Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May and this year it is on Sunday, May 11, 2014.
Nothing warms the heart so much as handmade cards and gifts from a child. Mothers and grandmothers alike love these precious gifts of the heart,and often keep them, tucking them away with the happy memories that go along with them.
Creativity and imagination are important in child development. Children are instinctively creative, imaginative little people and the things they make with their own hands can capture the spontaneity and excitement of the process and express their love. I have a picture painted by my son when he was in third grade, framed and still hanging, and every time I see it, I remember his sweet little face on the very day he proudly presented it to me. That was about twenty-five years ago and it still brings me pleasure.
Equally as beautiful is the memory of my daughter, little more than three years old, presenting me with a hardened clay bird, painted bright blue, which still commands attention, perched on a shelf next to a window facing the backyard. Oh, how excited she was when she said, “…and I made it myself, Mommy, just for you because I love you and you love blue!” That little clay bird has brought me joy for thirty-some years. I wish I had saved more of these beautiful, heartfelt treasures.
Here are some easy Mother’s Day gifts kids can make for moms and grandmothers
1. Mosaic picture frames. (Makes 2) Cut away the sides of an empty cereal box, leaving two cardboard rectangular panels. (If desired, you can cut draw a large oval or heart shape and trim away the excess cardboard.) Glue a photo (or Xerox of a photo image) onto the cardboard. This is the base of the frame. Use solid or patterned construction paper, wrapping paper, funny papers, scrapbook book papers, etc. and cut the papers into ½ inch strips. Then cut the strips into ½ inch squares. Glue the squares all around the picture until the cardboard is completely covered. Using one of the slim rectangular box sides, fold it in half and glue one of the half sides onto the back of the frame. Let dry. This is the stand. Or – punch a hole at the top of the frame, about an inch from the edge and centered. Thread a piece of ribbon through the hole and tie, finishing with a bow. You may add glitter, jewels, ribbons, etc. if you like.
2. Homemade Scented Soapballs. Easy and fun to make, these little soap sculptures are great little gifts. You’ll need You'll need: 2 cups of Ivory Soap Flakes, 1/4 cup of water, food coloring, and fragrance or flavor extract. Mix ingredients together, using as much food coloring and flavor extract as you need to get the fragrance and color you want. Mix until soap clay is pliable and smooth. Shape into balls or little animals, firmly packing soap clay together and smooth. Let harden in fridge for an hour. For presentation, wrap each little soap in a square of fabric or netting and tie with ribbon and place them in a little box, bowl, or basket.
3. Fabric Covered Notebook. Get an inexpensive 3-ring notebook. Make a template pattern by opening the notebook and tracing it’s perimeter on a larger sheet of paper. Adding 2 inches all around, draw a second line outside the first. Cut out pattern following the outside. Select a fabric (or sheet or pillow case), place the pattern in the center of the fabric and cut out the fabric book cover. Apply glue on the outside front and spine of the notebook. Place open notebook, glued-side down, on the fabric. Smooth out fabric and fold over and glue edges of fabric to the inside of the cover. Flip, apply glue to back of open notebook, stretch fabric over notebook, and pat smooth. Fold excess fabric over to inside and glue in place. Fabric covered notebooks can be used as notebook, scrapbook, journals, and photo books.
4. “I Love Mom Because” Book.To make an 8-page book, including cover, fold 4 sheets of paper in half and staple the middle section. Title the book “I Love Mom Because…” and include Written and illustrated by Name(s). Have the child write reasons why they love mom, one per page. Then have them draw a picture on the cover and illustrate each page using markers, crayons, or colored pencils. They can make these precious books for grandmothers and aunts, too.
5. “I Promise to” Coupon Books. Cut out 8 to 12 heart-shaped sheets of solid or patterned paper, all the same size. On each heart, have the child write “I promise to ___________”, filling in the blank with a series of chores or actions. Some examples might include, clean my room; wash and dry the dishes; give Mom an extra hug, kiss, and cuddle; read a book to little sister, give mom 20 minutes of peace and quiet, etc.
6. Photo Puzzles. Xerox a copy of your favorite photo and glue the copy onto a piece of cardboard. Let dry. Laminate or apply clear contact paper to front and back. On the back side of the laminated photo, draw miscellaneous shapes, everything connected. Cut out the pieces and place in a decorated envelope or small box. (If you want the puzzle to be shaped into a flower or heart for mom, cut out the shape on the original piece of card board first and after gluing on picture, trim to fit the shape.)
7. Bookmark. Glue a small picture (or copy of one) of the child onto a thin rectangular shaped piece of cardboard. Print a message under the photo, i.e. “Mommy holds a special place in my heart”, or “To Granma with hugs and kisses”, “Love and Hugs to a Great Daddy”, etc. Have the kids decorate it and laminate it or use clear contact paper on both sides, trimming excess.
8. Planter. Using an empty rinsed-out and dried milk carton as the flower pot, cut down the sides. Leaving a base of 6 to 8 inches all around, trim off sides. Poke out a hole in the center of the bottom of the pot. Decorate pot by applying glue all around and applying scraps of fabric, faux jewels, ribbon pieces, etc. until all sides are covered. (Or, use method described to create #3 above to cover with fabric.) Fill the pot with about 3 inches of soil, add flower seeds or plant little flowers in soil and cover with soil to the top of the pot. Place flower pot on dish to water so excess liquid can drain out.
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