A gift from the heart

Kids and dads out there, are you ready for Mother’s Day this year? May 11 is just around the corner and every mom deserves a proper celebration. If you haven’t decided on the perfect gift yet, don’t fret. Mothers always appreciate a store-bought gift or a little extra pampering, but nothing turns a mama into a puddle of emotion quicker than a homemade gift from her kids.

Some people (especially dads) might be intimidated by the idea of creating a homemade gift. But you don’t have to be creative or crafty to make a wonderful homemade present for mom. While she will certainly love a necklace strung from macaroni noodles or a bouquet of paper flowers, here is an idea for a Mother’s Day gift she will always treasure.

Follow these easy steps to make a"Mom and Me” memory book of special times from the past year. This project can be as simple or"fancy” as you like. Don’t worry if you don’t have all of the materials listed for this project. You can use whatever you have available. These instructions are just a guideline to get you started. The most important part of this gift is simply creating something for mom yourself.

The first and most important step in this project is creating a list of special moments spent with mom in the last year. Think about birthday parties, holidays, vacations, family outings, religious celebrations and school events. But be sure not to forget about those special everyday activities like walks to the park, reading books before bed, playing in the yard, baking cookies or eating a favorite dinner together.

Next, gather together pictures of mom and the kids at each of these memorable times. For those families with digital cameras, take advantage of convenient photo sharing services such as Shutterfly (www.shutterfly.com) or Kodak Gallery (www.kodakgallery.com). You can upload pictures from your computer, order the prints you want for your memory book and have them in your hands in just a few days.

If you can’t find the perfect photograph of a special occasion, use your imagination and a few crayons or markers to sketch a picture. Another option is including memorabilia from special events, such as tickets stubs from a school play or sporting event.

Once you have all of the photographs, pictures and memorabilia assembled, choose your favorite picture for the cover and put the rest in the order you want them to go in the memory book. Use the glue stick to carefully secure each photograph or picture to a piece of paper (or use photo corners to attach the photographs). Make sure to leave a few inches along the left side of the paper blank so there is enough room to bind the book. Write a message or caption for each photograph or picture—mom will appreciate the thoughtful words.

After you have all of the photographs and pictures glued to the paper, use the hole punch to make two holes along the left side of each piece of paper, about two inches apart. To complete your book, tie all of the pages together with ribbon or string into a bow. Don’t forget to give the book a title and sign your work.

Surprise mom and expect lots of hugs and happy tears.

Looking for more ideas for homemade Mother’s Day gifts that kids of all ages can make? Visit www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/mothersday or www.dltk-holidays.com/mom/index.html.

You’ll need

• Photographs of mom and the kids from the past year

• Cardstock paper in the color and size of your choice. (Try to use paper that has some thickness so the book can stand the test of time without tearing. I used cardstock paper that was

5½ x 8½ inches in size.)

• Glue stick

• Hole punch

• Crayons or markers

• Ribbon or string

• Scissors

Optional items:
• Photo corners
• Decorative paper
• Alphabet stamps and an ink pad
• Stickers
• Ticket stubs or other memorabilia from special events

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