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May 4, 2017 Alternatives to Mother’s Day Cards By Amanda Nehring
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    Bear with me for a moment while I share a personal story. This year is my first Mother’s Day as a mom and I am so excited to celebrate it with my beautiful daughter, Lillian! In the past, however, Mother’s Day has been my least favorite holiday. My mother passed away when my sisters and I were little girls, leaving behind a void that was made even more obvious each year in May. It is wonderful that there is a special day to celebrate moms and all they do for their children, but as teachers I think we often forget that days like these can be incredibly difficult for some of our students. We spend so much time planning that perfect handprint flower craft that we neglect to consider the children in our classrooms who don’t have mothers for whom to make gifts.

    “It was really hard,” reflected Danielle Dayton, an elementary education student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, as she remembered each time Mother’s Day would roll around after losing her mom when she was seven. “Our class would spend time during the day making things for moms. I remember going to my dad and telling him that I didn’t know what to do. It was difficult because everyone else was so excited but it was a sad time for me.”

    Now that Dayton is entering the field of education, she realizes the importance of being mindful of the backgrounds of all students when approaching holidays like Mother’s Day. So that got me to thinking: what projects could you create with students for Mother’s Day that can be used to celebrate any important women or adults in a child’s life, not just their moms? The following are five crafts to make for Mother’s Day that respect the reality that not all students have mothers at home.

    Grandmothers: I’m Lucky to be Your Grand Ba-bee!

    Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity for students to appreciate their grandmothers for all the love and care they provide. Have your students make this adorable card to celebrate their grandmas. The outside is covered with the student’s fingerprints turned into bees in a garden. Inside the card the student can write “All the Buzz About Why My Grandma is the Bee’s Knees.”

    Aunts: You’re the Best Aunt-tea Around!

    Aunts are special ladies who hold unique positions in the lives of their nieces and nephews, so they deserve some recognition at Mother’s Day too! In case you haven’t noticed, I love to incorporate puns into my students’ crafts, so we celebrate aunts with this “Best Aunt-tea Around” card. To make the card you’ll need:

    ·       Colored construction paper

    ·       Paper lace doilies

    ·       Teapot clipart

    ·       Tea bag

    ·       Mini plastic spoon

    ·       Markers

    ·       Glue

    ·       Scissors

    To begin, have students fold a sheet of colored construction paper in half to create a card. Next, students should glue a paper doily to the front of their card, toward the bottom of the paper. Download the teapot template from Printables free until May 31, 2017 for all Top Teaching readers. If you happen upon this post after that date, try a free 30 day Printables trial.

    After coloring the teapot template (which you will want to shrink down and copy ahead of time) students can cut out the teapot, separating the lid from the rest of the pot. When students glue the teapot onto their cards they should place glue only around the edges of the pot and not on the inside or the top. This creates an opening into which the tea bag can be inserted, adding dimension to the card. The lid of the teapot can be glued above the pot to look like it is open. Allow your students to add decorations to their cards, like the adorable mini-spoons I found at the Dollar Tree. Encourage students to color their cards as well to add personalization. The final step is to write a sweet note to their aunt inside the card.

     

    Dads: You’re a Fan-tastic Father!

    While it’s true that Father’s Day is only a month away, children being raised in single-parent households by their dads may want to recognize their fathers on Mother’s Day too. Let your students tell their dads that “You’re a Fan-tastic Father” with this folded paper fan card. I like to give my students pieces of patterned scrapbook paper to fold into a paper fan and glue to the front of a construction paper card. Then the students can decorate the card and fill the inside with wonderful reasons why they appreciate their fathers on Mother’s Day.

     

    Family Friends: You Have a Piece of My Heart

    I know that when my mother died, many of the adults in my life stepped up to care for me and my sisters. This may be the case for students in your classroom as well. Mother’s Day provides a perfect chance to thank those special men and women for all that they do. I found colorful, small puzzles at the dollar store and decided to use the pieces to make a picture frame card for students to give to family friends.

    To make the card, first take photographs of your students and glue them to the front of construction paper cards. Then give each student some liquid glue and a variety of small puzzle pieces. The students should glue the puzzle pieces around the outside of their photograph to create a frame on the front of the card. At the top of the card each child should write the title “You Have a Piece of my Heart.” Once again, the inside of the card should be reserved for a handwritten message telling the family friend why they are so important to the child.

     

    School Helpers: I’d Pick You!

    My final card as an alternative to Mother’s Day is one for hardworking school helpers. This could include teachers, lunch or playground supervisors, custodians, administrators, or the school nurse. For this card, you’ll need heavy-duty cardstock. On the front of the card, have your students use egg carton cups and colored buttons to create flowers. They can paint or color the egg carton cups any way they would like and then glue a button inside each cup to create a flower. Next, give students a sheet of skin-colored construction paper to trace their hands. Cut out each hand and glue it to the front of students’ cards so that they are holding the stems of the flowers, made either from paper or from pipe cleaners. Finish the card with a sweet note inside, highlighted by the title phrase “Of all the _____ (insert helper’s title), I’d pick you!”

     

    Hopefully you got some new ideas for ways to make Mother’s Day more inclusive for students without moms. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there! I hope you enjoy the day with your students and with your own children as well. You deserve it!

     

    Bear with me for a moment while I share a personal story. This year is my first Mother’s Day as a mom and I am so excited to celebrate it with my beautiful daughter, Lillian! In the past, however, Mother’s Day has been my least favorite holiday. My mother passed away when my sisters and I were little girls, leaving behind a void that was made even more obvious each year in May. It is wonderful that there is a special day to celebrate moms and all they do for their children, but as teachers I think we often forget that days like these can be incredibly difficult for some of our students. We spend so much time planning that perfect handprint flower craft that we neglect to consider the children in our classrooms who don’t have mothers for whom to make gifts.

    “It was really hard,” reflected Danielle Dayton, an elementary education student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, as she remembered each time Mother’s Day would roll around after losing her mom when she was seven. “Our class would spend time during the day making things for moms. I remember going to my dad and telling him that I didn’t know what to do. It was difficult because everyone else was so excited but it was a sad time for me.”

    Now that Dayton is entering the field of education, she realizes the importance of being mindful of the backgrounds of all students when approaching holidays like Mother’s Day. So that got me to thinking: what projects could you create with students for Mother’s Day that can be used to celebrate any important women or adults in a child’s life, not just their moms? The following are five crafts to make for Mother’s Day that respect the reality that not all students have mothers at home.

    Grandmothers: I’m Lucky to be Your Grand Ba-bee!

    Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity for students to appreciate their grandmothers for all the love and care they provide. Have your students make this adorable card to celebrate their grandmas. The outside is covered with the student’s fingerprints turned into bees in a garden. Inside the card the student can write “All the Buzz About Why My Grandma is the Bee’s Knees.”

    Aunts: You’re the Best Aunt-tea Around!

    Aunts are special ladies who hold unique positions in the lives of their nieces and nephews, so they deserve some recognition at Mother’s Day too! In case you haven’t noticed, I love to incorporate puns into my students’ crafts, so we celebrate aunts with this “Best Aunt-tea Around” card. To make the card you’ll need:

    ·       Colored construction paper

    ·       Paper lace doilies

    ·       Teapot clipart

    ·       Tea bag

    ·       Mini plastic spoon

    ·       Markers

    ·       Glue

    ·       Scissors

    To begin, have students fold a sheet of colored construction paper in half to create a card. Next, students should glue a paper doily to the front of their card, toward the bottom of the paper. Download the teapot template from Printables free until May 31, 2017 for all Top Teaching readers. If you happen upon this post after that date, try a free 30 day Printables trial.

    After coloring the teapot template (which you will want to shrink down and copy ahead of time) students can cut out the teapot, separating the lid from the rest of the pot. When students glue the teapot onto their cards they should place glue only around the edges of the pot and not on the inside or the top. This creates an opening into which the tea bag can be inserted, adding dimension to the card. The lid of the teapot can be glued above the pot to look like it is open. Allow your students to add decorations to their cards, like the adorable mini-spoons I found at the Dollar Tree. Encourage students to color their cards as well to add personalization. The final step is to write a sweet note to their aunt inside the card.

     

    Dads: You’re a Fan-tastic Father!

    While it’s true that Father’s Day is only a month away, children being raised in single-parent households by their dads may want to recognize their fathers on Mother’s Day too. Let your students tell their dads that “You’re a Fan-tastic Father” with this folded paper fan card. I like to give my students pieces of patterned scrapbook paper to fold into a paper fan and glue to the front of a construction paper card. Then the students can decorate the card and fill the inside with wonderful reasons why they appreciate their fathers on Mother’s Day.

     

    Family Friends: You Have a Piece of My Heart

    I know that when my mother died, many of the adults in my life stepped up to care for me and my sisters. This may be the case for students in your classroom as well. Mother’s Day provides a perfect chance to thank those special men and women for all that they do. I found colorful, small puzzles at the dollar store and decided to use the pieces to make a picture frame card for students to give to family friends.

    To make the card, first take photographs of your students and glue them to the front of construction paper cards. Then give each student some liquid glue and a variety of small puzzle pieces. The students should glue the puzzle pieces around the outside of their photograph to create a frame on the front of the card. At the top of the card each child should write the title “You Have a Piece of my Heart.” Once again, the inside of the card should be reserved for a handwritten message telling the family friend why they are so important to the child.

     

    School Helpers: I’d Pick You!

    My final card as an alternative to Mother’s Day is one for hardworking school helpers. This could include teachers, lunch or playground supervisors, custodians, administrators, or the school nurse. For this card, you’ll need heavy-duty cardstock. On the front of the card, have your students use egg carton cups and colored buttons to create flowers. They can paint or color the egg carton cups any way they would like and then glue a button inside each cup to create a flower. Next, give students a sheet of skin-colored construction paper to trace their hands. Cut out each hand and glue it to the front of students’ cards so that they are holding the stems of the flowers, made either from paper or from pipe cleaners. Finish the card with a sweet note inside, highlighted by the title phrase “Of all the _____ (insert helper’s title), I’d pick you!”

     

    Hopefully you got some new ideas for ways to make Mother’s Day more inclusive for students without moms. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there! I hope you enjoy the day with your students and with your own children as well. You deserve it!

     

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