Helping Tweens Make Useful Mother’s Day Gifts; Tips Plus Gift Craft Ideas

Unsure what to help the kids make for mom this Mother’s Day? Between the ages of 8-12, tweens are definitely old enough to make mom something special. As a mom and former nanny, I’ve helped plenty of kids make special gifts to be treasured. Whether you’ve got a whole classroom of kids to help or one or two grandkids, these tips and special crafts should help tweens make useful Mother’s Day Gifts.


Choose appropriate materials

The first step in crafting Mother’s Day gifts with tweens is choosing materials appropriate to their skill level. Crafts should be based on the ability to be easily modified for most kids in the tween age group. For instance, with beaded jewelry, younger kids may need assistance with some items or work better with a slight variation in materials. Remember that the craft should not feel overwhelming, but be enjoyable in addition to being useful for a mother. Materials should be durable, but flexible enough to create multiple items for all age groups.

What gift should I make Mom?

Beaded jewelry, wall decor, and desk accessories make great Mother’s Day gifts as Mom will be able to use them for years to come. But don’t limit your ideas to these. A Mother’s Day gift should be something that will be meaningful to the recipient. When I have my kids make gifts for my mom, we like to choose items that she will actually be able to put in use. This way she can treasure the gift every day for a long time. Drawings are great too because it gives her some ‘fridge art’. But be sure to think of something long-lasting as well.

What if my mom doesn’t like gifts?

If your mom is a bit difficult, like me, and says to the tweens “Don’t get me anything,” likely she will still appreciate the gesture. I’m about as far from materialistic as one can get. Stuff means nothing to me. I, in fact, told my tweens this year (as I do every year) not to get me anything. However, anything my children give me means everything. Items they make themselves are my absolute favorite. Even if your mom doesn’t like gifts, you can still make her something useful. Watch her habits and see what she needs most that can be turned into a craft.

Simple, useful crafts tweens can make as Mother’s Day gifts

Handmade Beaded Jewelry – Many moms like to wear earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. They’re even more fun when they represent the ones she loves. That’s what makes it such a great Mother’s Day gift. Craft stores and specialty bead shops have thousands of beads and materials to choose from. My kids and I run an etsy.com shop where we specialize in making these items. Every now and then, I am lucky to be graced with some that my kids make for me. Your materials may vary. But here is a list of the materials we prefer: glass beads, bead wire, ear wires, eye pins, clasps, jump rings, jewelry pliers, and jewelry wire cutters. Beaded jewelry is very simple to make for tweens of all ages. Even my six- and seven-year-old help with making jewelry. So if you have younger kids, they may like to help out as well, depending on their skill level. See attached pictures for examples.

Floral Office Pen and Holder – For this craft, the tweens will be creating a nifty and decorative container to hold all Mom’s office pens. They are even going to decorate the pens to make a special Mother’s Day bouquet for Mom. To make this craft, the tweens will need a package of regular pens with lids, a paper clip, floral tape, and a selection of floral stems. They will also need a decorative container and some decorative rocks or marbles. First, take the paper clip and poke a hole into the lid of each pen. Put the lid onto the back of the pen, so the writing side is left open. Cut off small sections of the floral stems. Insert the stems into the back of the lids. Wind the floral tape around the entire pen, starting from the section where the stem starts coming out. Place marbles or rocks into the decorative container and then stick all of the floral pens into it. See attached pictures for a finished product.

Painted Plaster Wall Decor – Most moms love to decorate their walls. Craft stores and major retailers often have plain white plaster items to paint. You can also buy plaster and molds to create even more designs. Tweens can examine what’s in the house already and try to find plaster decor that matches Mom’s existing theme. Acrylic craft paints made especially for ceramics work best for painting the plaster. We also like to put a top clear coat on our wall d©cor so the paint doesn’t run or get scraped off. This is especially important if the items will be hung outdoors. If you are making the item yourself from wet plaster, try placing leaves or other natural items into the mold before it dries for a fun accent.

Baked Clay Paper Weight – Do your tweens like to play with clay? Now they can put that to good to use and create mom a useful Mother’s Day gift. Baking clay can be molded into all sorts of shapes to make mom a special paper weight. We like to keep clay of many assorted colors so that no matter what we want to create, we’ll have the materials. You can also buy big blocks of the white or ceramic color and paint the items after baking. Some simple shape ideas include a butterfly, a cat, a dog, a flower, a hat, a shoe, or any other item that mom relates to. All it takes to create this craft is an imagination, some molding, and baking the final shape for a few minutes. Follow the exact instructions, according to the type of baking clay you purchase.

More from Lyn:

Green Homeschool Crafts: Eco-Friendly Tie Dye Clothing

Mother’s Day Past and Present (poetry)

Eco-Friendly Kids Crafts: Homemade Milk Paint Leaf Prints