Apr 17

Happy May Day! Here’s How to Make It Special This Year

by Meghan Fitzgerald

To a variety of cultures based in the Northern Hemisphere, May 1st is May Day— a time to celebrate the good weather and bounty of spring for centuries, and the half way point between the vernal equinox and summer solstice.

In our family, May 1st is a very special day. Since my oldest was 2, each year, we’ve spent time leading up to and on May Day creating May Baskets full of spring flowers and dropping them off on the doorsteps of friends and neighbors, working in such a way that we are not discovered. This tradition is meant to spread kindness and celebrate the coming of spring. It is a highlight of our year, a real point of connection between our family and those around us—especially those who live alone and really appreciate the extra touch-in. And, it has helped to hook our kids on kindness.

Even during pandemic, we kept this tradition up. Uncertain about whether we could, we watched a video that our elementary school principal circulated. He shared the following quote from the 14th Dalai Lama submitted by a 5th grader, and it kicked us back into action and got to the heart of our May Day tradition:

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

This is why we still celebrate—and we invite you to join us in celebrating May Day and showing kindness to those around you today. Visit our Spread May Day Kindness DIY activity for five quick ways to do that with stuff you likely already have on hand: 


Deliver May Baskets.

Fill jars with cut flowers from the yard and leave them on your neighbors’ doorsteps. If it’s hard to pull this off where you live, adapt or adjust as needed. Check out our quick how-to for more on May Baskets.

Make a May Day display for others to see. 

Put some flowers on the stoop, in your window or along your sidewalk with a “Happy May Day” sign. Even if only one person sees it as they stroll, bike or drive by, you’ve spread happiness and kindness. Spark empathy by talking with kids about what people may think, feel and do when they see your display. 

Paint or draw “happiness rocks” and spread them around the neighborhood. 

There’s no contact required for other people to see colorful rocks with messages of love, peace and happiness as they stroll along the sidewalk or in flower beds. Enjoy the making and the sharing associated with this simple, powerful way of being kind. 

Sing and send a song. 

Our kids have rewritten “Twinkle Twinkle” to share what they love about their grandparents. When they were done, they sent it to them to share a little May Day joy. Even if you are just singing a song you know someone else will love, you can send kindness through the airwaves.

Write a real old letter or draw a picture and put it in the mail. 

Snail mail continues to thrill. Write a note of good cheer or have kids draw, paint or create something that could lift someone’s spirits. Show kids how you package, address and stamp a piece of mail for sending, and leave it for the mail carrier. You may even want to leave a surprise thank-you note for your mail carrier. 

However you celebrate, we on the Tinkergarten team wish a very happy May Day to you, your neighbors and the world!


Meghan Fitzgerald


After 20+ years as an educator, curriculum developer and school leader, I have my dream gig—an entrepreneur/educator/mom who helps families everywhere, including my own, learn outside. Prior to Tinkergarten®, I worked as an Elementary School Principal, a Math/Science Specialist & and a teacher in public and private schools in NY, MA and CA. I earned a BA with majors in English and Developmental Psychology at Amherst College, an MS in Educational Leadership at Bank Street College, and was trained to become a Forest School leader at Bridgwater College, UK. My worldview is formed in response to my environment, culture, family, identity and experiences. What I write in this blog will inevitably betray the blind spots I have as a result—we all have them! Please reach out if there are other perspectives or world views I could consider in anything I write about. I welcome the chance to learn and update any pieces to broaden our shared perspective!

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