Children like to receive gifts and they like to give them. Mother’s Day is a perfect time for a child to give a gift that he has made himself. (And what parent or caregiver doesn’t like to receive a handmade gift from a child?) Each year we make versions of decorative magnets for mothers or other special family members. Each one is as individual as the child who makes it.
Decorative Mother’s Day Magnets
- Cardboard or heavyweight paper shapes
- Self-adhesive jewels or glitter foam stickers
- Self-adhesive magnets
- Mini trash can for the table (optional)
We have purchased heart shapes and butterfly shapes at the local craft store when the shapes are on sale. You can purchase die-cut shapes online or from a teacher store. Or you can cut your own shapes as desired.
We also purchase the jewels when we see them on sale. We’ve also used glitter foam stickers. You can use any kind of stickers but the jewels seem to make this magnet more special. Check scrapbooking stickers for more options that are less sparkly.
For magnets, you can use pieces of magnetic tape or other self-adhesive magnets. We like using the magnet coins that are lightweight and easy to stick on the back of the shapes. We usually use two to make sure the magnets will easily stick and stay on refrigerators, filing cabinets, or other surfaces.
Still Process Art
Even when making a gift or a final “product,” we like to make the activity open-ended and as process oriented as possible. Children decide how to use the stickers on their shapes. They choose the placement. They decide when the magnet is finished.
I’m always amazed at the variations that can happens with the exact same materials. Some children put just a few embellishments on their shapes. Others will cover the shapes as much as possible.
Some children like to outline the shapes. Some randomly place the jewels. Others work for a more symmetrical look, especially on a shape like a butterfly.
When we first began doing this activity, I thought that perhaps boys would be less inclined to use the jewels. But I was wrong. Since it’s for someone special, the boys can really get engrossed in making things just right.
Extend or supplement the activity by providing markers and paper for children to make cards to go along with their gifts. The important family members in your children’s lives will love receiving handmade gifts and cards.
BIO: Scott Wiley is managing editor of Pre-K Pages. He also blogs at Brick by Brick, musing on play, preschoolers, and learning. Learn more about those mini trash cans (and other tips) on Brick by Brick. You can connect with Scott on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Follow my Mother’s Day Pinterest Board for more great ideas!