As Mother's Day approaches, it is often a bewildering time of thinking of gifts that your kids can give to mom. Flowers and candy are always nice; but as a mom myself, I know most moms prefer sentimental homemade gifts that bring memories that will last a lifetime. In most cases, a special handmade gift or one in which there are special meanings are very thoughtful and inexpensive to create. Here are a few ideas for gifts from youngsters (these are great for other celebrations as well, such as Father's Day, grandparents, birthdays or Christmas).1. Calendar — Collect 12 pictures of the kids in different seasonal backgrounds. For example in their Halloween costume for October, at the beach for August, and playing in the snow for January. Take the pictures to a photo developing place (Wal-Mart, CVS and Walgreens all do this). Have a calendar or two made for the grandparents.2. Flower holders — Purchase clay pots or Mason jars of any size. Let kids paint a pretty scene and write sweet sentiments on the pot or jar with poster paint or fabric paint. Make sure to personalize with the child's name, date and occasion.3. Decorated Votives — Purchase clear votive holders. “Paint” watered down white glue around the bottom 2/3 of the holder. Roll the holder in colored crystallized sugar (the kind you sprinkle on cookies). Let dry; place a cookie scented votive in the holder. Another option is to roll the “glued” votive in colored tissue paper. Then glue a paper doily on to the tissue. Let dry and cover in a layer of “glue” to seal and protect.4. Service Contracts — This is a great idea for a pre-teen or teen to give. They can create a “contract” stating they will provide a service to grandma and grandpa, a teacher or a neighbor. Services can be once a week babysitting, leaf raking, lawn mowing or snow shoveling for a month. Maybe they can help a teacher grade papers for one hour a week for one marking period or cook dinner once a week for mom. Be creative and think what the child could do on their own for a short period of time over a month or so time span.5. Coupons — Similar to contracts are gift “coupons.” Create pieces of paper that are coupons for certain items the bearer can receive in return for the coupon. These may include: good for watching one football game, good for an ice cream cone at Ice Cream Paradise, good for one coffee and egg McMuffin at McDonald's on Saturday morning, good for walking the dog, good for a trip to the library, good for one afternoon of window shopping at the mall. Make the gifts personal. Include items that are special to the person getting the coupons. We have done this for the kids' grandparents in the past and it was a big hit, especially the really personalized coupons like watching a Red Wings Hockey Game or getting a strawberry ice cream cone from ICP. Again, being creative makes it even more special.6. Baking — Nothing beats a batch of cookies or a loaf of banana bread. Some heart-shaped sugar cookies baked with love would be greatly appreciated. Or make mom breakfast in bed with heart-shaped pancakes.7. Planting — In my house this would be the winner hands down. Older kids, teens and even grown children can make a day of purchasing plants and planting a flower bed or a garden that will last for the Summer. Take pictures while planting and after it is done. The plants will provide enjoyment all Summer long and you will remember through pictures every year.
However you do it, be creative and let your kids think up great ways to show their love for mom on her special day.