It’s nearly Mother’s Day. It’s time to sort out what the kids can give to mum. You could go to the shop but she’ll probably love something the nippers have made. Here’s a few ideas for Mother’s Day presents you can make with the little ones.
If the other half likes gardening or spending time outside with the kids, this is the one for you. Get the kids to paint up some flower pots. It’s really simple. Get some terracotta flower pots, which you can pick up from a DIY shop, garden centre or hardware store. Then sand down the outside with fine sandpaper to knock off any nicks or scratches. You could even get some older kids to do this themselves and make sure you get rid of any stickers on the outside before cleaning with a wet cloth to make sure all dirt and dust has gone. Now leave it to dry completely (if it’s still damp the paint will bubble), before spraying terracotta sealant evenly over the inside of the pot. This protects the paint, but make sure you only spray the inside at this point.
Once the inside is completely dry, use a spray primer to coat the outside of the pot. Once the primer has dried, get the kids to choose a colour and spray an even coat of paint to cover the outside of the pot, before leaving to dry for a couple more days. In this time, get some acrylic paint either online or in an art shop. The kids can then use this to paint their design on the outside. If they are struggling for inspiration, why not suggest that they write their name, do a hand print, or a drawing. Wait for the paint to dry again and then paint over the top with clear acrylic sealant. Find out what her favourite flowers are and get the kids to plant them in to the pot.
While you could nip out with the kids for a bunch of flowers, a home planted hanging basket from the children is much more personal. You can even do this one with toddlers. It’s simple and might cost a bit more than the flower pots, though will take a bit less time. Take the kids to the garden centre or DIY shop to choose a basic hanging basket, which can be found in lots of different shapes and sizes. While you’re there make sure you grab a liner, as you will need it to keep the soil in. There are loads of different sorts like coir, sphagnum moss and wood fibre, which each have pros and cons. The most popular is sphagnum moss but it’s not sustainable - try coir instead. As well as this, get plastic liner, peat free multipurpose compost, fertilizer granules, and water-retaining gel. Also pick up some plants. Putting four kinds in the basket works best. A good choice might be petunias, sweet pea, verbena and lobelia, or just ask the kids which ones they like the best to give to mum.
Rest the hanging basket in a pot to keep it stable and get the kids to put in the coir liner with the the plastic liner over the top. Puncture the liner a few times to allow for drainage and cut some slits in the sides. Cut the plastic liner down so that you can’t see it from the outside of the basket. Mix the compost, a handful of fertilizer granules and water-retaining gel. Get the children to put about an inch of this in the bottom of the basket. Push some of your plants through the slits you made in the side of the plastic liner. Put the rest in the top. Fill with compost until about 3 inches from the top, water it and you’ve then got a top gift for the kids to give on Mother’s Day.
A personalised stepping stone makes a great gift for mum. Outdoor ones are really practical and you can find kits to make these, which you can pick up online or in craft shops. It’s just as easy to make one yourself though. First of all make a mould. You can use an old cake tin or anything that could be the right shape and size, or you could also make one out of plywood.
To make your stone you need cement to make the concrete. Mix the cement with water, sand and gravel according to the instructions. If your mould is made of metal, brush it with a bit of cooking oil to help get the stone out once it has set. Make sure you and the kids are wearing old clothes before you get started. Get them to help you to add the mixed concrete to the mould until it’s full and then tap the edges hard to get rid of any air bubbles. Next, smooth the top surface until it is flat, before leaving for around 40 minutes or until it starts to set (check your instructions again).
When it’s ready, get the kids to decorate it. You could help them push their hand firmly into the cement and then write their name underneath. Get them to write something into the mixture, draw a pattern or add some polished stones and mosaic pieces. There’s loads of things you could do so why not get the kids to decide? When they’ve finished decorating it leave it to set fully for a couple of days. Once it is completely set and hardened remove it from the mould. Once removed, you can finish it with paint before using some concrete sealant to protect it from the weather. If you want some colour you can paint it with paint markers for outdoor use. After sealing, leave it for a few days to dry, so make sure you make this well in advance.