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Try adapting these ideas and activities for Grandparent's Day too!

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Mother's & Father's Day Activity Theme

Father's Day Footprint Poem
Jessica B. offers this project saying, "This Father's Day project is sure to be a HUGE hit with parents.  The poem speaks volumes, and it is a fantastic framed keepsake!"

Materials: Washable paint, pre-printed poem on card stock, newspaper and lots of 
paper towels! 

Description: This is an EASY project if you set up before calling kids over.  It 
can definitely get tickly, giggly and MESSY!  Tape newspaper on the floor to 
avoid big messes.  It helps to be prepared with wet washcloths, wipes or wet paper towels.  Pour washable paint into a paper plate.  I call one child over at a time. Have them sit in a chair and remove their socks and shoes. Next, we dip each foot into the paint.  I have them put their footprints on either side of the card stock with the following poem pre-printed in the center:

 Walk a little slower Daddy,
 Said a child so small.
 I'm following in your footsteps
 And I don't want to fall.
 Sometimes your steps are very fast,
 Sometimes they're hard to see,
 So walk a little slower Daddy,
 For you are leading me.
 Someday when I'm all grown up,
 You're what I want to be;
 Then I will have a little child
 Who'll want to follow me.
 I would want to lead just right,
 And know that I was true
 So walk a little slower Daddy,
 For I must follow you.
Under the poem, I either print the child's name and date in a colored marker that matches the footprints, or have them print it if they are able.

Comments: This is a poem that is a huge hit with parents from both three and four year old classes every year I do it.  TRY IT, IT'S WORTH IT! 

Gift Bags
If kindergarten or older children need something to put that Father's Day or Mother's Day gift in, try these bags from Jenifer A.  Practice yourself first and be prepared to offer children help.

Materials: A variety of paper, glue, hole punch, ribbon.


  • Begin by folding the paper in about one quarter of its length.
  •  Run your thumbnail over the fold to mark it well.
  • Turn the folded paper over and apply glue to one end. 
  • Glue the edges together to form a cylinder shape and allow the glue to dry.
  • Flatten the cylinder shape with the joining section in the middle. Make very good folds by using your nail again.
  • Fold each side over, meeting in the middle.  Press folds well.
  • Open the two folds and press them inwards.  It should look like the sides of a paper sack.  Flatten this shape.
  • Fold the unglued side upward to form the base of the bag.  Glue it down.

  • Use a hole punch to make holes to thread a ribbon through and make a handle.  Open it and you have a great gift bag.  You can make these in a variety of sizes.

For Father's Day
Holly S. shares this gift idea for Father's Day that can also be used for Mothers Day.

Materials: Cookies, coffee cans or other  covered containers.

Description: Decorate the containers, by either gluing on pasting shapes and spray painting. Or cover with a strip of paper that the child has decorated. Fill with cookies that the children have baked.

Comments: Instead of baking cookies you can prepare chocolate dipped pretzels.

Father's Day giftFathers Day "Decoupage"
Bev D. plans this art activity that results in a gift to be given at the
end of the preschool year for Father's Day.

 Materials: Cigar box, pictures, decoupage.

 Description: First, I try to collect throughout the year a cigar box
for each child.   I ask for a minimum of 10 pictures per child. Then I
cut them out (close crop) and make a collage on the lid.  I then 
decoupage them on the lid.  On the inside lid I have taken a good close up
photo of either mom or dad and child.  I  fit a paper to the bottom of
the box (they are all different) and have the child write  "I Love You"
and sign their name.

There is a lot of teacher work involved with this, but it becomes a
family treasure.  It is well worth the effort. 

Comments: Go for it!

Father's Day ideaFather's Day Gift: "Catch of the Day"
Linda G. says, " Dad's can use coupons too!" When she contributes
this early childhood gift idea that children young and old can enjoy

Blue Poster Paint
Paper Plates (One whole one & one cut in half for each kid.) 
Stapler and a lot of staples
Child Size Safety Scissors
Green Construction Paper
Fish Templates made out of cardboard. You may want to make
4-6 of them so 4-6 kids can do the activity at the same time.
Wall Paper or Construction Paper
One Hole Punch

1.  Let the children paint the paper plates to look like water in a 
fish bowl using watered down blue paint. You can use paint brushes,
sponges etc.

2.  When dry, place the half plate on the bottom of the whole plate
and staple in place. (Takes about 5-6 staples per plate).  This makes 
a pouch to hold the coupons in. 

3.  Then add sea weed (cut out of green paper) 3 to 12 yr. olds can
cut this out and glue it to the paper plate that was cut in half.

4.  Have the youngsters trace the fish shapes on paper of their choice.
You may want to set a limit of 3 - 8.

5.  Have the children tell you what they would like the coupons to say. 

Examples are:
One free hug,
One free kiss,
One free helper for the day.
Their answers will be endless!!  Write down their ideas on each fish.

5.  Put the fish in the paper plate fish bowl with the tails facing up.

6.  Punch two holes in the top of the paper plate and tie one piece of
yarn to the holes to make a handle.

7.  On the top of the paper plate bowl write:  Catch of the Day!

8.  Each day Dad can catch a fish and get a loving surprise!

Comments: Our Mom's wanted me to come up with a gift like this for
them too!  So, I used the idea of flowers in a pot.  I called it
"The Pick of the Day!"

Father's Day Kickball Tournament
Have a Father's Day celebration with the children and their dads with this idea from Kristin B.

Materials: Children, their dads, balls, juice, snacks, paper cups, paper plates and napkins.

Description: Invite the children's dads for a day of fun!  Plan a kickball 
tournament for the kids and dads.  After the morning (or afternoon) of fun, have everyone either go inside for juice and snacks or set up a table and organize the mini picnic outside.

Comments: It may be difficult to get all the dads to take a day off of work and we also experienced the role of a single mom.  This could be opened up to not just dads, but to families as well. Either way it'll be a day of fun.

Quick Gift Idea!
Marie D. suggest this gift idea and poem that can be used for Mother's Day, Father's Day or Grandparent's Day.

Materials:  Light weight tag board, tissue paper, magnet roll, glitter and glue.

Description: The following poem can be used for a quick gift idea whenever you 
need something the next day. Cut your cardboard into a heart, a circle or a square and ask the kids to color the cardboard any color they like.  Then  glue the poem in the middle and ask them to put tissue paper or craft sticks around the edge. Next, have them put glue around the poem and sprinkle glitter on it. Everything dries overnight and then you can put a magnetic strip on the back. Now they are ready to go home. This is the poem I use:

 I may not always do the things
 I know I really should,
 But when it come to loving you
 I do that really good.
You can end it "Happy Mother's Day", Happy Father's Day"
or Happy Grandparent's Day. Put the child's name underneath the greeting.

Father's and Mother's Day Shirt
Create a colorful keepsake gift and enhance color recognition with this early childhood holiday activity by Laura F.

Materials: One white T-shirt, fabric paint, paint brushes, wet cloths to clean hands.

Description: Younger children may need help painting their hands or
they can use pie plates and dip their hands in paint then onto their shirts.  Older children can select one color at a time and paint one hand at a time then place it on the shirt creating a hand print.  Children
repeat the process until a shirt is covered  with wonderful prints! Allow to dry for 48 hours. Children, with help from teachers, can write their names and age on the shirt with the paint as well as a message to mom or dad such as number 1 mom!

Comments: I did this for Mother's day this year and the mothers were thrilled, they even wore them to work on Monday. They loved the colors (blue, purple, green, yellow).

greeting card for Father's DayMother's or Father's Day Card
Trisha D. and the youngsters in her class create special cards during
this preschool learning activity .

Materials: 10 x 14 colored paper, white paper, pencils, scissors, markers.

Description: Have your students trace their hands about 4 times and
have them cut them out.  Next, have the students glue the hands onto a
piece of 10 x14 art paper folded in half to create a card; folding the 
thumb and pinkie down to form  an iris type flower. Inside the card 
the child can write a message.

Comments: Sharing rhyming poems at this time could also be an
introduction to the children.  My children enjoyed their new skill 
of rhyming !

Ideas for Father's and Mother's DayMother's or Father's Day Gift
Caye A. shares 3 art and craft ideas for both days.

Materials: Permanent magic markers and switch plates, permanent markers and ceramic tiles.

  • For Mother's day we have the kids draw a very pretty picture on a light switch plate.  Mom can think of her little one each time she turns the light off or on.
  • For Father's day we do the same thing with a ceramic tile, and Dad uses it for his coffee mug, etc.  Parents love it, and the kids do all the work themselves.  Nice keepsake.
  • For silhouettes: We draw them with an overhead projector and then shrink them down to about a 5X8 size, which makes them a lot more easy to display.
"My Mother Likes" or "My Father Likes"
During this early childhood education activity by Debbie pre-k,
kindergarten and older youngsters use thinking and fine motor skills
while they learn about the letters of the alphabet. Parents also
participate in this project.

Materials: Paper, yarn, magazines, scissors, paste, and crayons.

Description: Put several sheets of paper together into a book by
punching 2 holes and tying with yarn.  Draw or paste a picture of Dad
or Mom on the front with the title "My Mother Likes" or "My Father
Likes".  Hunt through magazines for pictures that show what their Dad
(or Mom) enjoys (someone golfing, exercising, watching tv, playing the
piano, a picture of a computer, favorite foods, etc.). Put one picture on 
each page along with the FIRST letter of the word it depicts.
On Mother's Day or Father's Day have Dad or Mom look at the
pictures with the child and fill in the missing letters in each picture.

Comments: For younger children we just glue pictures onto the page
without using the "first letter" concept. For the 3-6 year olds we use
the 1st letter concept.  From 6-12 years old the children write sentences
below the picture about that parent. Maybe tell a brief story about
memories they have with that parent doing that activity. The books
turn out real cute. I also date them so it is a keepsake for the parents.

Grandparent's Day Picture Frames
Ava R. doesn't forget to help young children create a present for their grandparents during this preschool activity.

Materials: One piece of 5 1/2" by 7" cardboard per child, one piece of 5 1/2" by 7" cardboard (per child) with a 3" by 6 1/2" hole cut out the of middle, magnetic strips with adhesive backs, 3 1/2" by 5" picture of each child, glue and various objects to decorate frame (old puzzle pieces, glitter, sequins, colorful noodles, colorful rice, tissue paper), butcher paper, markers and tape.

Description: Teachers precut the picture frames for each child before the activity begins. Give each child the piece of cardboard with the hole cut out of the center. Allow child to decorate the frame with the objects provided by gluing onto the frame. Set frame front aside to dry.

When the frame is dry, align child's picture on the back of the frame and tape it on to secure it. Have the child glue the picture and front of frame to the other piece of cardboard.  Set aside to dry.

When dry, give child two pieces of magnetic tape to go across the top back of the frame. And two pieces of magnetic tape to go across sides of back of frame.

You can make wrapping paper from butcher paper that the child has drawn on with markers.  Then help each child wrap their picture frame and add a bow for their grandparents.

Comments: This is also a great idea for Mother's Day and Father's Day.  You 
could use this for any gift giving occasion.  The kids really enjoy making it and the person getting it can treasure it forever.

Fingerpaint Poem and Gift
Even toddlers can enjoy creating this gift that Rosa P. suggests.

Materials: Any favorite paper and washable finger paint.

Description: On a sheet of paper use the child hands to get the hand
stamp. On the paper write or print this poem.

        Sometimes you get discouraged
        Because I am so small
        And always leave my fingerprints
        On furniture and walls.

        But every day I'm growing
        I'll be grown up someday
        And all those tiny hand prints
        Will surely fade away.

        So here's a final hand print
        Just so you can recall
        Exactly how my fingers looked
        When I was very small.

Mother's Day Craft
This easy and simple art and craft idea by Janis can be done by very young preschoolers.

Materials: Construction paper, bristol board, crayons and glue.

Description: Have pieces of bristol board already cut out (approx. the 
length and width of a child's arm). Have children trace their hands and
glue them on to the ends of the strip. Glue a piece of paper in the middle
which says " I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH". Happy Mother's Day. Include the date then "Love" and place the child's name.

Mother's Day Scented Soap
Help mothers relax on their special day with this gift craft by Holly S.

Materials: Ivory Snow, essential oil and cellophane.

Description: Mix Ivory Snow with a small amount of water to form a moldable consistency. Add a drop or two of an essential oil, lavender works well. Have the preschoolers work with the mixture to form small shapes. Allow to harden for a few days and you have scented soaps.
Wrap in cellophane for a special gift.

Mothers Day Gift
Young children use fine motor skills to create a picture frame for
their mothers during this early childhood craft activity by Susan.

Materials: Different colors of construction paper, popsicle sticks,
crepe paper of different colors, and a picture of each child doing
something in daycare or preschool.

Description: Squares of different colors of construction paper are
given to each child plus 4 sticks. The child glues on the sticks around
the outside of the square paper. The crepe paper is cut in little squares
for the child to glue around the sticks. If the paper is scrunched up it
looks like flowers. The picture of the child is then glued in the middle
of the paper. I also put a logo of the daycare or preschool on the top.
I also put a magnet on the back so it could be placed on a fridge.
The magnets come in strips with one sticky side. The mothers really
like them!

Mother's Day Flowers
Teach preschool children how flowers grow with this early childhood
activity by Angela W. that can also be used in your Spring Theme.

Materials: Marigold seeds, potting soil, clay pots, paint (tempera)
and glaze sealer.

Description: We usually start this project the first of April, this way
we can incorporate this into our Spring Theme. We allow each child to
plant her or his own seeds into their own pots. They keep a record on
 our chart of  how their flower is doing. When they saw the first leaves
or today their plant has two buds etc. When the plants are done growing
and close to Mother's Day we allow the children to decorate their own
pots with tempera paint and when this dries we protect them with a
glaze you will find in most Art Stores.

Mother's Day Wagon
Dina T. offers this craft project for Mother's Day which is also great for a
Plant Theme.

Materials: Buttons, laundry detergent scoops (powdered detergent), potting soil, 
and flower seeds. An alternative is florist foam and silk flowers.

Description: On the underside of the laundry detergent scoops, punch two holes 
for drainage. Glue on 4 buttons, for the "wheels" of the wagon, two on either side of the scoop. Fill the scoop with potting soil and then plant the seeds.  Allow 2-3 weeks for growth.

A quicker version would be to fill the "wagon" with florist foam and fill with a few small silk flowers.

Related Theme:Plant Theme



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