Holidays are an especially fun time for preschool children. They’re full of special, themed activities. But, just like most things they do in class, the activities are also meant to teach them new concepts or help them master important skills. Holidays about showing care to their loved ones, like Mother’s Day, can teach preschoolers about the concept of love while they can simultaneously practice skills they’re learning in the classroom.
Teaching love to preschoolers
Children learn a lot by observing, but it’s great to supplement it with hands-on participation. This is especially true for preschoolers’ social skills development because abstract concepts like love are better to show, not tell.
Mother’s Day provides a great opportunity to give children examples of how they can show not only love, but also affection, gratitude, selflessness, thoughtfulness, and support. Honing in on ways to express these emotions is an important part of children’s social-emotional development. For preschool, this holiday is often celebrated by carefully crafting something special to take home. Ideally, children can create something unique after considering what their mother or mother figure means to them.
However, as you celebrate this holiday, remember that not everyone has the same family dynamic or structure. Some children may have an adoptive mother, foster mother, grandmother, or other relative as their caretaker or mother figure. Keep this in mind as you discuss anything surrounding Mother’s Day, and try to keep things as inclusive as possible. Be mindful of how you frame the holiday; express it as a chance to show love and appreciation to anyone who helps take care of them. Consider how your children may have diverse home situations, from what language their mother figure may speak to whether they primarily live with that person. For activities that include information related to their family structure or the identity of their mother figure, leave them more open-ended so children can fill in what applies to them or provide options to choose what they feel most comfortable with.
Special holidays like Mother’s Day can also be an opportunity to incorporate activities and crafts that teach other essential skills like fine motor skills, pattern recognition, and identifying shapes and colors.
Fine motor skills
Mother’s Day crafts aren’t just great for showing children how to express love; they can also support the development of their fine motor skills. Activities that involve holding different utensils or maneuvering their hands with some basic precision will engage these skills and reinforce their development in a fun, creative way. Incorporate crafts that require finger painting, coloring, gluing, or drawing that help children practice various fine motor skills.
Being able to identify and even replicate patterns is an important part of childhood development. It’s a skill they’ll use in growing their understanding of numbers now and in mathematics as they get older. Activities and crafts featuring patterns can help children learn how to create patterns and recognize them thoroughly enough to replicate them. It also adds to how engaging the creative process is for them, so incorporate things like decorating crafts with striped or color-blocked patterns, polka dots, or repetitive prints for Mother’s Day.
Shapes and colors
Crafts that utilize some of the concepts children are learning can support their progress. Preschool-aged children are learning basic shapes and colors, so Mother’s Day crafting can be great practice. Choose activities for your children that incorporate shapes and colors so they can improve their understanding. For instance, provide a variety of shapes children can use to build images, such as a house, flowers, or portrait of their mother figure.
Mother’s Day crafts for preschoolers
Mother’s Day is a holiday about love, so it’s an opportunity to teach children empathy by encouraging them to think about how hard their mother figure works to provide a great life for them. Holiday activities may be difficult to organize into your typical lesson plans, so utilize a tool like brightwheel’s lesson plan feature to create custom curriculum and share progress with families. Then, try incorporating some of these Mother’s Day crafts:
Paper picture frame
Create a simple picture frame for children to color in and decorate.
Paper flower bouquet
Let children choose different colored paper, then cut it into small squares, fold them, and then cut off the corners to create petal shapes. Repeat these steps until there are enough flowers for a colorful bouquet.
Use assorted colorful beads and thread, yarn, rope, string, or pipe cleaners to help children make a bracelet for themselves and a matching one to give to their mother figure as a gift.
“World’s Greatest” award or “Hero” award
Print out simple outlines of awards, medals, or certificates online and let children color and fill them in for their loved one.
Help children create or write in small coupon booklets with things like hugs, kisses, cleaning up their toys, or picking flowers.
Celebrate holidays in your lessons
Find a variety of fun, creative ways to celebrate Mother’s Day with your children. Focus on using the holiday to discuss ways to express their love for important people in their life. And let them show what they’ve been learning in preschool with these crafts.