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Kid-friendly projects to celebrate mom

© George Doyle / Stockbyte / Thinkstock © George Doyle / Stockbyte / Thinkstock

By Sara Elliot

Mother's Day gives kids everywhere an opportunity to show their appreciation for the nurturing influences in their lives. This special holiday is a tribute as well as a celebration, and there are many ways to make it memorable with unique touches and homemade gifts.

Kid Friendly Mother's Day Craft Ideas

Mom's love to receive hand crafted gifts. These projects are designed with kids in mind:

Make a card. Almost any mom would appreciate a card made with construction paper, crayons and glitter. It's an old fashioned gift but one sure to earn a place in mom's memory box or scrapbook. As a touching memento, write a short letter to include with the card that lists the top five (10 or 20) reasons you think mom is so special.

Decorate a flower pot. If mom is a gardener, she'd probably be delighted with a few decorated terra cotta pots for a sunny window sill or deck railing. Use acrylic paints to apply flower motifs to unglazed pots. Three or four inch pots are small enough for younger kids to handle easily. Once the pots have cured, fill them with soil and mom's favorite spring annual plant varieties.

Add fresh flowers. Moms love breakfast in bed, and nothing decorates a tray better than a small vase filled with a flower or two. Garden flowers or florist flowers work equally well, but try to find colorful blossoms that have a nice fragrance. Roses are a good choice, but so are sweet peas, lily-of-the-valley and lilacs.

Decorate Paper Plates. If mom is being treated to breakfast in bed or a picnic lunch, decorate the paper plates for the table or tray with craft scissors and decorative punches. You can create scalloped edges or a lacy look that will be special as well as unexpected.

Make a refrigerator magnet. A piece of kid crafted and signed artwork attached to the refrigerator with a magnet or two makes a nice Mother's Day morning surprise. It's a decoration and a present all in one. Be sure to make it bright and colorful with flowers and rainbows. Pick up a pack of magnets from your local craft store, and glue them to the back of popsicle stick or paper artwork.

Make Signature Placemats. Buy a set of cloth or paper placemats and have each family member sign one on the back or along one edge in permanent marker. This is a great gift idea when you can get signatures ahead of time from kids who have moved out or are away at college.

Mother's Day Craft Ideas For Decorations

Mom usually likes things to look nice around the house, and adding a few thoughtful touches can turn an ordinary Mother's Day into an extraordinary one:

Start with the table. Decorating the kitchen or dining table with a flower centerpiece or even a basket filled with fruit will brighten her day. You can use fresh flower bouquets or potted flowering plants from the local nursery.

Add a front door wreath. Mother's day falls during spring, and nothing says a special mom lives at your house better than a front door wreath decorated with mom's favorite colors and flowers. Craft stores offer basic wreaths forms in a variety of materials like: straw, grapevine, wire and mock evergreen. They're also available in a number of sizes. Add silk or dried flowers, ribbons and you'll have a nice surprise waiting for mom when she gets home.

Make a garland of photos - To decorate one of Mom's favorite spots in your home, like the bedroom, entry or family room, put up a photo garland. Glue photos to slightly larger construction paper backing pieces. Fold a half-inch section of the top of each backing piece into a flap and glue it to a length of ribbon. Photo garlands look very effective along staircase banisters, on mirrors or across windows.

Help mom relax in style - After a long day, mom could use a nice bath in a pretty -- and clean -- bathroom. Clean the bathroom until it sparkles, and then adds a collection of bath salts and scented soaps. Now invite mom to soak in style -- for as long as she wants.

Mother's Day Menu Ideas

Making mom breakfast in bed is a classic Mother's Day gift, but don't stop there. After a nice breakfast of waffles, pancakes or even ham and eggs, make sure her whole day is delicious by trying a few of these suggestions:

Sun tea - Setting a jug of water and tea outdoors to steep in the sun is a nice way to make mom's afternoon break tasty and memorable. Use one teabag per cup of water, and let the brew steep for at least two hours. Best of all, you can use just about any tea variety mom enjoys.

Fruit salad - Spring fruits like strawberries, blueberries and grapes taste sweet and fresh when combined in fruit salad. Many fruits need very little prep beyond washing, so they're a kid friendly dish a tween can prepare in no time.

Lunch roll-ups - Those pretty pinwheel sandwiches from the deli are special and kid friendly. The ingredients are: lunchmeat, lettuce, mayonnaise and flour tortillas. Spread a layer of mayo, lunchmeat and lettuce on the tortilla, roll it up and cut it in inch thick sections crosswise. Roll-ups look tasty filled with ham, turkey or roast beef.

Cupcakes - Cupcakes are popular single serving cakes, and using all prepackaged ingredients makes the project simple. All you really need is a muffin tin, decorative cupcake liners, cake mix and canned frosting. Oh, some decorative sprinkles are also a nice touch.

The Little Details

Most moms are happy with a card and a kiss on Mother's Day, so the extras are just that -- extra. A few wrapped candies by her bedside table or a small present like a hair ornament aren't strictly necessary, but they are appreciated.

When mom is your go-to person for a ride, help with homework or a quick snack before dinner, take a moment to show your appreciation this Mother's Day. You'll be glad you did.


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