Mother's Day is approaching and I feel so thankful to be able to celebrate this special day as a mother.
Since my toddler and I love working on crafts together, Mother's Day presented the perfect opportunity for us to co-create handmade memorabilia that celebrate love.
These are the fun, hands-on Mother's Day themed art and craft activities that engaged my toddler and produced beautiful artpieces (and memories):
5 Meaningful Toddler Crafts to Celebrate Mother's Day!
1. Handprint Trinket Dish
I invited my toddler to place her hand on the salt dough, traced her hand outline with a pencil then used a knife to cut it out. Gently I kneaded the sides to form the 'walls' of the trinket dish.
My toddler even requested for her foot to be traced and I happily obliged. With excess salt dough, I made a heart-shaped trinket dish. For the decoration of the trinket dishes, I wrote the words 手 (Shǒu / Hand), 心 (Xīn / Heart) and 爱 (Ài / Love) with a sharp pencil tip.
While pencilling the words on the trinket dishes, I explained the choice of words to my toddler, linking the words to "我爱你" (Wǒ ài nǐ / I Love You) and "妈妈把你捧在手心" (Māmā bǎ nǐ pěng zài shǒuxīn / Mama cherishes you and holds you in the palm of my hand, figuratively).
2. Handmade Cardboard Bead Necklace
This activity is aligned to one of my toddler's current interests -- threading. I cut slim cardboard tubes (taken from the core of wrapping paper) into short sections, then trimmed them into shapes of diamonds and heart.
Subsequently I decorated the cardboard 'beads' with painter's tape and wrote the Chinese characters "我爱妈妈" (Wǒ ài māmā / I Love Mama" on the diamond-shaped cardboard 'beads'. I also fashioned two cardboard 'beads' into a heart with a criss-cross design as well as a cardboard doll.
This activity refines fine motor skills and reinforces Chinese character recognition. It was through this activity that I discovered that my toddler recognised the word "爱". These cardboard beads could also be rearranged into "妈妈爱我".
The following artworks are inspired by Chinese sayings about a mother's love for her child:
3. "掌上明珠" Artwork
"掌上明珠" (Zhǎngshàngmíngzhū / Precious pearl in one’s palm) is a Chinese idiom that means that the child (usually referring to the daughter) is dearly loved by her parents.
To express the meaning of this idiom, my toddler and I made an artwork from our paper handprints. I glued my toddler's paper handprint on top of mine, and folded the fingertips of my paper handprint inwards to represent my fingers curled around hers.
I also traced my toddler's fist outline, which became the 'pearl' in the artwork. She helped to cut it out and I animated the 'pearl' with a sweet facial expression.
This artwork would always evoke the feeling and touch of her little hand in mine.
4. "心连心" Artwork
"心连心" (Xīn lián xīn / Heart to Heart) is a Chinese phrase that means two (or more) people are of one mind and that their hearts beat in unison.
To express this phrase, my toddler and I made painted paper handprints, albeit in a different color. We glued the handprints to be side by side this time round, just slightly overlapping at the thumbs.
I folded the thumbs of the handprints inwards so that they are interlinked. As a finishing touch, I also traced the outline of the dual handprints to form an obvious heart shape.
This artwork expresses my hope to always be close, physically and emotionally, to my daughter. I hope that in time, we can be one another's confidante.
5. "父恩比山高, 母爱比海深" Artwork
"父恩比山高, 母爱比海深" (Fù ēn bǐ shāngāo, mǔ'ài bǐ hǎi shēn / A father's love is higher than the mountain, a mother's love is deeper than the sea) is a Chinese proverb that associates the vastness of parental love to the mountains and seas.
To express this proverb, I repurposed egg crates into 'mountains' which my toddler helped to color with a brown marker. We painted a green background to represent grass fields and glued the 'mountains' onto the green pastures.
Then, my toddler stuck small strips of blue painter's tape across the green pasture to represent a river that flows into the sea.
I love that this artwork creation also presented the opportunity to celebrate a father's love, a reminder that it takes a partnership to raise a child.
For more love-inspired art and craft activities, hop over to my Valentine's Day post.
Wishing all mothers a beautiful Mother's Day! I hope these ideas inspire a beautiful bonding session between you and your child, and that they yield unique and timeless Mother's Day keepsakes.
To follow my child-led, open-ended activity ideas, follow my Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook Group.
You might also like:
Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.