Welcome a new month with the old tradition of giving colorful May Day baskets. Making and filling them is half the fun. The other half is the excitement of hanging them on unsuspecting friends' doorsteps, ringing doorbells and then hiding and waiting to see the surprised looks on their faces.
Set aside a crafting afternoon to make simple paper cone-shaped baskets large enough to hold a few blooms and treats. Or repurpose Easter baskets, filling them with pots of your favorite flowers and herbs that can later be planted in a summer garden.
Any style you choose will surely spread the joy that spring is here.
To make a paper cone-shaped basket: Cut a strip 2-1/2 inches wide off the long end of a sheet of construction paper, metallic craft paper or wallpaper to form a square. Set the strip aside. Bring two adjoining sides of the square together to form a cone. Overlap the edges slightly. Staple the cone securely. Staple the extra strip of paper to the top of the cone to form a handle. Decorate the outside and handle with stickers.
On May 1, fill the cone with fresh flowers and plants - picked from your garden or purchased from a florist - tied with a ribbon. Add a small trinket and candies, if you wish. Include a "Happy May Day!" note to tell the person that he or she is special.
To repurpose Easter baskets with potted plants: Enjoy a Saturday outing to a garden center where your kids can select potted blooming flowers and herbs. Look for small, compact plants and aim for variety. Pick up some decorative sphagnum moss to use as a finishing touch.
At home, line the insides of Easter or decorative baskets with plastic to keep water from leaking through. Set one pot in mini-size baskets or cluster two or three plants in a larger basket. Use the moss to cover the soil and the rims and sides of the plastic pots. Add a note and a ribbon tied in a bow to the handle.
For more ideas on how kids can grow up green, watch Donna's segment at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 3, on "Twin Cities Live" on Channel 5.
Donna Erickson's award-winning series "Donna's Day" is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit donnasday.com and link to the new Donna's Day Facebook fan page.