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Mother's Day Magic: Fun Activities

Tired of the Mother's Day art project you've been using for the last three years? Education World offers ideas for unique, inexpensive, easy-to-make Mother's Day gifts. Help your students create a memory this Mother's Day. Included: Online resources to help educators find dozens more ideas on the Web.

Mother's Day is not a modern-day event. It dates back at least as far as 17th-century England. On the fourth Sunday in Lent, young English apprentices and servants returned home, carrying small gifts for their mothers.

Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the words to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," introduced the Mother's Day idea in the United States. By 1911, Mother's Day was a national holiday. Although every celebration does not occur at the same time, people in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, and the United States all celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May.

For more on the history of Mother's Day, see The Complete History of Mother's Day at MothersDayCelebration.

You can find many inexpensive, easy-to-make, unique, and exciting Mother's Day gift ideas on the Web. Before choosing a project for students to tackle, though, teachers need to remember that not all children live in traditional family units. For those kids who live in one-parent homes, who have two people they call mom, or who live with guardians other than natural parents, making gifts for a "special person" might be a good idea.

This week, Education World explores creative ways children can honor their moms. You can help your students create gifts for this Mother's Day that just might become tomorrow's treasures.


Easy potpourri.  Iram Khan, who teaches in Kamloops in British Columbia, Canada, tells Education World that in past years, her kindergarten and first graders made potpourri for Mother's Day. The students dried petals of fragrant flowers and herbs on large pieces of paper. Khan then ground up the mix in a blender. (If a blender isn't available or practical, kids will love to use two rocks to do the grinding!) Forming a funnel with the paper, Khan poured the dried pieces into baby food jars, one for each child, with these instructions: "Pour this into a bowl and let it sit on its own. Or have an adult help you pour some boiling water over it, and let it work its magic."

For a variant of this activity, have kids pour the dry, fragrant pieces into the middle of a small piece of fabric, gather the edges, and tie them together with ribbon. Everyone loves a sachet to freshen up a drawer or closet. "The children have fun mashing the dried flowers," says Kahn, "and the mothers love it too."

Decorative soaps.  Do you have a microwave available? If so, try this method of making decorative soaps, posted on the PBS Parents Web site. To make decorative soaps: Cut bars of glycerin soap into about three pieces each. Place one piece each into a microwavable cup or paper cup and heat on high for about 10 to 15 seconds. Pour the melted soap into candy molds or soap molds if available. (Click on the above link for additional details.)


Love notes.  Students can create "love notes" to place around the house. A variant of this is to type or print "I remember when ..." on an index card and attach it to a glass jar. On each strip of paper placed inside the jar, the student can write a different memory about mom or different things mom did that the student appreciated -- and mom can read one every day. For more ideas, check out Billy Bear's Happy Mother's Day Web page.

The ChildFun Mother's Day Projects and Gifts List has a treasure trove of easy, wonderful activities. One idea is to trace your students' hands and then cut them out. After measuring each child's arms, attach a long piece of yarn to each cutout hand. Put the two hands and yarn into an envelope with a note that says, "Mom, [or Grandma, etc.] I love you THIS much!"

Candleholders.  Another idea from ChildFun is a Stained Glass Candleholder. The directions are quite simple: Have students cut different-colored tissue paper into small squares. They can use a watercolor brush to paint baby food jars with a glue-water mixture and then stick small pieces of colored tissue paper to it. Have kids glue a thin ribbon around the rim and place a small candle inside the jar. These holders can be customized to any season or event, depending on the colors of tissue paper used. Kids can also use cleaned-out salad dressing bottles to create bud vases.

Mom's Day Cards and Crafts.  Make a variety of amazing and amusing Mother's Day cards -- and more crafts too -- at Danielle's Place.

Happy Mother's Day!


Women's World
Mother’s Day Central presents ideas, activities, and resources to help ensure that Mom enjoys her special day.


Article by Glori Chaika
Education World®
Copyright © Education World

Last updated 04/25/2012