Mother’s Day tends to sneak up on us every year, so this year we’ve made an effort to show some of the best projects we’ve done over the years. It’ s funny how we always know when Mother’s Day will be, but it’s in that rush near the end of the school year, so it’s tends to be something we can do quickly and fairly inexpensively.
Remember the mother’s just want their children to give them a hug and kiss, so anything you do will be appreciated.
Here are the five most appreciated things we’ve done:
- Magnets: We took a picture of each student jumping up into the air. We printed these in black and white. Students glued the paper with the picture onto a page of cardstock. Students cut out the pictures so there was no background left. They used coloured pencils to colour a few parts of the picture. For example, one student coloured just her dress and another coloured just her lips and eyes. Once coloured and cut out, we laminated them. Students trimmed the laminate and then hot glued magnets to the backs. Cost*: $0 if you repurpose your classroom magnets. Time: About 20 minutes for students and 20 minutes for teachers.
- Flowers in a Jar: Each student brought a glass jar (like a spaghetti sauce or pickle jar). We painted the outside of the jar with tempera paint mixed with Mod Podge. After painting we added a clear coat of acrylic spray to stop the stickiness. We filled them three quarters full of potting soil and student planted mums in their jars. We kept them in the window so they would grow. Cost*: $10 for potting soil and seeds. Time: About 30 minutes for students and 20 minutes for teachers, but you have to do this one at least a month before you want them so they are growing. The hardest part of this project is keeping the plants alive. One year I just went out and bought bedding plants after an unfortunate cold snap.
- Paintings: The dollar stores sell packages of canvases. Give students some paint and let them go wild. Parents love a “framable” piece of art. if you need more specific art projects, we have lots in our store. The best results are when you have time to make these a few weeks before so they are not rushed. Cost: $1.00 per student if you use canvases or a little bit more if there’s no paint available at your school. Time: 1-2 hours.
- Painted Rocks: Take students on a walk through your neighbourhood to find a nice round rock. Have students wash the rocks and then paint them with a coat of white paint. Let these dry at least overnight. Turn the rocks into mom’s favourite animal or paint some loving words on it. When it’s dry, spray a layer of clear acrylic over the rock to protect the paint. Cost: $5.00 for clear acrylic spray. Time: an hour or two depending on the length of the walk.
- Letters to Mom: This one is our favourite. We helped students write a letter to their mothers or special female role model expressing thanks for all the things they’ve learned from them. Students are brilliantly expressive in describing everything from learning to use the toilet to learning family card games. Help generate a list and then let students write their notes. We purchased some decorative writing paper with matching envelopes. This is the gift we heard from parents about the most. Mothers tuck these letters away to read when their children become unbearable teenagers who know everything. Cost: $10.00 for writing paper if you choose to buy some. Time: 1-2 hours for the best possible quality.
*We have only calculated costs for items that you wouldn’t normally find at school or in your classroom. Regular art supplies and paper is not included.
And remember, Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for families where there have been divorce or loss. Use your best judgment and remember than any female role model can receive these gifts. Allow students with step-parents to create gifts for their stepmothers or caregivers. If they are low cost, the time and effort will go a long way.
What did you give your mother or female role model as a child? Do they still have it? Let s know in the comments below.