It’s a secret the greeting card companies would rather you didn’t know—nothing makes Mom feel more special and loved than a handmade card. Almost every Mom eventually gathers a treasure trove of hand-crafted cards and art made by her children.
If you’re helping little ones make Mother’s Day cards, a little preparation goes a long way. Stocking up on craft materials ahead of time is a great start. Because this is a gift Mom’s likely to treasure for a lifetime, pick up some good quality cardstock rather than cheap craft paper. Card stock lasts longer, and is less likely to be damaged by little hands. If Mom scrapbooks, chose “archival safe” or “acid-free” paper, so she can preserve the gift for years to come.
For younger children, you’ll need to fold the paper in half to make the card. Before they decorate the outside, ask children what they want to say to Mom in the card. Older kids can write their message themselves, but you’ll have to write it down for younger children. Most kids will be quick to come up with messages of love and appreciation—write them down even if they’re a little quirky or odd. That’s part of the appeal of a handmade card from a child.
If children have difficulty coming up with a message, ask them a few questions to give them ideas. Possible questions might include:
- Why do you love Mommy?
- What makes Mommy special?
- What does Mommy do to make you feel happy?
- What’s your favorite thing about Mommy?
- Why is Mommy the world’s best Mommy?
Once you’ve got the inside of the card written, it’s time to decorate the front. Unless the child is very young, now’s the time to step back and let your little one’s inner artist soar. Crayons, finger paint, stickers, stamps, glitter—anything goes. For young children, helping them make hand and footprints with paint is great fun—although you might want to put some newspaper down first!
Make a big deal about this—after all, this is Mom we’re talking about. Present it as a big secret project for you and the child, even if you know Mom suspects what the two of you are up to. Kids love planning surprises almost as much as being surprised themselves.
If your child wants to do more than make a card, why not make a customized book? The two of you can plan out what goes on each page, decorate the cardstock, and then you staple the folded pages together. This works really well if you’ve ever surprised the child with a customized gift of her own—once she remembers how exciting and happy she was, she’s sure to want to make Mom feel the same way.
And remember—cards aren’t just for Mother’s Day. Birthday’s, Valentine’s Day, holidays, or even when Mom’s just feeling under the weather are great opportunities to help your child show how much he loves Mommy.