How do you celebrate Mother’s Day with your family?
Your family may have a variety of traditions. Receiving flowers and gifts, eating breakfast in bed, and taking the day off are just of few of the perks you might enjoy on this well-deserved holiday.
Most of these activities give mothers the chance to sit back and relax. But for those who want to spend the day more actively engaged with their families, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from. Take a look at the list below for some creative ways to substitute common Mother’s Day traditions for hands-on educational experiences.
Tradition: Give Mom Flowers
Alternative: Enjoy Nature Together
Cut flowers and potted plants are wonderful gifts to receive, but they’re just as beautiful in the wild. Take some time to enjoy the spring weather and blossoming plant life by trying these ideas with your child.
- Go on a hike through your local park and discuss your favorite things about nature.
- Weed the garden or plant your favorite flowers.
- Plant a tree and discuss how it helps the environment.
- Visit a flower garden, arboretum, or state park you’ve never been to.
If your child needs more stimulation while exploring the outdoors, add some activities to your day that will keep him or her engaged. For example, ask your child to bring along a pad and pencil to sketch the landscape, or teach him or her about the symmetry apparent in nature.
Tradition: Give Mom a Gift
Alternative: Give to Others
Giving cards and gifts is a traditional way to show appreciation, but it’s even more meaningful to spend time helping others, whether they’re friends, family, or strangers. So show your child why giving is so important.
- Volunteer at a park, shelter, or other local organization to teach your child firsthand how to give to others.
- Spend time with grandmothers in your family, looking at photos and sharing memories so your child can learn more about your family history.
- Help your child make cards and homemade Mother’s Day gifts to send to other mothers and grandmothers, such as women serving abroad in the military or those living in nursing homes.
Tradition: Give Mom the Day Off
Alternative: Help Mom Get Things Done
When your family takes over the chores for the day, you have some extra time to yourself. But you could probably get even more done around the house if you took charge and coordinated a big family cleaning effort. After all, your child has to listen to and obey you without complaint since it’s Mother’s Day!
- Need to organize the school area? Have your child practice his or her organizational skills by cleaning up all of the stuff that has accumulated over the school year.
- Lead your family in a big spring cleaning effort and make it a learning experience, too.
- Keep your child busy with some upcycling projects, teaching him or her to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Tradition: Make Mom Breakfast in Bed
Alternative: Teach Your Kids Kitchen Lessons
Instead of eating breakfast in bed, get up and get cooking in the kitchen with your child. Passing on important lessons about food and meals could give you and your child lasting Mother’s Day memories. Here are some activities to try.
- Make a family recipe. Pass on an important family tradition by teaching your child how to make one of your family’s favorite dishes. Encourage him or her to do most of the work under your supervision.
- Cook a new dish together. Choose a recipe that sounds good to both of you, and learn how to make it together.
- Teach your child to dine on a budget. Considering cost is important to meal planning. Challenge your child to plan dinner using some of these money-saving tips.
- Experiment with Kitchen Science Activities. Show your child the scientific capabilities of common ingredients by making a battery out of a lemon or growing crystals with egg geodes.
You’ll note that none of these fun and enriching activities are gender-specific, so if you prefer to relax, you could ask Dad to take over! And while your family is engaged in learning together, you can enjoy a bubble bath, have lunch with a friend, go shopping, or do whatever it is that helps you recharge and feel happy. It’s your special day, and you’ve earned the right to celebrate!