Mother's Day in America began with Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis, who lived from 1832 to 1905. Anna Jarvis began the holiday as Mothers' Work Days to bring together women during the Civil War to care for soldiers on both the Union and Rebel sides. Her daughter, Anne Jarvis, created the formal holiday to honor her mother. You can use the day to honor your mother with handcrafted gifts.
Mothers' Day Place Mats
Children can cut out pictures from magazines, choosing pictures of items they associate with their mothers. The children will glue the pictures onto heavy construction paper, leaving enough room to write a few special words or draw pictures for their mothers. Have the children write their names and the date of the activity on the place mats. Laminate or cover the placemats with clear contact paper.
Each child should make 12 handprints with red or pink tempera paint on a large sheet of white construction paper. Next, each child can dip one finger into green tempera paint and paint a stem for each rose handprint.
Button Bracelet Crafts
You will need one foot-long piece of elastic cord per child, along with scissors and colorful buttons. Ask the children to take a first button and string it on a cord. Keep the button at about 3 inches from one end, and help the children tie a knot to hold the button in place. The children will continue to string buttons and tie each one in place with knots nearing the end of the cord. Have the children stop and check the length by wrapping the bracelets around their wrists. Stop the project when the bracelet fits loosely around the wrist, then tie the two ends together.
Tissue Paper Flowers
Tissue paper flowers are delicate gifts to say happy Mother's Day. You will need tissue paper and green pipe cleaners or twist ties. Ask the children to cut about four to six pieces of tissue paper to about 8 by 10 inches, although the exact size does not matter. Have the children pile the papers one on top of another and fold the papers like an accordion. Tie the centers of the folded papers with pipe cleaners or twist ties.
Have the children pull each separate piece of paper toward the top center of the flower, then separate each sheet of paper from the others to form the flower petals.
Tin Can Vases
Pretty tissue paper flowers require vases. Give the children clean, empty metal cans without lids and ask them to glue colorful construction paper around the can. The children can decorate the cans with stamps, glitter and markers.
Handmade Wrapping Paper For Gifts
Get plain rolls of kraft butcher paper, and use stamps to decorate the paper or ask the children to press their hands in tempera paint and make handprints on the paper for customized wrapping paper.