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Maypole Fun

When I took the job at my school two years ago, I inherited this fantastic maypole:
Apparently the maintenance people (who are amazing!) at our school made it a few years ago. The pole is a really thick pvc pipe. The ribbons are attached to a rotating bike wheel at the top. Even though it rotates, the ribbons still create a fantastic weave! Usually sand bags are placed over the boards at the base, but we could not find them. The must have walked away for something else.

Last year I did not get the maypole out because I had no clue how to do it or teach it and it seemed incredibly daunting last year. This year as May drew nearer I knew that I wanted to try it. I started researching maypole dancing.

Here were some helpful links:

And here is a link about making your own:

1. Have every student stand beside a ribbon
2. Demonstrate how to hold the ribbon (in your hand farthest away in the maypole,using your other hand to guide the ribbon over and under). I had everyone facing clockwise. Our ribbons were long enough that I told my kids that they should have a "tail" hanging down from their hand. We practiced how to make the tails longer or shorter so that the ribbons would not touch the floor.
3. The first time through we just walked in our circle. We may sure not to pass anyone and keep ourselves evenly spaced. Once I could see that was successful, we would turn and go the other way, then we would try the same thing with skipping feet.

4. Then we would number off (1, 2) and I would have my 2's (blue in picture below) stay put and my 1's (greens) got to weave in and out the 2's. I would call "under" and "over" and I modeled what that would look like for both ones and twos. Starting out we moved very slowly and I would wait til all my ones had progressed one space before I would give the next call. In a few of my classes I would have a student who would move ahead of my instructions and it would mess up the weave and we would have to restart. After that, everyone listened perfectly because the really wanted to be able to create the weave and unweave it correctly. 

My first graders were even able to do this weave! Here's a picture from one of my third grade classes. Sorry it's not the best quality but it gives you an idea. I didn't have enough kids for every ribbon, so I wound the extra ribbons around the maypole before we started the song so they would be out of the way. You can see them below the weave in the picture (blue and orange ribbons). 

Here is a link to some other weaves you could try: 

The music I used to accompany our maypole dancing was from the Amidons CD that I already owned. I did not buy any specific music for the maypole, but I just used an instrumental reel and it worked perfectly.

In other news, this week is Teacher Appreciation day, and Teachers Pay Teachers is celebrating with a site wide sale starting on May 7th. Everything on the site will be at least 10% off and most teachers are throwing a sale on top of that so some stores can be up to 28% off (mine included!). This would be a great time to get  stocked up before summer to help with your yearly planning. 

So hop on over and check out my store. Sale prices will show up on May 7th, but you can always get your wishlist ready. Of if your wishlist is already full and you have just been waiting for a great sale, your wait is almost over!

You can also check out my newest item, Charlie (Over the River to Feed My Sheep): Slides for teaching tika-ti - friendly to whatever rhythm syllables you use! Just click on the picture below!


  1. I've always wanted to do this too! Thanks Lindsay.

  2. Hopefully you will find something here helpful! As far as making the actual maypole if you need more info or ever want to come look at mine in person, just let me know!

    1. Yes, I'd love to get some close up pictures of the maypole to see the PVC pipe used and how the bike tire sets on top.