readilearn: Learning fun with Mother’s Day activities in early childhood classrooms

  • Published on April 27, 2018


Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May in many countries, including Australia, the United States, and Canada. As the day approaches, teachers often look for easy-to-make gifts for children to give to mothers or other carers.  In this post, I share inexpensive suggestions that are easily incorporated into your class literacy and art programs.

Before beginning to work on gifts for mothers, it is important to have some knowledge of children’s backgrounds so you can treat with sensitivity the diversity of family situations that may be represented in your classroom and adjust the program accordingly. For example, when you are already part-way through an activity, it is no good finding out from an upset child that his mother has passed.

It is best to find out this information at least a few weeks before commencing the activities to allow time for consultation with families if necessary. An easy way of doing this is to ask the children to draw a picture of the people who live at their house. Children can then show and discuss their pictures and their families, including those who have two homes and two families.

Your school librarian will be able to suggest picture books to read about diverse families, or you can find some on this list.

You could introduce the activity by saying something like, “Mother’s Day is a day on which people like to remind their mothers how special they are and how much they are loved. We don’t have to make it a day just for mothers though. We can make it a day for any special carer we love.”

The educational benefits of making gifts for others are many. When children create and give a gift from the heart, they learn that not all gifts need come from a store. Using readily accessible materials allows children from even the poorest families to give their carers a special 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 any store-bought gift.


Check out the resources listed under Mother’s Day in the readilearn menu. While the suggestions refer to Mother’s Day, the items can be made for any carer at any time of the year. If you have a few motherless children, you may wish to choose other activities instead.

mother's day activities

The free resource Mother’s Day activities provides greater detail about each of the following suggestions:

  1. Read picture books featuring mothers

A few of my favourites are:

books about mothers to read for Mother's Day

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

  1. Discuss what a mother is and write a collaborative verse; 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 heart shaped book template

Find additional information for this activity in  My Mum – heart-shaped book template.

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

my pum portrait example of an activity for Mother's Day

  1. Write “I love” poems

I love my Mum a poem to write for Mother's Day

Find additional information for this activity in  Write your own “I love” poem

  1. Make a special waterlily Mother’s Day card

waterlily card for sharing a message with a special someone on Mother's Day

Find additional information for this activity in  Waterlily card.

Other ideas from the Father’s Day collection that can be adapted include:

How to make a book cover

I love you this much

I love you this much — a card to make

Secret message chatterbox is a fun activity to engage children in reading to follow instructions. When made, they write their secret messages to share with friends and family.

This week I have also uploaded instructions for making a Secret Message Chatterbox. These can be made for sharing special messages with mothers or other loved ones.

But wait, there’s more

a mother's day card with photograph to make

Photographs of children also make a great gift. Children could paste their photo into a frame or on the front of a card.

a handprint message to say I love you

Handprints can be presented as gifts in a number of ways; for example, in plaster or paint. An easy gift is to make a handprint with paint then cut it out, leaving a border about 1 to 2 cm around it. Children write a special message around the handprint. Paste onto card and laminate for durability.

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    Making gifts for others is a great way of encouraging children to be thoughtful. We parents do usually love the personalised gifts that our children make for us.

    Some lovely thoughts on Mothers day and the making of presents and celebration of Mothers, Norah. I have already bought my Mother her present. A lovely warm but light jacket for the winter. My Mother loves nice clothes.

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Robbie. I’m sure your mother will enjoy having her nice new jacket to keep her warm. Even more, she’ll appreciate having such a thoughtful daughter.

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