In the spirit of full disclosure these were actually made for my husband’s office, it’s his birthday today ( yay he’s older than me again) and he needed to take in treats. So I hit two birds with one stone and decided to make them mother’s day themed and make them with my little man. Kids love to help cook and bake and my main tips for a peaceful experience are, expect a mess, don’t worry about perfection and eat a healthy lunch before making them so when the sugar hits their belly it’s not as dramatic! We had fun writing out the letters and making shapes with the candy.
- Gather your materials. You will need your favorite cupcake mix and icing or recipes. Also to make the flowers and letter designs some rope licorice, and pink round candies.
- Mix your cake – I have no pictures of this because I had everything laid out in bowls, the oil, water and eggs and my son was so helpful he through them all in. I usually pre crack the eggs into a bowl and let him dump them in when I am making something that egg shells are hard to fish out of.
- Bake and cool your cupcakes.
- While they cool tear the rope licorice apart into single strands.
- Cut into smaller pieces you can make into petals
- When cupcakes are cool ice .
- Make letters to spell out MOM on one cupcake each or.. put it on a single cupcake.
- Make petals ( it’s easier to make them before adding it to the icing ) by pressing the ends tightly together.
- Add to the cupcake
- Add a candy middle.
Have fun however you make them . Oh and a tip that worked great for us this time. If you have a mini cupcake pan, put a few spoonfuls in that and let your child have a little cupcake before decorating the larger ones. This totally satisfied my son and made me feel better about how much sugar he consumed. I also had a mini one ( ok 2)and was able to leave the big ones alone !
Mama Books That Make Me Cry
Here are my top 3 books that require kleenex:
A Mama for Owen by Marion Dane Bauer makes me cry every time I read it, and not just because I am pregnant. It’s a true story about a baby Hippo who lost his mama in the Tsunami that so many other babies both creature and human did . The story is one about friendship , about adoption and about love. See Owen the little Hippo finds Mzee a big old giant tortoise and even though they are different species, and Mzee is a boy, Owen treats him like his mama.
Hair for Mama by Kelly A. Tinkham is beautiful. The story is about a little boy who is desperate to find some hair for his mama who has lost hers to chemotherapy. Marcus wants mama to be in the family photo but she doesn’t want to be the way she looks. His mission comes to a climax when he shaves off all his own hair hoping to give it to his mama. When the barber sweeps it up with the other hair on the floor Marcus is heart broken and goes home in tears. I was sobbing reading this, I knew it was a story about a mom having cancer but the way the author wrote it , it was magical. The complex emotions this little boy felt for his mom and she for him, jumped off the page and you can’t help but cry. I wasn’t sad ,I was touched by the love and desire to fix his mom and make everything better, and his parents tenderness to his feelings. I can’t recommend this book more highly. I should note that this is not a book for toddlers, I would probably wait until a child is 4-5 before reading them this gem.
I love how these flowers look, they are brightening up my kitchen as I type and I love that they will look just as good in a week! My son hasn’t been into making crafts as much lately so I haven’t been pushing it, and have been resisting the urge to offer cookie bribes for crafts too. Kids go through different interests and just because I have a blog doesn’t mean my kid is any different, pushing and bribing them will just send the wrong message . He came in to help with some of the steps but really just wanted to play with the tape ! Choose your battles and for me art time is not one to bother with, it should be fun not work.
- Gather your materials. You will need a pool noodle that has a pretty flower shape, a bread knife, some green pipe cleaners, some green construction paper, a pen and double stick tape.
- Start by cutting your pool noodle into 1″ – 1.5 ” slices, one for every flower you want to make.
- My son was determined to cut the noodle but he’s not allowed to use knives, I think this is where he decided that I would be on my own for art time , he got angry, frustrated and tried to explain to me why he is old enough to use a knife , and when I didn’t buy it he was done .
- Stick the pipe cleaners into the flowers. This will be tricky for little guys but 3 and up can do it with minimal help. Just be careful they are sharp.
- Cut the leaves, if my son was helping I would have had him cut the leaves from the green paper. To make it easier on beginner cutters, pre cut the paper into a strip and have them simply cut pieces off. For more adept scissor users just let them make the leaves however they want.
- Write on each leaf something your child says they like about mom – I managed to get answers from my son who was playing in the next room. Make sure to leave some room on the ends of the leaves for the tape .
- Add double stick tape to the ends of the leaves and wrap around the stems.
- Pop them in a vase and enjoy the flowers and all the special messages on them.
Mother’s Day Books
Did I Tell You I Love You Today? by Deloris Jordan is a very practical yet heartwarming look at all the ways parents show love to their children everyday, from feeding them healthy food to praying after they go to bed. My son loved all the big boy things in the book like, the school bus, basketball and the playground. I teared up reading the book, but I cry at American Idol so that may not be indicative of anything!
Piglet and Mama by Margaret Wild is a mother’s day book I would suggest for the under 3 crowd. My son loved it. Piglet is searching for his mom and even though all the other animal mommies offer for him to join them and their babies he wants his mom! The illustrations by Stephen Michael King capture the warmth between a mama and her baby beautifully . My son has the “Mama” scream perfected and quite enjoyed seeing the little piglet do the same thing for her mama. We had a nice chat after reading this about separation, something we have been struggling with for a while. Before nap today I reminded my son that just like piglet his mama will come get him when he wakes up. Even if separation anxiety isn’t something you are dealing with at your house this is a sweet book.
Mama Always Comes Home by Karma Wilson was a last minute grab at the library that I am so thankful I saw. It starts off with animal mother’s leaving their babies, for all different reasons . A bird gathering food, a dog greeting his master and more. The animal mothers leave, but they also always return to their babies. Then it switches to a child and mother. She reassures the child that she will be back and we watch her leave, and return . I loved this book because my son isn’t the best when I leave him, he related to this book immediately and was repeating ” Mama always comes home!” half way through.
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Time flies and it’s that time of year again! These are our Mother’s Day Crafts from years past, we are busily thinking up new creative activities to celebrate moms. Feel free to print out or email this to your significant other too , as a gentle reminder that homemade gifts really are that special!
Don’t forget to make your own wrapping paper too! We have two fun ways to do that:
“My Mom” by Anthony Browne made me giggle. It’s a cute book narrated by a child who is listing off all the wonderful things about his or her mom. With every turn of the page a new fantastic skill or talent is revealed my favorite was the exclamation that she is “The strongest woman in the world” which was paired with a great illustration of her carrying bags and bags of groceries. The narrator tells us that his/her mom could do anything but instead she is his mom. Which no matter what we moms do is exactly how our kids will and should see us.
“Mama Do You Love Me?” by Barbara M. Joosse is a well loved book. I have read it many times but never reviewed it. There are a lot of books about children testing their mom’s unconditional love but this one stands out for me. In it the little girl seems to go out of her way to aggravate her mom and really test her love. The mother is fantastic because she isn’t gushy or sickeningly sweet, she says she would get angry , worried, sad depending on what her daughter tests her with. However after each honest answer she follows it up with how she will always love her. Kids need to know even if they make us sad or angry it doesn’t change the depth of our love for them.
“Where Is Baby’s Mommy” by Karen Katz is the perfect book for your tinest book lover. It is bright, cheery and will grow with your child from the first few months through toddlerhood. The story is simple, a baby and mom are playing hide and seek, you play along with them by lifting the flaps to reveal where mommy is !
“Someday” by Alison McGhee was suggested by a reader and I can see why. It’s a sweet story probably a little more for grown daughters and mother’s than children but they will like it too. The book opens with a mom and a baby, the baby grows into a child and then continues on with the mother’s hopes for what her daughter will experience someday. Some are good, some are sad but all are things that we all must face as we grow older. This would be a great gift for your mom!
“A Chair For My Mother” by Vera B. Williams is another classic mom book and it deserves to be called that. A sweet story that includes 3 generations of women who are all working hard to save money to replace furniture lost in a fire. The comfy chair they are planning to buy really represents the comfort and safety they are trying to rebuild in their new home after such tragedy. I love the sense of collective good in this family, in our “Me me me !” world I like seeing books like this.
“Mama Always Comes Home” by Karma Wilson was a last minute grab at the library that I am so thankful I saw. It starts off with animal mother’s leaving their babies, for all different reasons . A bird gathering food, a dog greeting his master and more. The animal mothers leave, but they also always return to their babies. Then it switches to a child and mother. She reassures the child that she will be back and we watch her leave, and return . I loved this book because my son isn’t the best when I leave him, he related to this book immediately and was repeating ” Mama always comes home!” half way through.
When choosing activities for older kids I try to link it to fine art where I can. Exposing children to art appreciation doesn’t have to be on a field trip to a museum, although I recommend that too. This would make a beautiful gift for a mom or grandma for Mother’s Day, especially if you made a group of 3 or 4 and put it in a nice box.
- Gather your materials. You will need glass beads, magnets, rubber cement, a pencil, pictures of your choice and scissors. * I just want to say that I am not ruining a perfectly good book, I was gifted a duplicate and have been saving it for art projects.
- Start by choosing your pictures, if you are using an art book this will give your child a chance to look through many choices, and gives you a chance to ask them what they like and why, or why not.
- Trace your bead over the picture with a pencil.
- Cut out
- Cover the bottom of the bead with rubber cement, not too thick but it should have a nice layer of it.
- Add your picture
- Glue your magnet on and let dry.