Throughout history, there has been a push for a special day to honor moms and all they do. Julia Ward Howe penned the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870 as a way to try to get mothers to join forces in bringing peace to the globe. Juliet Calhoun Blakeley hosted a Mother’s Day celebration in Albion, Michigan, but it is Anna Jarvis who is given credit for inspiring the Mother’s Day we know today. Jarvis held the first Mother’s Day in 1908 in West Virginia. By 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made the second Sunday in May the official Mother’s Day.
While Jarvis wanted to continue to honor moms, she grew to hate how the holiday became commercialized over the years. She even tried to get Mother’s Day banned. Despite her attempts, Mother’s Day is celebrated every May, but like Jarvis said, you don’t necessarily need overpriced flowers and a crowded seat at brunch to show Mom how much you care. There are a lot of fun things to do on Mother’s Day to highlight and honor moms.
Mother’s Day ideas to celebrate with kids
Have a family painting session
Get everyone together for a painting session in honor of Mom. Art studios host painting parties where you pick the paint and a teacher talks you through the process. Studios offer different types of painting parties and can gear them toward multiple ages. If you don’t have a studio near you, do a virtual paint in the backyard if Mother Nature cooperates. A lot of art studios host in-person and virtual themed painting parties especially for moms.
Give Mom a chore-free day
A super-simple gift Mom will truly appreciate is a complete day off. Significant others and the kids take over all the chores and cooking duties on Mother’s Day, and Mom gets the whole day to herself to shop, take a run, go on a hike, or binge-watch uninterrupted.
Plant a garden
Mother’s Day isn’t just for brunch. For those with a green thumb, the second Sunday in May signals spring gardening. If Mom loves to garden, give her the gift of your services, whether it’s braving the nursery on a busy Sunday or cleaning out the planting bed without complaining. When the cleaning and planting are done, celebrate with a delicious dessert while you admire your hard work.
An ice cream brunch
Show Mom how sweet she is with a brunch even the kids will get excited about. Who wouldn’t love ice cream for breakfast? Get all of Mom’s favorite flavors along with her top toppings and set up a surprise ice cream brunch for her in the kitchen or outside — after you let her sleep in, of course.
Plan an outing
Moms are typically the planners in the family. Why not change things up by surprising her with an afternoon out? Load up the bikes and hit a path she’s never been to before. Pack a picnic lunch and have a family hike or check out a nearby landmark like a lighthouse you’ve never had time for.
Sign her up for a class
If Mom has been longing to try yoga, take a cooking class, learn how to knit, or be a better photographer, sign her up. Make the gift complete by making sure the kids are covered when the class meets and get her the needed accessories as part of the gift.
The last movie most moms have seen in a theater was probably animated with talking animals. Give Mom a movie pass where she can go enjoy the film of her choice without taking someone to the bathroom in the middle or running out to the concession stand for more snacks.
It may sound cliché, but letting Mom sleep in and have a real pajama day is a nice treat. Moms never get to sleep in because someone in the family usually has a game, early practice, and, of course, there is work, chores, and school. Moms are on 24/7, so a day to lounge in bed to sleep, read, daydream, or binge-watch is a true treasure.
Cook a meal together
If Mom is a foodie, plan a whole day outing starting with a trip to the nearest farmers market to buy the ingredients. Pick a recipe she has wanted to try, and it’s all hands on deck in the kitchen. Everyone pitches in to help cook. Set a pretty table in honor of Mom complete with flowers and instead of cleaning up, Mom gets extra time to herself.
Make a family scrapbook
Before Mother’s Day, round up or print all the family photos Mom has been meaning to put in an album. Spend an afternoon organizing the photos into a special scrapbook or album, or present her with it on Mother’s Day.
Moms do so many things for us every day regardless of how old we are. Take a page from the founder of Mother’s Day and plan an outing or an activity that is all about Mom; give her the day to relax; or pursue one of the passions she’s always too busy to do. Sometimes, giving Mom the gift of your time and attention is more meaningful than anything you can buy in a store.
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