Mother’s Day is this weekend Sunday 9 May, and you can help the toddlers, preschoolers and babies in your service show love and appreciation for their mums with these five fun crafting activities.
Using either inexpensive or recycled materials and basic art supplies, these projects are so much fun to do, exercise creativity and motor functions, and will give the children in your service a beautiful keepsake to take home for their mum. Let’s get started!
A hand-painted flowerpot can be a great gift for mum, especially when it’s made with love and filled with a plant that will grow and bloom to bring joy to every day. Flowerpots can be picked up very cheaply from many stores and come in a variety of kid-friendly sizes.
Alternatively, recycled paper or plastic cups could be used, just add holes for drainage at the base. Then, for a fun way to while away an hour or two, set each child up with a flowerpot and some paints, and suggest they either finger paint, fingerprint, or paint a design with a brush that they think their mum will like.
A sweet design idea is to use a black marker to draw the bodies of butterflies onto the pots first, then ask each child to choose a favourite colour and use that to paint fingerprint wings on the butterflies.
For younger children and babies, dip their thumbs in a paint colour and carefully paint the wings onto each butterfly for them.
Once the paint is dry, set out a tub of potting mix and a selection of flower seedlings and help the children to choose which flower they want for their mum, to fill their pot with soil and plant it, then to water it in. And make sure to write each child’s name on their pot, and maybe include a plant tag, so they can all be easily identified.
Something similar is to use the same technique of thumbprint painting to help children decorate a coffee mug or teacup for their mum. It can be a nice idea to ask the parents to bring a plain cup or mug in with them at drop-off, so that each piece will be completely unique, and something mum is sure to like and cherish for years to come.
With this craft project, you will need special enamel-based paints that can be used on glass or ceramic surfaces. You will also need to use a clear sealer over the top once the children’s designs are dry, to protect them when the cups are being washed, something best done by the educators rather than the children to ensure an even coating. This way they are sure to last for years to come.
Flowers are a sure fire hit with both mums and young children. What’s not to love? They’re bright and colourful, and there are so many ways to make a beautiful bouquet, even with recycled bits and bobs.
If you have leftover empty egg cartons and tin cans for example, this posey of painted blooms would be a cinch to create. This project includes scissors and buttons, so take care if crafting with younger children.
Celery stamped roses are another lovely way to make a bouquet and make use of leftover veggies (and using non-toxic water-based paints means you can even wash them off afterward and still throw them into the compost). Again, all that’s needed is paper, paint and the ends of a couple of celery heads.
Another lovely craft project that makes use of recycled materials is this pretty suncatcher. This tutorial uses clear plastic lids, such as those found on the top of yoghurt containers or tubs of dip, but you could just as easily use recycled clear plastic cups or plates, along with clear PVA glue and coloured scraps of tissue paper, flowers, or even leaves.
Encourage older toddlers and preschoolers to pick their own colours and make their unique design to foster creativity and a sense of ownership. You can also help them develop their fine motor skills by allowing the children to use a paintbrush to apply watered-down glue to their suncatcher base, before they attach their paper, flowers or other materials.
Great for older children, but just as good for babies, a salt dough hand or foot print is a beautifully sentimental keepsake that mum will likely cherish forever.
A basic salt dough can be made with just three ingredients: flour, salt and water. How much of each ingredient you need will depend on how much dough you want to make but work to the quantities of four parts flour to one part salt, and one-and-a-half parts warm water.
Making the dough is something children love to get involved in, and even babies can get their hands dirty with this one, just make sure they don’t eat the salty dough.
You will also need a large bowl to mix the dough in, a small bowl to cut out your hand or footprint with, a straw to make a hole for a hanging ribbon, and paints to decorate the ornament with once it’s dry and hardened.
The dough will require one to two days to dry fully, but if you don’t have the time for this consider making these prints early in the day, allowing them to dry for several hours, then baking them in the afternoon to fully harden them before painting.