Celebrating Mums

  • Published on May 5, 2017


Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May in many countries, including Australia, the United States, and Canada. With the celebration little more than a week away, I thought I’d share some suggestions that are low on cost but packed with learning opportunities to incorporate into your class literacy and art programs.

Encouraging children to create and give a gift from the heart demonstrates that not all gifts need come from a shop. It allows children from even the poorest families to give their Mums a special Mother’s Day gift. It helps develop their creativity and teaches them skills that they can apply in future gift-giving situations. It shows how thoughtfulness and imagination can combine to make a unique gift that will be treasured.

A gift of love lasts longer than many store-bought gifts.

  1. Read picture books featuring mothers

A few of my favourites are:

Koala Lou by Mem Fox

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

I Love You with All My Heart by Noris Kern

Just Like That by Mem Fox (also available as Harriet, You’d Drive Me Wild)

Where’s Mum? by Libby Gleeson and Craig Smith

Getting Home by J.R. Poulter and Muza Ulasowski

Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman

Of course, there are many others too. What is your favourite?

  1. Discuss what a mother is and write a collaborative verse; for example:

Write the phrase, “A mother is someone who “ on the board and ask children to complete the statement. Write their suggestions. Collect as many ideas as you can. Children will share a variety of special, mundane, humorous, complimentary, and perhaps not so complimentary, statements about their Mums.

Compile the suggestions into a verse. Print and distribute the verse for children to illustrate with pictures of their mums (ensure they sign their illustrations in the bottom right-hand corner).

For example:

what is a mother

When laminated or rolled into a scroll, these make a lovely Mother’s Day gift.

  1. Write individual books about “My Mum”

my mum book cover

The collaborative verse is a great way to get children thinking about all the special things their mums do for them. It is only a small step from here for children to make their own individual books composed of statements about their mothers. This time children write a series of statements beginning with “My Mum”. They may write things such as:

My mum tucks me into bed at night.

My mum reads me stories.

My mum makes me feel better when I am sick.

My mum goes to work

My mum likes to watch TV.

If children write their statements into their writing books first, they can be edited and proofread before publishing in a book. With each statement written on its own page and illustrated, these books make a lovely gift. Presenting them in a heart shape makes them a little more special. (Refer to the resource My Mum – heart-shaped book template.)

  1. Draw or paint a self-portrait, or portrait of self with mother

Provide children with a selection of papers and drawing and painting media to make a self-portrait for their Mum. Alternatively, they may wish to make a portrait of their Mum or of themselves with their Mums. This activity works well if they have already had opportunities to work with different media; for example:

  • pastels
  • crayons
  • pencils
  • felt pens
  • gel pens
  • chalk
  • charcoal
  • watercolour paints
  • acrylic paints
  • powder paints

Provide a selection of collage materials from which children may choose to enhance their portraits if desired.

The finished portraits could be framed with strips of coloured paper and mounted on a stiff cardboard backing, or laminated for durability.

  1. Write “I love” poems

Discuss and list things children love to do with their Mums. Children write their own list poem of things they like to do with their Mums; for example:

I love cooking with my Mum.

I love it when my Mum reads me stories.

I love watching television with my Mum.

I love playing games with my Mum.

Refer to the resource Write your own “I love” poem for other ideas and a printable card template.

  1. Make a special waterlily Mother’s Day card


Waterlily cards are a special gift. Flowers are cut from circles of paper. A message is written inside the flower. The flower is folded and given to Mum on Mother’s Day. When she places the flower in water, it magically opens, revealing the message. (Refer to the resource Waterlily card for step by step instructions.)


mother's day activities

(All the suggestions from this blog post are included in one free easy to download resource. Two additional resources provide more details.)

my mum heart shaped book template

waterlily card


write your own I love poem

I hope you and your children enjoy using these resources. To all the mothers out there, I wish you a very happy and very special Mother’s Day.

I’ll see you next week with some suggestions for exploring number.

Register now to begin using free resources, or Subscribe for access to all resources.

Thank you for reading.

Happy teaching and learning,


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    I love doing DIY flower arrangement for my mum. I want to express how much i love her by creating the best bouquet based on my knowledge and skills. Thank you for sharing these ideas, they are really lovely.

    Thank you for reading and commenting, Allan. I’m sure your mum appreciates that you use your knowledge of flower arrangement to make her the best bouquet possible. I’m certain, though, that she would consider any bouquet from you to be just wonderful.

    I do like the low-cost and creativity and chance at being independent and “doing it all by myself”. Those are all perks of handmade items but, honestly, it’s the thoughtfulness I like best. It’s what turns it into treasure for me. The water lily card is beautiful. Every year, I get a special handmade gift from my kids. I told them they have to continue it even when they’re older. They agreed. 😉 We’ll see how that goes. Happy Mother’s Day (a bit early) to you, Norah!

    How lovely that your children make you a handmade gift each year. As you say, the thoughtfulness makes the gift a treasure. I’m sure they will continue to give you gifts from the heart throughout the years. Thank you for your Mother’s Day wishes. The best to you for Mother’s Day too!

    Thanks, Christy. I like to add fun to learning whenever possible. 🙂

    When my kids were young in school, they would make sweet gifts and I always enjoyed receiving them. The water lily is a beautiful idea. I will ​revert that for when I’m staying with family. It would be fun to put a loving message and set it out by the morning coffee pot.

    Hi Charli, You can’t beat those lovely personalised gifts made by the children, can you? I think it’s a wonderful idea to make a waterlily and put it by the morning coffee pot. Once I made a very large one for an aunt’s 60th birthday party. Everybody signed it, then we put it into a tray for her and we all watched it open. More porous paper will open more quickly.

Please share your thoughts. I love it when you do.

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