Quick and Easy Mother’s Day DIY Decorated Flower Pots

Here is a simple, quick, and adorable DIY Mother’s Day gift idea that works great in a small classroom setting: Custom decorated flower pots, personalized with photos.

DIY decorated flower pot personalized with child's photo, perfect for Mother's Day or other gift.  It's a cheap and easy activity idea!

Aren’t they adorable? 

It might be a bit much to try with a large class, but with some prepping ahead it worked out perfectly for our small preschool Children’s Church class. 

This project is a throwback to when our oldest three children were in elementary school! 

(Awwwww! My mama heart!)

The church we attended at the time had a Mother’s Day tradition we haven’t encountered anywhere else. In that church, women typically taught Children’s Church and worked in the nursery. (Nothing against men doing so, it’s just the way things worked out there at the time.)

However, on Mother’s day each year, men volunteered to serve in Children’s Church and the nursery so all of the women could be in the main service.

This particular year, my husband taught Children’s Church. He thought it would be nice to do a craft with the kids that would double as a Mother’s Day gift. After some brainstorming, this is what we came up with.*

He did most of the prep work the day before so that what actually had to be done in the short time with the kids was manageable. 

This lower level of involvement was about perfect for preschoolers. If you did this at home, or with older children, you could include the children in more of the process.

Some version of these would be a cute birthday gift, teacher appreciation gift, or any number of other variations. 

You could decorate any flower pot, empty or full. My husband chose these hanging pots because we thought it would be nice to give a plant the mothers could enjoy through the summer. 

Less than 10 mothers were represented by our small class, so that route wasn’t too expensive. For a larger class you might pick up empty pots from Dollar Tree. This project can accommodate a wide range of budgets and needs. 

Personalized Decorated Flower Pot Craft

Supplies Used:

  • One 8″ hanging flower pot per mother (we bought impatiens)
  • 2 pieces of card stock (any color, for templates)
  • Construction paper and/or pretty scrapbook paper
  • Photos of the children, taken ahead of time, printed so that each child’s face fits a 2 to 2.5″ circle
  • Scissors
  • Zip-close baggies
  • White Glue 
  • A hot glue gun and sticks
  • Permanent marker
  • Crayons or markers

Optional: 

  • Acrylic paint (or leftover house or wall paint)
  • Mod Podge

Prep ahead:

1) If desired, paint the exterior of the flower pots using acrylic paint of leftover house or wall paint. We used leftover interior laytex. 

2) On the cardstock, print out or draw templates for three different flowers with 4″ diameter, and one or more flowers with 2″ diameter. Also make a template for a 2.5″ circle.

3) Using your flower templates, trace and cut out flowers. For each pot, you’ll need three 4″ flowers and five or six 2″ flowers. 

The children will decorate the 4″ flowers, so a plain color is probably best for them. The 2″ flowers look nice cut from plain or patterned paper.

4) Using your circle templates, trace and cut out circles of photos of each child. Also trace and cut out circles in a contrasting paper color for flowers that won’t have a photo.

5) Lay out a zip-close baggie for each child. Write the child’s name on it with a permanent marker. In each bag, place three 4″ flowers and three 2.5″ circles (either from that child’s photo or from paper). We made 2 extra baggies with plain paper circles in case visitors attended that day.

6) If you want to include a message, quote, or greeting on your gift, you could either type it up or handwrite it on pretty paper. 

We typed up Proverbs 31:28 and printed several copies on little ovals. We glued these to slightly larger ovals cut from contrasting scrapbook paper. 

Proverbs 31:28 is a classic Scripture used to honor mothers.

You could use any number of quotes and messages. For Mother’s Day, something about blooming under mother’s care would be cute with the flowers.

7) Once the paint on the flower pots has dried, use a permanent marker (or paint pen) to draw stems and leaves around the perimeter of the pot. Draw three stems for the three 4″ flowers, and five or six stems for the 2″ flowers. 

Leave room for the message or quote you created in step 6, if you’re take that route!

8) Use a hot glue gun to attach the message and the 2″ flowers.

During class:

1) Have the children sit at a table or desk. 

2) Give each child the 4″ flowers from their baggie and crayons or markers. Allow the children to decorate their flowers however they please. 

Even two-year-olds and preschoolers can make a lovely gift for their mother this Mother's Day.

3) Assist or supervise each child in gluing the photo and/or plain circles to the centers of their flowers. Set aside to dry.

Photos of children make the center of the flowers for the DIY Mother's Day craft.

4) While one teacher engages with the children, the other can use the hot glue gun to attach the three flowers to the flower pots.

DIY decorated flower pot personalized with child's photo, perfect for Mother's Day or other gift. Makes a great classroom activity.

Done! 

The children were so proud to hand the big, beautiful gifts to their mothers!

Note: If you were able to keep these overnight or if you were making them with your children at home, you could finish them with a couple coats of Mod Podge to help them to last longer in the humidity outside.

Ok, now I really want to go grab some hanging baskets for my front porch!!

*Side note: If you do this in a classroom for Mother’s Day, please be sensitive to the particular households who will be receiving these. Thankfully we had two-parent stable homes to work with, but that is not always the case. Just be aware and make adjustments accordingly – some families find Mothers Day and other holidays to be very painful. 

Quick and Easy Mother's Day DIY Decorated Flower Pots. Fun, cheap, and easy. Adorable gift kids can help make.

Friday Favs 3-22-19

It’s Fri-yay!!! Every week I round up a few of my favorite things from the web, locally, and from life, and I share them here:

Tuff Kids Outdoors

Y’ALL!!!!! If the sizes you need are still available, you will flip over these sale prices on outdoor gear for kids! Free shipping, too!

The Oakiwear ran suit I mentioned a few weeks ago is almost too small for bear. (She’s so long in the torso!) I paid full price for it on Amazon. I hope to snag a replacement in the right size from Tuff Kids. Maybe a separate rain pants and jacket set instead of the one piece suit.

(Other than the fit, that OAKI rain suit is awesome. Seriously. We had way too much fun in the rain the other day and I didn’t take any photos. They’re heavy-duty, breathable, and really seem like they’re worth the money.)

Journey Sticks!

First of all, this blog’s Instagram feed is gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. Follow Run Wild My Child on Instagram. You won’t regret it.

Those people are so much more hardcore outdoorsy than I am. I’m both impressed and inspired.

I also luuuuuurve this idea of making journey sticks!What a fun way to encourage narration, and a fun twist for nature study or hikes! Love, love, love!

Flower Crowns

Bear’s class at Charlottesville Waldorf School will celebrate a spring festival at the end of the term, and we’re supposed to make our child a flower or spring party crown for the occasion.

Bear’s teacher distributed patterns for two basic felt crowns we can embellish as desired, but of course I have to look around on Pinterest for further inspiration. (I’m going to have to force myself to stay simple and realistic over here!)

The crowns are supposed to be made from felt or fabric, or could also be made from fresh flowers. No paper crowns here!

I love this floral crown. But maybe I should do something more headband-like? Or use fresh flowers? Something different entirely? So many possibilities!

Seriously…look at this knight and dragon felt crown! So fun! (It was on etsy but is no longer available. I found the image on Pinterest.)

What were your favorite things this week? Feel free to share in the comments below!

7 Ways to nurture your relationship with your teenager

How can I build a better relationship with my teenager?

I’m a mother of four. Our oldest three are ages 20, 18 (graduating high school this spring!), and 16. Our youngest is about to turn 3.

When the older three were still in elementary school I rejected the concept of a traditional American teenager being the unchangeable default.

The idea of moving from childhood into maturing young adulthood seems more consistent with (my admittedly limited knowledge of) history. The idea of adult children maintaining relationships and community with their parents (and extended family) seems to be increasingly strange in our culture.

At the same time, I’ve lost count of the articles I’ve read that lament how young mothers lack support systems when raising their new children, and how increasing numbers of young adults are taking longer and longer to move on from the fun and freedom of the stereotypical American teen years.

Are these real problems? I don’t have the data to make that call. It sure sounds as if they’re real problems for some.

What I do know is that I want to nurture my relationships with my children, all the way through to adulthood. I want to see them thriving in maturity, and I want them to know that Mom and Dad are always only a phone call away. I want them to feel comfortable making that call.

Lasting relationships don’t just appear in a vacuum, though. They’re sown, cultivated, and tended.

Reflecting on our relationships with our teens and adult children, I thought of seven things we (strive to) do that cultivate and tend those relationships. I’ll share the first three in this post, and the rest in upcoming posts.

So what can you do to nurture your relationship with your teenage child?

1 Realize your teen is a person

Some of you may object out the gate that parents aren’t supposed to be their child’s friend, they’re supposed to be the parent.

Stick with me. I’m not going to tell you not to parent.

Step into your imagination, though, for a minute, and picture how you interact with your friends. Coworkers? Spouse or significant other? Aquaintances?

Now, how do those interactions differ from your interactions with your child? How are those interactions similar? In good ways? Bad ways?

You see, there is this beautiful, cozy spot of respect and love in which we listen well, use kind and gentle words, and, if we have authority over the other person, we exercise it calmly and firmly without being controlling, critical, or angry.

Many people, if they strive to act as I’ve described in their relationships, tend to do those things more easily in some relationships than in others. Often the ones we find the most difficult to do this with are our children.

We’ve got to remember that our children are people, too. They have bad days. They have hormones. They have reasons behind their outbursts. They have dreams and struggles, hopes and heartaches.

Just like you.

Blending warmth and firmness, listening and advice, opportunities and boundaries is more likely to nourish your relationship with your teenager than warmth and licentiousness or cold, punitive criticism. And, let’s be honest, a lot of us tend toward the prickly side as our sweeties start to navigate their increasing freedoms.

Again, plain old warmth without firmness and guidance is the other ditch, so don’t hear me say to just “let it go” when your child flips an attitude. I’m not saying that.

I’m saying that if you want a relationship with your teenagers, you’ll get the most mileage by framing that relationship as one with a unique person over whom you just happen to have some authority and responsibility.

Let that awareness temper your interactions and you’ll be on your way to nurturing a potentially lifelong bond and maintaining a healthy influence long after your time in authority has passed.

7 Ways Parents Can Nurture Their Relationship With Their Teenager - Mama Rhythm Blog - Happy teen girls sit on sofa

2 Prioritize time together (even when it’s awkward)

I’m talking quantity time here. Brainstorm with your spouse, if you’re married, and then bring those ideas to the table and brainstorm with your teenager. Find routine chunks of time you can prioritize to spend as a family and one-on-one.

Sometimes it’ll feel weird. Sometimes you’ll have a ton of fun. Sometimes you’ll have amazing conversations. Sometimes one or both of you will feel annoyed.

Keep prioritizing time together.

This isn’t a box to check. It’s prioritizing the relationship.

What you do during that time together will vary wildly depending on your and your child’s personalities, preferences, and interests. Try to find something neither of you hates, that doesn’t greatly disrupt other household routines or family members’ needs (if at all). It might also help to pick something that doesn’t take an enormous about of preparation and effort, however, there are exceptions to this, such as camping trips, hunting, or taking a class together.

In our home, we:
  • Eat dinner together as a family almost every night. All family members who are home at that time are expected to come to the table. If someone has eaten or will leave shortly after dinner, s/he comes to the table to reconnect and chat a few minutes even if s/he doesn’t eat.
  • Have family devotions together most evenings. All family members who are home at that time are expected to be present. If you’re not religious, you can still gather or do some thoughtful activities while still at the dinner table, such as add to a thankfulness journal. I’m pretty sure we have all had our “eyeroll” moments during this time, in which we really didn’t want to be there (myself included). It’s been amazing to me, though, to hear in snippets ways that this time continues to impact our children, even as teenagers.
  • Have a weekly family night. Until last year, this was a very big part of our lives. Friday night was family night for many, many years. It was something our adult son (who lives nearby) could even come home to enjoy with us. We had to cross it off during a family emergency and haven’t yet restarted. This reminds me we need to get it going again! Family night, for us, meant pizza or hot dogs, dessert, and usually either time around our fire pit, games, or a movie. Occasionally we’d all go out somewhere. Most often, we were simply outside by the fire pit.
  • Plan something one-on-one with each father-child and mother-child pairing at least once a month. This has morphed over the years… Taking turns going to the dump with Dad and getting ice cream afterward. Joining a local camera club together and attending weekly meetings. Walks and hikes. Lots of walks and hikes! Saturday breakfast out. Reading a book together and discussing it weekly (or, in reality, 2-3 times a month). Antiquing. Exploring used book stores. Attending concerts. (In our community free concerts are a regular thing.)

3 Capitalize on unplanned opportunities

For whatever reason, teens don’t always get chatty during planned one-on-one time. No, they open up about stuff we wouldn’t care less about if it weren’t coming from our child, or about really important, deep stuff, at the most inconvenient or unexpected times.

I can kind of relate. When my husband and I go on a “real date” we end up not talking much, but when we get a few minutes alone in the living room and relax we can end up talking for hours. Those unplanned conversations about whatever is on our heart or mind are like miracle grow on our marriage.

One day I realized I was totally missing those opportunities with my kids. I realized I need to respond to them the way my husband responds to me. Stop what I’m doing (without bristling!), listen, and engage.

Those unplanned opportunities are too precious to lose. And I can tell you example after example of how powerfully they’ve nurtured our relationships with our teenaged and young adult children.

So the next time your teen approaches you right after you just sat down to have a cup of coffee alone, or after everyone else is in bed and you’re just trying to do a couple more things so you can fall into bed yourself, put down the phone or work or whatever and listen up. Whenever your teen unexpectedly opens up, roll with it. In the car. In the waiting room. Turn down the music. Put down what you’re reading. Listen. Engage.

Don’t miss those moments.

The rest of the series will follow in the next two weeks.

7 Ways Parents Can Nurture Their Relationship With Their Teenager - Mama Rhythm Blog - Teen boy laughs

Friday Favs 3-1-19

{This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link, I might make a small percentage of the sale, at no additional cost to you.}

It’s Fri-yay!!! Every week I round up a few of my favorite things from the web, locally, and from life, and I share them here:

These Alphabet Activities

I’m a big fan of the resources from Hands On As We Grow. The ideas there are soooooo helpful when Bear needs to something to do and I am running low on ideas. (Why, oh why, is it sometimes so hard for me to come up with these simple ideas?)

This OAKI toddler rain suit!

I just bit the bullet and bought one of these rain suits for Bear. One of her classmates in her weekly outdoor preschool class was wearing one, and I was really impressed with the quality. We just received ours a few days ago, and now we’re waiting for a rainy day so we can test it out! After we give it some thorough testing I’ll write a review.

Blue OAKI Toddler Rain Suit

Story Time From Space

Bear loves books. She loves being read to. And she is kinda obsessed with planets and outer space. She’s seen photos and diagrams of the International Space Station, and photos and drawings of astronauts. I can’t wait to see her realize these are videos of astronauts who are actually in space reading a storybook. I love this idea!

What were your favorite things this week? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Heart Shaped Rice Hand Warmer Valentines

One thing I try to prioritize when deciding what crafts to do with my children is the usefulness of the craft.

As cute and easy as little foam shapes are, adorned with pom-poms, glitter, and sequins, they often end up adding more to our clutter problem than to our life.

So when the time comes to create something for ourselves or for someone, I always try to make sure the end result will be useful in some way.

This winter, Bear was part of a weekly outdoor parent-child toddler class. (Which was amazing, by the way. Loved it so much!) The final winter class landed on Valentine’s Day and we ended with a celebration and gift exchange.

We were asked to bring homemade gifts that did not feature commercial characters. Examples of past gifts included everything from greeting cards to candles. 

I thought about just making some kind of card. There are so many creative options to go with there.

DIY Heart-shaped Rice Hand Warmers

Then the idea for hand-warmers hit me.

You know, the kind you warm up in the microwave and stick in your pockets or gloves to keep your hands toasty. (What some of us wished we had a few of the more frigid January class sessions!)

And, of course, for Valentine’s Day, we’d make them heart-shaped! 

There were only 5 children enrolled in the class, so it wouldn’t be an unrealistically long project. We also already had almost everything we needed on hand.

For this project you’ll need:

  • Felt in colors of your choice (we used pink, red, and burgundy)
  • 1 piece of card stock
  • fabric or acrylic paint
  • A sewing machine – OR a quilting needle, if you’re hand-sewing (It’s a great starter sewing project for kids 5 and up!)
  • thread in a color of your choice
  • plain, dry rice (we used Jasmine because it’s what I keep around)

To make the felt hand-warmers:

  1. On the card stock, draw a template for the shape you want to make. A good size for each hand warmer is about 4 inches across. Once you’re happy with it, cut out your shape.
  2. Trace the shape onto the felt, and cut it out. Cut 2 shapes for each hand warmer you want to make. 
  3. Lay down some paper to protect your table. Put a smock or apron on your child, if desired. Allow your child to paint the front of half of the felt cutouts. Allow to dry thoroughly. (Good time for a break – we didn’t move on to the next step until the following morning.)
  4. Place one of the painted shapes on top of one of the plain ones, with the painted side on the outside. Sew around the shape, about 1/3” from the edges, leaving a 2” opening somewhere on the perimeter. Repeat with the remaining felt until all your pieces are sewn in to pouches.
  5. One at a time, fill each pouch with rice (so it’s full, but not so stuffed you can’t close the opening), pinch the opening closed, pin if needed, and sew the opening shut. 
Girl paints felt hearts for making rice-filled handwarmers for Valentine's Day gifts, a project from Mama Rhythm Blog.
Felt shapes for rice-filled hand warmers are sewn together at a sewing machine
Leave an opening un-sewn so you can fill the pouches with rice
Child fills felt pouches with rice to make hand warmers

To include Bear (who won’t be 3 until April) in the pouch-filling I put more rice than we needed into a little bin, and supplied her with measuring spoons and a little pitcher. (I would have offered her our chocolate funnel if could have found it.) I then showed her how to spoon rice into each heart pouch. She spent a long time happily filling the heart pouches and playing with the rice while I adjusted the amount of filling and sewed them shut.

This is as close to a sensory bin as I’ll get. There’s no way two of her older brothers would have ever sat and filled those pouches at her age. At least, not without pelting someone with rice or shoving rice up their noses or something. Gauge your child’s level of involvement based on your child’s particular strengths, abilities, interests, and needs. 

Once the pouches were sewn, we packaged 2 per child in sandwich bags with little printouts of instructions for use. 

We were told to only make tags say “from:” and not “to:” to make distribution easier.

This is brilliant, y’all. Definitely a trick I’m going to remember. 

Whether they use them as hand warmers or bean bags, these are a quick, fun project that the kids really seemed to enjoy. 

Anyone else have a favorite Valentine’s Day DIY gift?? Feel free to share in the comments!