May was named after the Greek goddess Maia. She was the mother of Hermes. The Greek name Maia comes from a root meaning “mother, nurse, or midwife. Perhaps that is why we celebrate Mother’s day in May. There are only 7 months that have 31 days and May is one of them. That means there are plenty of holidays for May your kids won’t want to miss celebrating!
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As you explore the Holidays for May, I hope the ideas shared here and in our resources inspire you to dig a little deeper into the holidays. I fill each holiday of the day with information to help your Happy Hive buzz with excitement!
Celebrate on or near these specific days:
Mother Goose Day – May 1
Depicted as either a goose wearing a bonnet or an elderly woman reading stories, Mother Goose is not a real person. The character instead is a fictional author that appeared in a book by Charles Peralt in 1695. Tales of MY Mother Goose was a collection of fairy tales, not Nursery Rhymes as we usually associate with the name Mother Goose.
Mother goose stories are those written by many authors over time both men and women and handed down for generations.
Celebrate Mother Goose Day with a Free Mary Had A Little Lamb set!
Star Wars Day – May 4
May the 4th, also known as Star Wars Day is a fan created holiday that now has a worldwide reach.
The puntastic date was chosen as it sounds like the movie catchphrase of “May the Force be with you”.
The first organized celebration is said to have taken place in Ontario, Canada in 2011. Star Wars Day has been celebrated with costume contests, movie marathons, and now includes official participation by the Walt Disney Company.
To help you Celebrate Happy Hive Homeschooling has a set of 3 products designed to provide you with everything you need for a complete May the 4th Celebration!
The May the 4th Activity Bundle has ALL 3 of the Happy Hive Star Wars Day products for ONE LOW PRICE.
When you purchase the bundle you also get a BONUS pdf file with additional activities! FREE!
This gives you a complete Celebration – Just Add Fun Food!
MATH: May the 4th Multiplication Word Problems
Take the moaning and groaning out of Multiplication word problems with this Fun Google sheets activity with a May the 4th -Star Wars Day theme. The May the 4th Multiplication Picture Puzzle is self-correcting and comes with a printable worksheet (optional) you can use before assigning the picture puzzle.
LANGUAGE ARTS: May the 4th be with you and other Punny Puns
The perfect pun formed in the date simply lends itself to using this holiday to our advantage as educators and teaching the figurative language concept of puns. Using Star Wars puns makes this lesson great any time of the year.
This resource includes a google slide presentation packed with information about puns that you can keep simple, or dive deeper by examining homophonic and homographic pun formation.
After you have presented all there is about puns, guide your little stormTROOPERS through the Star Wars puns. They can use the colorful companion worksheet filled with beloved character representations to analyze each pun.
There is also the option to use the Happy Hive Homeschooling video with Mrs. Crabtree as the teacher to guide you through the pun-tastic lesson and you can take over for the analysis!
VISUAL ART/FINE MOTOR SKILLS: Push Pin Poke Art – May the 4th Inspired Pictures
Create original works of art by poking, painting or sewing any one of the 10 included designs in this one-of-a-kind Push Pin Poke Art pack. 10 color and 10 black and white designs are sure to make all your young padawans happy little Jedis in training!
To THANK YOU for grabbing all 3 of my May the 4th activities I have put together a BONUS pdf file with:
20 May the Fourth inspired vocabulary words in 3 different activities (Word Search, Crack the Code, Unscramble)
3 Character Coloring Pages
2 Bonus Poke Art Designs EXCLUSIVE to the BUNDLE! (color and black and white included)
Cinco De Mayo – May 5
The Battle of Puebla took place in 1862. A smaller army of Mexican soldiers was able to defeat the larger and better equipped French Army. This was just one of many battles during the Second Franco – Mexican War that took place 1861-1867. Eventually The French overran the Mexicans.
The French were trying to gain a position in North America, however, after the end of the American Civil war in 1865, The United States began providing Mexico with material support. The United States Foreign Policy at the time, The Monroe Doctrine stated European colonization was not welcome and “ any intervention in the political affairs of the Americas by foreign powers was a potentially hostile act against the U.S”
The French began to withdraw from Mexico in 1866, and the Republic was restored in 1867.
The Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla is celebrated each year at a festival on the same date as the battle. It is primarily celebrated in the Mexican state of Puebla. They call the holiday El Día de la Batalla de Puebla ( The Day of the Battle of Puebla).
The United States celebrates the Popular version of Cinco de Mayo as a celebration of Mexican heritage.
It is important that Cinco De Mayo does not get confused with Mexican Independence day – September 16th.
Give Someone a Cupcake Day – May 8
Who can resist a holiday this easy? You can easily make someone’s day better and brighter today by baking (or buying) cupcakes and giving them out.
The term “cupcake” was first used in 1828. At that time a cupcake could be simply a cake baked in a cup like container. It could also be because the ingredients were measured in cups rather than by weight.
For example, a cupcake recipe at that time may have been 3 cups of flour, 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of butter and eggs.
National Florence Nightingale Day – May 12
When Florence went into nursing, they considered it dirty work. Respectable women just didn’t do it. Medicine wasn’t practiced the way it is now. Florence is famous for inspiring the simple act of handwashing! In her book Notes on Nursing written in 1860, Florence tells nurses they should wash their hands as often as possible, their faces too! At the time they believed bad smells caused infection!
The handwashing and other hygiene principles Florence and her team implemented in British army hospitals during the Crimean War were responsible for marked improvements in recovery. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until the 1980s that hand hygiene was recognized globally as a critical component in preventing infection.
You can learn more about Florence’s Life in this Homeschool Holiday Lapbooking Resource.
National Leprechaun Day – May 13
The word Leprechaun comes from an old Irish word meaning small boy: luchorpán. This is fitting because according to legend there are only male Leprechauns. Since they are magic, we don’t have to worry about how more leprechauns appear. Leprechauns get their magic from the Fairy world. They are mythical beings who originally resided in Ireland long before humans did.
Research by historians suggests that Leprechauns wore red, not green, in the early days of their existence. Perhaps red was worn long before the clever fairies had to hide from humans. The switch to green was made so they were hard to detect among the clover! What do you think?
There isn’t a clear founder for National Leprechaun day, perhaps the little leprechauns themselves created it to give us another chance at finding their gold!
National Chocolate Chip Day – May 15th
Ruth Wakefield and her husband ran the Toll House Inn in Wakefield Massachusetts. It was a tourist lodge where traditionally travelers paid a toll, changed horses, and ate a home-cooked meal. Ruth cooked and served all the meals and desserts at the Inn.
Ruth liked to experiment with cookies. While she was experimenting – she invented the chocolate chip – and the chocolate chip cookie! Ruth simply chopped a Nestle Toll House chocolate bar and added it into her cookie recipe of flour and sugar (half white sugar and half brown sugar).
Later, Ruth wrote a best-selling cookbook, Toll House Tried-and-True Recipes.
In 1938 her cookbook included the recipe for a chocolate chip cookie, the “Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie.” It was named “The Toll House” after the inn. Because she used Nestle Chocolate bars in her recipe, their sales skyrocketed.
To celebrate this special day we recommend The SWEET HISTORY of CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES by our Friend Suzanne at Teacher Writer.
This resource comes with a complete lesson plan, an original nonfiction text passage, graphic organizers, vocabulary activities, comprehension activities, and an informational text writing focus.
National Biographers Day – May 16
Biographies began a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… no wait that’s a different Holiday! The truth of the matter is Biographies existed as far back in history as 44 BC when Cornelius Nepos wrote a lengthy biography on the most famous generals of the Greeks and Romans.
James Boswell’s writing style changed the future of the biography forever. The standard was set, and a new way to tell a story was born. The book was published in 1789 and during those times, they considered it to be one of the best biographies in the English Language!
Since then there have been many, many biographies written. Different authors write biographies about the same person. Think about someone like Abraham Lincoln. Search Abraham Lincoln Biography, how many come up? (Go ahead, I’ll be here when you get back)
I often get the question when working with families homeschooling about how to “get the kids to write”. This question is very similar to the “How do I get my kids to read more” question. Assuming there are no underlying challenges like dysgraphia or other processing disorders, the way you get kids to write is the same way you get them to read – by exposing them to good writing. They need a MODEL. They need something that INSPIRES them. Kids are not writing because it bores them.
Celebrate National Biographers Day by reading well-crafted Biographies – then try your hand at writing one of your own.
Use our FREE Biography Writing Template Pack
World Bee Day – May 20
The United Nations designated World Bee Day as a holiday. (Bees are really, really important!) They hope to raise awareness of their cuteness (not really, I’m just checking if you are reading this).
The United Nations is actually hoping to raise awareness of bees’ importance as pollinators and the threats they face. Bees also play a HUGE role in sustainable development. That means bees help us meet our immediate needs without impacting the needs of future generations.
Think about how much of what we eat needs to be pollinated. A well-rounded diet comprises all the food groups. We need the bees!
May 20th is a special date because it is the birthday of Anton Janša who pioneered modern beekeeping back in 18th century Slovenia. He was also a painter and painted the fronts of the beehives with his artwork.
BEE sure to grab the Happy Hives Bees, Flowers, and Pollination Activity Pack designed especially for World Bee Day!
Looking for more BEE fun? Our friend Suzanne has just what you need! The Lesson on Idioms is the Bee’s Knees for sure! It pairs PERFECTLY with her activity focused on HOW BEES MAKE HONEY.
Scavenger Hunt Day – May 24
There is nothing more exciting than finding what you are looking for. Especially if it has been lost for awhile! There are many games surrounding the exciting concept of “seek and find”.
Scavenger Hunt Day explores an old-fashioned party game. They credit the Scavenger Hunt as we know it today to an event planner of sorts throughout the 1920s. The wealthy paid Elsa Maxwell to plan elaborate treasure hunt parties.
A scavenger hunt today comprises a list of random items to find. The experts at Happy Hive Homeschooling have put together 25 different scavenger hunts for you so you can celebrate not only today, but all year long!
National Paper Airplane Day – May 24
With one sheet of paper and some folds – you can fly. Well, Paper can fly.
It’s not exactly clear when the PAPER airplane was invented. It is much like origami paper folding which can be traced back to 17th century Japan.
We know that Davinci and the Wright Brothers studied paper models and how they worked.
During World War II there was an increase in paper toys because it just wasn’t practical to make toys out of metal or plastic at the time. Those resources were being used for the War effort.
You can fold your own paper airplanes and fly them today:
The paper you use to fold your plan is important. Experiment and find what works best. Thin copy paper is a good place to start. You will also learn that the pressure you apply when launching your plane will affect the direction of flight, the height and distance that can be achieved.
Hamburger Day – May 28
May 28th is all about Celebrating Hamburger Charlie. Charlie Nagreen of Seymore Wisconsin is credited with *inventing* the Hamburger. Charlie was 15 at the time. He had the idea to help his meatballs sell better. He smashed meatballs between two slices of bread and began selling them at the fair, calling them “hamburgers” after the Hamburg Steaks that were popular at the time among the many German immigrants. Hamburger or meatball sandwich? You decide.
We think the day is great fun, and definitely, a reason to celebrate. In fact. To help Happy Hive Homeschooling has this Hamburger History Product that walks you through the History of Hamburgers from the Ancient Romans, includes Charlie Nagreen, some Mongol warriors, and much more! Your kids can predict the order fast food restaurants were established, create a timeline for your wall and more.
National Creativity Day – May 30
Creativity has no limits, no boundaries and no rules. Everyone is creative and that’s what National Creativity day celebrates. National Creativity day began in 2018 and encourages creativity in every form. Sharing your creative talents add goodness to the world.
You may be a creative cook, a creative painter, or just creative with words. Perhaps your creativity is in the field of photography, music or science. Every person on the planet has creativity to share and today’s the day.
Check out this list of creative ideas
- Start a journal
- Make a vision board
- Write a poem or short story
- Start a time capsule
- Take dance lessons, music lessons or art lessons
- Go on a nature walk
- Try stand up comedy
- Put on a magic show
- Draw, paint, sculpt, sew, needlepoint, knit, pottery work, candlemaking, soapmaking, etc
- Play a board game
The Last Monday in May – Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance. We are called to remember the Men and Women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It is only “recently” (1971) that Memorial Day became a federal holiday in the United States. Originally it was called Decoration Day.
At first, the day was to honor those lost in the Civil War. Since, the United States (and obviously many other countries) had gone through 2 World Wars, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War. Now, Memorial Day is for ALL the fallen of war, regardless of which war.
Another huge element in Memorial day history is the poppies. The red poppy is a remembrance inspired by a popular World War I poem called – In Flanders Field. They actually classify the poppy as a weed. This may be why it was so prevalent on the battle-worn field that inspired the poem. To this day the poem is one of the most famous works to emerge from what we call “The Great War”. After reading the poem herself, a Frenchwoman named Anna Guérin championed the symbolic power of the red poppy.
You can read more about Memorial Day on the Blog : MEMORIAL DAY HISTORY
More Holiday Activities for May
These products use each of the Holiday of the Days for Mayl
In each set of May copywork you get 31 topics, in 2 font styles. The first is with guides (arrows) and the second font is a simple version of the font. The trace over copywork contains simple sentences, Manuscript and Cursive sentences are longer and more advanced, but similar so family discussions or use as Memory Verse is still possible!
May LEGO CHALLENGE
Lego Challenge Cards are great for everyday use or even on days your kids can’t go outside because of the weather (Rain, Snow, Wind, Heat). They make excellent party games or Fun Friday activities.
There are 31 building challenges for May based on the holiday of the day.
May Writing Activities
If you are looking for more May Fun I have just the thing! My friend Suzanne over at Teacher Writer has curated a fantastic set of writing prompts and activities for Mayl surrounding the National Holidays!
BEE sure to check out the Teacher Writer blog post with tips for implementing these National Day Writing Prompts. Your busy bees will find them especially engaging as they come with videos to help introduce the topic!
Some of the May writing prompts:
- National Idaho Day. (Write about the great state of Idaho.)
- National Sea Monkey Day. (Write about these popular creatures.)
- Memorial Day. (Learn about this tradition to honor our military.)
- National Lemonade Day. (Write about setting up your own lemonade stand.)
- National Tap Dance Day. (Learn about Savion Glover, a modern-day tap dancer.)
- National Learn to Swim Day (Write about swimming and lessons.)
Thanks for checking out the many holidays for May!
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I can’t wait to share my homeschool expertise and mindset-shifting superpowers with you each edition of THE BUZZ. We’ll also chat about the methods I used to organize, schedule, and lesson plan in my homeschool with the hopes it will help you have a happy hive too. In the meantime, “Bee” sure to check out the different methods of homeschooling as well as our 3 easy strategies for burnout.
This site is a labor of love and will grow and grow. Is there a Holiday of the Day you would like to see featured? Contact Us and we will do our best to make it happen! We are glad you are here and hope you enjoy learning and celebrating in your HAPPY HIVE!