Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mother's Day RoundUP of Ideas + Gifts: Linkie Bloghop!

photo of: Mother's Day RoundUP of Resources: Bloghop + LInkie at RainbowsWithinReach

MOTHER'S DAY PLANNING and PREPARATIONS

Mother. Mom. Mommy. Mama. Mum. Mawwwm! Momzie. Step-mom. Grandma.
So many labels. So many titles. So many hats to wear. Welcome to a RoundUP of resources to start the celebration on all things mom. The sooner you get started, the less stress. Right? 



What a treasure to help direct the creation of an honored keepsake to give to the very heart-of-it-all. What an opportunity. Moms. Profound responsibility this holiday. Where do we begin to honor the very one who gave us life? 
No pressure there! 



What's an appropriate gift for the one who went without sleep for eons, in an effort to bring some modicum of regulation to our infancy? The one who laughed at our first earnest efforts to tell a joke with absolutely no smidgen of sense?  The one armed with bandaids and kisses for all of life's all 'too-real' challenges? The one willing to sacrifice her own dreams for yours? How do we honor that hero? Where do we begin? 

{Here's my article where I create a DIY photo-making 'magnet tutorial' -- with all of the directions spelled out, from my first-hand perspective.... based on those goodies up above. I tried it myself, just in time for a little Father's Day affection.}

photo of: Father's Day Craft: Photo Magnets, DIY Tutorial Instructions
Photo Magnet Tutorial for Gift Giving: Mother's Day + Father's Day 

Profound responsibility indeed, honoring the center-of-the-known universe. Mother's Day. No matter what YOUR relationship is to your own mom, this day holds great opportunity to direct the children you impact to stop long enough to reflect. Even if its to paint those precious piggies and make a handprint in a flash saying in essence, "This one's for you, I made it with my whole, entire and complete heart." 


photo of: handprint paintings for kindergarten, Mother's Day art project, preschool craft for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is certainly not just a Halmark cards marketing phenomena. In fact when it comes to young children, that spring Sunday has very little to do with the store-bought and has everything to do with the heart-felt. We honor the all-too-often, unsung hero, when we honor mothers. We rejoice with the one that makes EVERYTHING  possible, when we honor mothers. What can we direct simply and well to help convey our appreciation?

photo of: handprint poem for Mother's Day, mother's day card for preschool, DIY Mother's Day craft
After all -- our mothers are our rocks, our cheerleaders, our guidance counselors, our personal coaches, our cooks, our patient maids, our first teachers, our calm nurses and our guiding stars. If you're as fortunate as I am, they are also your inspiration as well. 

photo of: Bulletin Board for Mother's Day, Spring bulletin board, Handprint bulletin board

I am the most blessed of all the categories of children, because in these my mature years, I still have my mommy at the helm. I never, ever want to take that treasured reality for granted. While separated by too many miles for regular hugs, I still have, by the grace-of-God, the opportunity for insight and direction immediately, directly and in first person. I am fortunate beyond measure. I hold the winning lottery ticket. I have my mother still to appreciate and treasure. 


photo of: Anchor Chart for Mother's Day, Mother's Day poem, kindergarten

I gather up these goodies from earlier articles here, as a unique way to say "thanks mom" to my own beloved mommy. Lincoln said it best. He knew what he was saying when he reflected, 
"I owe everything that I am to my mother." 

photo of: Mother's Day Kindergarten Gift, handprint for Mother's Day on ceramic tile,

Unfortunately. Not every child is as fortunate. There are altogether too many children who must converse with angel mommies. There are families whose family dinner tables have the all-too-genuine empty chair in the midst of a life that must somehow go on. Those stories are filled with a range of emotions. There is no doubt an ache and continual longing for one more conversation, one more question, one more opportunity to laugh together. Alas. 



photo of: Handprint for Mother's Day, Preschool handprint painting,
Mother's Day Painted Handprint Flower with Heart 
These are the children who have milestones that go motherless. No mom to toil over cupcake baking in the dark, due to an oversight of volunteering and inadequate calendar management. No mother's arms in the midst of the dark night's thrashing nightmare. No mom to watch the cap and gown ceremony. No mom on Mother's Day. 


photo of: Poem for Mother's Day via RainbowsWithinReach
Mother's Day Flower

What sensitivity can we bring to Mother's Day for that child -- whatever their age? What insight and caring can you offer the child whose mama looks down from above? What role of 'mother' are you to that child? How do you wear that hat amid your many other roles: teacher, neighbor, scout leader, choir director, friend? 



photo of: Cute Mother's Day poem, Preschool handprint poem

Also with sadness, there are throngs of other children who have a strained or even severed mom-relationship in dire need of healing. There are moms at their wits end. Literally. There are mothers without custody of their children. There are moms-behind-bars this spring. There are other moms who may belong in jail in the eyes of society, but seldom their children. Any mom is better than an empty vacuum in the eyes of the littles.


photo of: Mother's Day handprint rhyme, poem for Mother's Day, craft gift for Mother's Day

I'll never forget the summer weekends I spent at the Marysville Women's Prison. I vowed that I would do my very bestest whenever I was aware a child had an incarcerated mother. Seeing the inmates in their crisply ironed khakis in anticipation of their children's annual arrival made me realize what a fine line we tread on this planet. I was there to lead singing. Yet it was the bonding and cohesion that my songs offered that brought the most joy. I learned a lot. Thank you Girl Scout cookie-drives for bringing those shattered families together. Even if for only a weekend. 


photo of: Mother's Day rhyme for handprint, Mother's Day poem for children

I seriously could relate. I knew all too well the turmoil of single-parenting on a dime. A new era of sleeplessness. I was fortunate to have a family, resources, a profession and an education to support me during that chapter of struggle. The majority of these women had none of those luxuries at their disposal. They had made poor decisions. Those decisions may just have been prompted by their own dire need. Whatever the story, I saw the eyes of the children as they entered the compound in search of love. Mother's Day in July inside the barbed wire for those children. 


photo of: Kindergarten Handprint poem, Poem for handprint art,
Handprint Rhyme 
Neglect. Abuse. These too, are facts of life for some children. Way too many children are in this sea of having to mother themselves all too soon. What do we do with the holiday at hand for this category of little ones? For this category of bigger ones? 


bumble bee art, children's art, children's spring collage, spring preschool art, NAEYC art
Mother's Day: Painted Handprint Bouquet of Flowers

I always think believe that acknowledging the truth is a step in the right direction. Being available to listen..... listen without judgement, is perhaps the biggest gift. Empathy when a child asks if they can give their gift to their granny or their auntie, may be just the bridge to the conversation and deeper understanding that the child craves. Are you tuned in? Do you have your listening ears  on? 

photo of: Mother's Day drawings in kindergarten, Mother's Day project
Mom's as Depicted in Children's Art for Mother's Day 

No matter the category, or the specific situation, our mothers are indeed woven into our every fingerprint and eyelash. That is both the good news and the tough truth. Every holiday has a spectrum of responses, based on a myriad of details that we are seldom privy to. So we venture forth with our painted handprints and chipper poems directing efforts the best that we can. Knowing that it does indeed take a village. 

photo of: Mother's Day Bulletin Board via RainbowsWithinReach

Before I sign off today, I want to share one more stark consideration. As I sit here typing on this side of the screen, I know that there is another category of full grown women who approach Mother's Day filled with a barrage of emotion. I know that there are women grieving for children that they have never had. There are those who have a longing for a child yet unable to conceive, or unable to be brought fully to fruition, to life. That too is a sorrow to acknowledge as we approach Mother's Day. How do we support our friends and colleagues during this season-of-all-things MOM, when that is their deepest longing, as yet to be experienced? The same way that we shore up the children and their longing. By listening. By being present. By giving of ourselves, even when there are no words adequate for the situation. We stand with them as they attempt to grapple with a situation beyond their control. 

photo of: kindergarten Mother's Day writing, kindergarten fine motor development, invented spelling

There are others who grieve over children that they bore and have since lost. I know of our dear village pre-teen who science failed this summer and the whole sky reigned down orange in honor-of-Bo. I know of little five year old Carter in Ypsilanti, MI undergoing daily radiation and chemo treatments as I type. Those moms have a unique place as May 12th arrives. 

photo of: Mother's Day poem for children, Poem for Mother's Day artwork

Life here on Planet Earth can be tough beyond our preparation. Does that mean we cower in the corner? I think not. I think this life demands that we rise up to celebrate every occasion we are given. I think it requires that we breathe in every tickle and wiggle we are offered. We get out the paint and the poems. We assemble the construction paper corsages. We dance with glee as we are able. We each our cardboard breakfasts in bed, smiling ear-to-ear. We are each doing the best that we can, with the circumstances and training that we have. Let's support each other this spring! Let's hold each other up! Let's trust that 'all things work together for good.'
photo of: Mother's Day flower project, Mother's Day craft for children
My WonderBoy Beams from his Cupcake Paper Liner Flower Picture Frame for his Mama Bear! 

Those little photo magnets are awesome for tons of uses. They could be attendance takers, too! The classroom is such a fun place to explore with magnets. 

photo of: Photo Magnets: Mothers Day + More at RainbowsWithinReach


** Update from the future: Next week I contribute to a KBN (Kid Blogger Network) tribute to mothers and mothering. It contains my suggestions to young moms in the midst of mothering -- from a grandma's perspective. Here's my first, ever subway art montage. {Click the edge of the image to go to my tribute to my mom.}


I have the honor of sharing some of my fellow blogger's posts on their ideas for this holiday. Thank you to my Kid Blogger Network of peers who teach me things every day.

photo of: "Little Illuminations" Mother's Day Project
Upcycled Mother's Day Craft
Let's continue this party with my buddy Ayn Colsh who keeps her own blog hummin' at "Little Illuminations" and contributes monthly at our collaborative blog, "PreK+K Sharing" on the 7th every month. She's got a great 'upcycle' craft to create.  You're going to LUV LUV LUV her bibliography of picture books that depict and share mother's love! She showcases the classics and some unique titles as well. 


Mothers Day Card
"WOW, MOM!" Card for Mother's Day
Brilliant Tammy of "Housing a Forest" offers this delightful card-making insight, which when completed offers the recipient a great big, 'Wow, Mom.' I have often had my workshop participants create this exact same concept with their bodies, kinesthetically. Sign language 'w' on each hand, with an open-mouth to represent the 'o' in the middle. Then elbows up in the air, fingers pointing down and everything flips over for the 'm' version of mom. Get it? Physicalize those letters

Spring Cherry Tree


Tammy was kind enough to share two links with me. Her second is an INCREDIBLE blooming cherry tree project, PERFECT for spring! Perfect for mom. I'm choosing an image just getting underway, because I want you to be sufficiently intrigued to hop over!


photo of: Keepsake Questions for Mother's day via PlayDrMom
Insightful Questions at PlayDrMom
In the spirit of my lengthy ramble today, author Laura at "PlayDrMom" has a brilliant article. Laura's expertise as a child therapist shines through her post. The questions will be treasured keepsakes for generations! You can see their simple picture frames embellished in this article. Or if you need a great big smile, go over to see the painted footprints transformed into a Mother's Day butterfly

photo of: Mother's Day Open-Ended Project via "Connecting Family and Seoul"

The old Art teacher in me implores you to go visit Gina at "Connecting Family and Seoul" to see how you support open-ended art process for young children, that results in a present worthy of highest admiration. 

photo of: Felt Floral Bouquet for Mother's Day via "Busy Kids = Happy Mom"
Felt Flower Bloom for Mother's Day! 
To conclude the resources so far, I offer you Kristin owner of 'Busy Kids = Happy Moms" who offers you all the insight needed to create an ever-blooming bouquet using felt. This end result could adorn the most delightful home for the entire season at hand and return next year, too! 

Thanks to all who added their insight and treasures. I am making this article a blog hop in the hopes that you'll have all the resources that you need. Bloggers I ask that after you add your article's URL, you visit the author directly above you and spread some bloggy-LUV comments. We all adore hearing from our readers. What a great way to support one another! It would be so gracious if you'd include a link back here. Kindness goes a long way. 

By all means, please pin your favorites from this article! I am so grateful for every pin that radiates from this resource center. I have permission to use the KBN bloggers photos, but it would make more sense for you to pin their image at their blog, thanks from all of us. Tweet or + while you're add it, if those are your favored networks!  **Teehee, I have entered my own linkie.




Mother's Day RoundUP of Ideas + Inspiration via RainbowsWithinReach



Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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