebrate May Day. Some have big celebrations, others have the May Pole that is a tradition that is placed at homes to show affection. When was the last time you saw flowers in a May Day basket? Is it still even acceptable to give flowers in a May Day basket?
Candy might seem like the easiest option when it comes to May Day Baskets but really…there are SO many other things that could be done that is a healthier alternative for all the little ones receiving May Day Baskets. Today my kids actually have their “May Day Baskets” ready for the neighbor friends. Our twist is that our basket really isn’t going to be the typical “basket” but rather…a package of glow sticks. These are cheap, super easy and require NO construction paper basket making skills. BONUS!
Other May Day Basket Options:
- Package of crayons & coloring book. $2 investment from a dollar store.
- Package of bubbles! You can buy packages of these (6 to 8 usually for regular sized) for $1.
- Play-doh! There are mini-packs of Play-doh that are sold as party packs. My little one plays with Play-doh as much as he can and this is great for little ones that don’t put things in their mouths.
- Chalk. Packages of 4 to 12 pieces of chalk can be found at dollar stores for $1.
- Older girls…string to make friendship bracelets or give away a friendship bracelet that was made by your child.
- For boys…Army men. ($1)
- For boys…a matchbox car. Some of these are even less than $1.
- Packages of sugar free gum. The kids really don’t know the difference.
- Bouncy balls.
- Water color paints. Having a new set of paints can sometimes feel like Christmas morning for a child.
- or flowers!
Here are a few other sites that talk about May Day and also some free printables!
- Free printable for a May Day Basket
- Printable for May Day Basket with tissue flower flowers
- Old fashioned May Day baskets & How To
- 10 DIY May Day Basket Ideas
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Jessica is a mom to three kids, a wife to 1 and dabbles in a few other things like…full-time day care provider, certified indoor cycling instructor and coordinator for service projects for a local American Heritage Girls troop. Jessica has had her own journey and has become more aware of what activities should be increased for kids and adults and what foods should be decreased. 😉 Read Jessica’s story at this link.