Wondering what to do with all those jars you’ve been collecting?
Save your most decorative jars to create a mini terrarium with your children. Firstly place some small rocks or pebbles into the base of the jar. Fill the jar with potting mix and then top with sphagnum moss. Children can then select a piece of succulent to plant in their terrarium as well as a small toy or ornament for that mini-world effect. This time we used tiny wooden birds, however, in the past toy dinosaurs or jungle animals have worked a treat. These terrariums were made as a Mothers’ Day gift so we finished the project with a raffia bow and a luggage tag card. Minimal watering is required for succulents, making them the perfect low-maintenance indoor plant gift for busy mums!
Wooden Pendent Necklace
Are you a fan of chunky, rustic jewellery?
These beautiful wooden pendant necklaces were a hit at our recent Mothers’ Day toddler craft session. With just three materials needed and no drying time required you could hardly find a more simple yet eye-catching homemade jewellery idea. We had a handy father-in-law cut and sand a branch of light coloured driftwood into 1cm thick rounds (alternatively purchase wooden discs from a craft shop). A small hole was drilled into the top of each piece and then the children set to work with black fine-liners or Sharpies to create a monochromatic design. We threaded through a piece of hot pink builders’ string, from the hardware store, to complete the project. Some creative students even used gold striped washi tape for added effect.
Looking for an inexpensive homemade gift idea for Mothers’ Day?
These beautiful threaded bangles may be just the thing! We sourced green florist wire from a local craft shop and used buttons, wooden beads, Hama beads and hessian leaves for threading. The soft wire made threading and shaping easy and eliminated the need for needles thereby making it more toddler-friendly. We saved some dollars by pre-cutting the leaf shapes ourselves from hessian placemats. The starch in the placemat material held the hessian fabric together and made for a more effective result than regular hessian. This simple craft activity doubled as an excellent fine motor opportunity for children as young as three, although adult supervision is a must due to the choking hazard of the small beads and buttons. Mothers’ Day in the southern hemisphere falls in May so we selected beautiful Autumn colours, such as brown, gold, yellow, red, orange and green for our jewellery design. However now we’re dying to try neons, pastels and all sorts of other colour combinations! When threading is completed, simply twist the wire ends together to complete the bangle.
Mother’s Day Dress ups
Is mum’s wardrobe in need of a clean out?
Perfect! Donate old dresses, heels, beads and scarves to the dress up box and allow your children to play ‘mum’!
Place a mirror in the play space so the little ones can admire their outfits and save your old, empty perfume bottles to add to the dressing table. This experience would make for a great photoshoot and images could be made into a card or placed in a frame as a surprise Mothers’ Day gift. Of course the dress up fun could easily be repeated for Fathers’ Day with a raid of dad’s cupboard. After all, who doesn’t love dressing up in over-sized clothes?!
Bathing the Babies
What do toddlers think their mums do all day?
Look after babies of course! This play experience is easy to set up and children can spend hours washing and scrubbing. You will need a baby bath or tub, soap (pump soap is easier for toddlers), nail brush, tooth paste, tooth brush, face washers, towels and a plastic baby or two of course! Fill with warm water and let them play. To extend this play, place a doll’s bed or basket near the washing station. And why not try a Mothers’ Day tea party or dress ups in special mum clothes?
What’s the easiest way to spoil a mum on Mother’s Day?
By making her a cup of tea, of course! Children as young as one year old love to play like big people by pouring, mixing and drinking cups of tea. So dust off your old tea set, fill up the sugar pot and get your hands on some non-caffeinated tea bags. Cold or lukewarm water is all you need in the teapot to result in some seriously fun dramatic play. We recommend an outdoor area for this activity as there may be a spill or three. For an added sensory experience try some taste testing of a variety of flavoured herbal teas or you could even make some mud pies for an afternoon tea accompaniment.