Make May Day a Play Day


Make May Day a Play Day

April 20, 2023

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Spread joy by making and sharing a May Day Basket!

Whether it is for a friend, neighbor, or family member, surprising someone with a May Day Basket is a great way to celebrate the season.

May 1, also known as May Day, is marked with fun traditions welcoming the start of spring. One well-known May Day tradition is to leave a basket of flowers or little treats anonymously on a neighbor’s porch. It’s called a May Day Basket! 

Let’s Add Some Play to the Tradition! 

We’ve worked on some fun examples to show you how to use your creative side to make your own May Day Basket and help spread the joy that spring brings.   

Download this adorable May Day Basket template that is a perfect container for hiding little treats. Treats aren’t the only items you can put in the basket. You could add all sorts of treasures or special objects! We love adding seeds so neighbors can plant their own flowers or vegetables.   

Looking for a cut-and-fold May Day template?

If you’d prefer to choose your own colors and materials you can create your very own basket! Teacher Lauren has a few ideas to get you started.

Watch as she creates two types of May Day Baskets made from materials commonly found around the house. (If you‘d prefer to read the instructions, don’t worry, they are listed below.) 

Create Your Own May Day Basket 

 Yarn Woven Baskets 


  • Paper or plastic cup 
  • Scissors 
  • Yarn 
  • Pipe cleaner 
  • Tape  

 Let’s get started:  

  1. Begin by cutting vertical strips on your cup from the lip of the cup down to the base. Make sure to cut an odd number of slits.  
  2. Tie a knot at the end of a piece of yarn, then place the knot inside the cup and slide it down through one of the slits.  
  3. Next weave the yarn in and out of the slits, moving around the cup as you go. Every so often, push the woven yarn towards the base of your cup.  
  4. Once you have woven all the way to the top of your cup, tie another knot and tuck it into a slit. You may also want to secure this with tape.  
  5. If you want to make a handle, use a pipe cleaner and attach it with tape.   
Blue and yellow woven yarn basket made out of a Dixie cup.
This yarn woven May Day basket was made with a disposable cup and acrylic yarn.


Paper Cone Baskets  


  • Paper  
  • Tape  
  • Scissors  

Let’s get started:  

  1. Starting in one corner of the paper, roll the paper into a cone shape. Use tape to secure it in place.  
  2. Trim the top of the cone as desired.  
  3. Cut a strip of paper and tape inside of cone creating a handle.  
  4. Fill with flowers or special treats.  
Paper May Day basket with plush flowers inside held by two hands with polka dot backdrop
A paper cone basket can be made with just tape and paper! It makes a great flower holder.


BONUS BASKETPaper Woven Baskets 


Cut paper into 1″ wide strips.  

  • 4 14″ long pieces of the first color of paper. 
  • 4 14″ long pieces of the second color. 
  • 5 18″ long pieces of the third color. Set one of these aside to use as the handle for the basket. (If your paper is not long enough, tape two pieces together.) 
  • Scissors  
  • Tape or glue  

Let’s get started:  

  1. Arrange your first color (14″) with 4 pieces vertical. 
  2. Weave in the next color of 4 pieces (14″) horizontally so they are woven together. 
  3. Adjust the pieces so the inner square is about 4″ x 4″, and the outer strips are at least 4″. Glue down each corner.  
  4. Fold each strip inwards towards the center. 
  5. On your (18″) pieces, measure and make a mark every 4″. Then fold the paper on each mark. Glue the ends together on each piece. 
  6. Weave in each of these square pieces to form the basket. Follow an under then over pattern with the outside pieces.  
  7. After this, the leftover paper at the top can be folded over or just trimmed and glued to the side. 
  8. Glue each side of the handle to the inside of the basket, and you are done!  
Woven paper basket with yellow pipe cleaner handle
The paper woven basket takes a bit more time and weaving, but it makes a very fun shape.

Special Delivery! 

Traditionally, when you leave the basket, you would yell “May Basket” and then run away. But we invite you to try something new! Try a knock or ringing the doorbell just to make sure your lovely basket of flowers or treats gets discovered.  

You could hide and see your neighbors’ reactions as they discover your gift. And if you don’t want to keep your gift anonymous, you can pop out and say “hi”!  

Imagine how many smiles you could bring to neighbors if you added May Day Baskets to your walk around the neighborhood. 

If this activity inspires you to deliver some May Day baskets, we’d love to hear about it! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to be notified of more Recipes for Play in the future! Thanks for playing along!

Looking for fun items to add to your basket?