With Mother's Day fast approaching, I have been talking to the kids about who the special Mommies in their lives are and how we might want to honor them this weekend. Likewise, we have started talking about May being the Month of Mary and what we might do to celebrate.
Yesterday, we had a great brainstorm session about what they want to give their grandmothers, great-grandmother and godmothers as Mother's Day gifts this year. (I so want to share their fantastic ideas here, but cannot yet - no spoilers for our special moms!) As a part of our discussion, we looked back at what we did last year -- real Mary Garden baskets for those close by and coloring ones and photo booklets for those afar. Both were fun, economical, interactive projects for the kids and I as givers that provided smiles on the receiving end, too. So, I thought I would share some pics and files from what we did in case anyone wants to borrow ideas for the moms in their lives this year. Mary Garden Baskets are a meaningful, kid-and-receiver friendly way of showing love not only to our moms here on earth, but to Mother Mary. They really work for us and I hope they might work for you, too. Enjoy!
For our nearby moms, first, we set about using some tracing, coloring, cutting and creativity skills to make our own wooden spoon Mary's. basically, the kids colored wooden spoons orange and drew faces on them. Then, they traced a small bowl and a larger bowl on cloth and cut out the circles to make the dresses and veils, which they threaded onto the spoons before using blue tape to hold the pieces in place
Then, after some after puppet play, reciting the Hail Mary, which they were learning as part of last year's Month of Mary celebration, Luke and Nina picked out baskets from our stash that they wanted to use as gift baskets -- a larger one for Grammy and a smaller one for G.G., who has limited space near her nursing home bed, but loves flowers. Once we knew the size of the baskets we had to fill, and after I had gathered together a list of traditional Mary Garden flowers from here and here, we were off to buy flowers. The kids helped pick out types and colors, with my guidance that G.G's had to be a bit of a shade-lover. And, then, they excitedly helped me plant them in the baskets when we returned home.
We added the Mary spoons the kids made (and a homemade card that explained the significance of Mary baskets, and the gifts were ready to give.
(If you click on the thumbnails above, I believe larger-size versions of the Mary Garden explanation card front, middle and back will appear for you.)
After making our real-life Mary Garden Basket, the kids and I talked about how sending homemade baskets of flowers to Nana, Godmummy Kathy and Godmummy Gina might be difficult. The flowers might wilt and die. So, I asked them what we should do instead? Luke said we could make them paper ones, so that is
exactly what we did.
I printed out some Mary Garden flower coloring pictures that I found online and using these, markers, brown paper shopping bags, some recycled card-front images of Mother Mary, scissors and glue, we made the Paper Mary Baskets.
Then, the kids decided that since our far-away moms could not see them on Mother's Day, we should send photographs. So, I made some Mary Garden Basket booklets of the kids to go along with the Paper Mary Baskets. These Paper Baskets and booklets were also fun to make and well-received.We hope to enjoy this year's projects just as much!
If you'd like to learn more about Mary Gardens, please see the following sites:
- Mary Gardens
- Fish Eaters
- Catholic Mom
And for some wonderful Mont of Mary Ideas, see Catholic Icing.
Plus, if you know of other Mary Garden sites, please add a comment and/or link to let us know about them, too. And, of course, share your frugal, fun Mother's Day and Month of Mary ideas with us! Finally, to see what works for other folks this Wednesday, simply clock on the links at We Are THAT Family.
Have a blessed Mother's Day and Month of Mary!