10 Ways to Celebrate J.M. Barrie’s Birthday and Never Growing Up

J.M. Barrie was born on May 9, 1860 and is best remembered for authoring the classic fantasy story, Peter Pan. After experiencing the tragic death of a sibling at a young age, the stories he wrote sought to recapture the happier days when all was right with the world.

I can relate to wishing I could go back to those days before life got hard. I think in embracing my childhood love of life, I'm also serving my family well by celebrating the good, true, and beautiful. Life is heavy and hard so often, but we all need to recapture a childlike perspective on the world. It might just help us all live to be 100.

1. Plant a Fairy Garden

May is a beautiful time to be outdoors and having fun creating with natural materials. Fairy gardens are a great way to get creative juices flowing. This would be a fun project to cultivate over time. I love these cute little fairy houses from milk cartons.

My girls also love painting rocks, and these cute little toadstools would be super easy to make and fun to add to their fairy garden. The beauty of fairy gardens is that they are whimsical, creative, and easy going. This cute fairy garden pictured below is proof that it doesn't need to be elaborate to be amazing.

Simple fairy garden by Meatloaf and Melodrama

2. Peter Pan Inspired Seed Studies You Won't Forget

The Peter Pan Seed Dispersal Theory is a clever way to help students learn how seeds spread in different ways utilizing elements from the Peter Pan story. Your kids will love identifying the variety of ways that seeds are dispersed naturally.

3. Shadow Art

A classic element of the Peter Pan story is the idea of Peter losing his shadow and needing Wendy to reattach it. Kids will love playing with shadows in these hands on activities.

For a great STEAM activity, check out this Shadow Art Outdoor Science activity. I know my kids will love this!

Shadow Art Outdoor Science from Rhythms of Play

Take your shadow studies further with this free unit study on shadowsI love the Lego man experiment. What a fun idea!

4. Peter Pan Inspired Chalk Art

I'll be honest - I am so inspired by everything that Nana from You ARE an Artist shares. Her art lessons are simple, yet beautiful. They have a fun Pan inspired hat tutorial that makes a quick activity for bringing out the kid in everyone. There is nothing like getting dirty with a little paint to bring whimsy to your day! Resist the urge to stress about the mess.

5. Pirate Ship Art

Take mixed media to the next level with this awesome Pirate Ship art project. Kids will love playing with texture, color, and media in this simple, yet incredible art project.

I love this project by Deep Space Sparkle.

6. Have a Pajama Day

There is nothing quite as rejuvenating for the soul as a pajama day. Resting in comfy clothes will make you feel like a kid again even for a short time.

7. Q-Tip Wars

My family used to have epic rubber band gun wars. While they were lots of fun, they were also fairly painful! These fun q-tip bow and arrows would be much less painful, but still fun to play with. Pretend to be the lost boys and challenge the pirates to a great war with q-tips!

8. Make Your Own Pan Pipe

It's always fun to make noise, and these pan pipes made from straws will be great fun for kids. If you're one of those people who find it hard to enjoy the "joyful noises" that come from untrained musicians, just make one yourself as well. When you're playing louder than them, you won't be so bothered by the cacophony.

9. Hunt Treasure

Everyone likes a good treasure hunt, even if you're not a pirate. Just print off these cute clue cards, and set up a rip roaring adventure to seek treasure. If you need help coming up with clues, here is some clue inspiration to get you started.

You don't have to have clues and destinations in order to hunt for treasure. Check out this sensory treasure hunt:

Soapy Sea Foam Sensory Play from Two-Daloo

10. Movie and a Snack

You can watch the classic Disney version of Peter Pan, the Robin William's twist on an old tale, Hook, or the Broadway playWhip a quick Pan inspired snack, and you'll have a great time with the kids enjoying being young again.



Chocolate Popcorn Snack from Little Wonders' Days


Orange Boats in Blue Jello from Food & Whine

Here are some other fabulous snack ideas:

I don't know if I really want to live to be 100, but I do know that I want to make the most of the life that I do have. Playing with my kids while they're still young to play with me is a great way to make the most of it.

Check out other famous May birthdays and activities to celebrate their special day:

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