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Ana Jarvis and others lobbied politicians tirelessly from 1908, when Mother's Day was first celebrated in West Virginia, to 1914 when it became observed nationally.

With 84 million Moms in the US alone, there's no doubt that a day dedicated to the celebration of these women was long overdue. This was a big step for the US, but Mother's Day has taken many forms throughout history, and a similar celebration was being observed in England as early as the 1600's.

Today, Mother's Day has morphed into a cash grab from greeting card companies, floral shops and jewelry stores. In this week's Kiddie Crafts we're getting back to the basics, and looking at some crafty ways for children to honor mom.

It doesn't matter if you're a Dad coordinating a craft for your wife, or a mom thinking about honoring grandma, there are endless ways to get the kids involved and make some fabulous Mother's Day crafts. I'll share some of these ideas with you after the break.

Got time?

Some of you started planning last May (maybe when you felt the wrath of a Mother's Day forgotten), and have almost completed your projects. For the rest of you who are willing to put in some time and energy but are just getting started, don't worry: two weeks is plenty of time. Check out some of these project suggestions:

Heart hand towels

Every mom and grandma can use new hand towels. To make these heart applique towels, you take some pieces of ready-made terry cloth and embellish them with precious heart appliques. Next, add some lace and ribbon to finish off the delicate details. Why not make a whole set? You can machine sew the hearts yourself, or let older children try their hand at guiding the sewing machine. Alternatively, you could let children hand stitch the heart and glue the ribbon themselves.

Mom-aid kit
If your daughter or daughter-in-law is a new mom, this little survival kit is a great way to share your experience and support with her. Basically, you package together practical or symbolic items that will help her through motherhood. Use your imagination and make it as personal as possible; here are a few ideas to get you started:
  • Life-Savers, symbolizing the importance of offering and accepting help
  • A battery for energy and reminding her to recharge when she needs it
  • A quarter to call her Mom or a friend when she needs advice and support
Family history of mothers
Make a scrapbook with pictures and written profiles of the mothers in your family. Follow the line as far back as you can. Include little write-ups about each woman with the interesting information that you learn about them. If you're fortunate enough to interview people who knew these women you can include quotes. Include older children in the research, and let the little ones decorate the scrapbook pages.

This is a great gift for grandma, and a great way to teach your children about their family history. You might need a bit of time to dig through old pictures, or contact the right people and get the right pictures, but the final project will be worth the effort.

Every woman loves jewelry. Now, I would never turn down a diamond ring or pearl earrings, but what melts my heart even more than those expensive gifts is anything made by my children. Debra offers us a few great ideas for jewelry projects made by children. If you have older children, there are loads of other DIY jewelry projects that they can make for mom or grandma.

In a hurry?

If you stumble upon this post a week and a half from now, you're probably frantically looking for Mother's Day projects that can be done before dinner. That or you're reading this with plenty of notice, but know that you will end up in that inevitable position on May 10, realizing that despite your best intentions, there is nothing ready for Mother's day this year. Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here are a few last minute projects that you can do with the kids:

Chore coupons
This is probably one of the oldest gift ideas, but it's still a popular one because it's shows mom how appreciated she is, gets children involved around the house, and cost nothing to put together. Instead of just making a coupon book, this helping hands flower pot is a creative variation on the same idea.

Trace and cut-out your children's hands. Encourage your children to consider what specific things they think mom would like. Older children can offer to do the dishes, while younger ones will clean the toy room and make their beds. If the child is able, have them write the chore on their hand-print. If they are not, write it yourself, and let them decorate it.

Hold up each hand-print with florist straws, and put them into a flower pot filled with rocks or dirt. You can fill the whole pot with hand-print flowers, or add them in with a real plant. mom can redeem each helping hand as she needs them.

Don't forget to include a few coupons from Dad for coffee in bed, or a private evening walk. Whatever kind of coupons you make, this is a sweet little way to show mom how much your appreciate her.

If Mom loves to read, a personalized bookmark is sure to make her happy this Mother's Day. These couldn't be easier, and can take on any form depending on the age and ability of your kiddie crafter. All you need to do is cut out some sturdy paper in a rectangle the size of a bookmark. Decorate it with a photo collage, stickers, glitter or artwork. Take it up to your local office store and have them laminate it. You can punch a hole in the top and add a ribbon as the final touch. Like any kids craft, don't forget to date the back so that she remembers this Mother's Day years from now when she's still using that same bookmark.

I love you because...
Like the chore coupons, this project can take any number of forms. The idea is that children write down all the reasons why they love mom. You could cut strips of paper and fill a basket with "reasons why we love you mom", or make a little flip book, including all the ways that she is loved and appreciated. If the child can't write on their own, have them dictate to you, but record it word for word. Sometimes it isn't so much what is said, but the wonderfully sweet ways that they say it.

Ultimately, mom doesn't want the fancy brunch at a golf club (unless, of course, you're inviting). What she really wants is an expression of love and appreciation. Take some time to craft with your kiddies, and create something truly special for her this Mother's Day, DIY style.


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