DIY Mother's Day Gifts

Don’t let shelter in place put a damper on your Mother’s Day celebrations. Here are some ideas for gifts and sweet treats kids can make at home for Mom to mark her special day.


Spring Colors Vases (Ages 3 and up)

Make your mom a beautiful vase that will last long after the flowers have wilted with this fun craft idea from Lakeshore Learning. Find more seasonal and holiday craft ideas here


What You’ll Need:

• An empty recycled glass bottle or jar 

• Large empty glass jar with lid (for glue mixture)

• Tissue paper

• Glue

• Water and dish soap

• Paintbrush

• Bowl for glue mixture 


Step 1: Wash the bottle or jar with warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly.

Step 2: Make the glue mixture by adding equal parts glue and water to the large jar. Cover and shake vigorously to blend. (To thicken the mixture, just add more glue.) Pour it into a small bowl.

Step 3: Use the paintbrush to cover small sections of the vase with the glue mixture. 

Step 4: Cut tissue paper in various colors into small squares, or use pre-cut tissue paper squares if available.

Step 5: Stick the tissue squares to the vase in an overlapping pattern. (Add glue to the tissue pieces if needed to make them stick.) 

Step 6: Paint an additional layer of the glue mixture over the tissue squares and allow them to dry.

Step 7: Pick spring wildflowers for your colorful vase and present it to Mom on her special day.


Mother’s Day Puzzle Photo Frame (Ages 3 and up)

Tired of looking at that quarantine jigsaw puzzle? Upcycle the pieces into this handcrafted photo frame from Lakeshore Learning. 


What You’ll Need:

• Craft or popsicle sticks

• 20-25 recycled puzzle pieces (approximately 1-inch square)

• Spray ore tempera paint (variety of colors) 

• Glitter (optional)

• Glue

• Tape (optional)

• Recycled newspaper or butcher paper

• Photo (about 4 by 6 inches, to trim and then fit into the frame)

• Markers

• Scissors

• Mother’s Day Message template


Step 1: Arrange the puzzle pieces in a single layer on a flat sheet of newspaper or butcher paper (preferably outside, if you are using spray paint).

Step 2: Spray-paint or paint the puzzle pieces with a variety of paint colors. 

Step 3: Sprinkle some glitter over the top of the wet paint, if desired.

Step 4: Allow plenty of time for the paint on the puzzle pieces to dry.

Step 5: Using four craft sticks, glue them together to make a square frame with a hole in the center that measures approximately 3 by 3 inches.

Step 6: Glue puzzle pieces around the outside of the frame, overlapping the pieces to create a collage effect.

Step 7: Print out the Mother’s Day Message ( and write your name on the blank line, or create your own message.

Step 8: Glue the message on top of the puzzle pieces, along the bottom center of the frame or to the back of the frame.

Step 9: Glue or tape your photo onto the back of the frame to create an adorable Mother’s Day gift!


Apple Crisp

Serves 6-8

Make Mom a dessert of apples and pantry staples with this recipe from Palo Alto mother and doctor Julia Nordgren, author of The New Family Table: Cooking More, Eating Together & Staying (Relatively) Sane(Story Farm, 2019). This great fruit-forward dessert can be easily and beautifully adapted to late stone fruit or strawberries. 



3 green apples

2 red apples (such as Fuji or Honeycrisp)

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

1 teaspoon allspice (optional)

For the Topping:

½ cup almond meal

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup rolled oats

6 ounces cold butter, diced, plus more for pan

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Vanilla whipped cream, for serving

Vanilla ice cream, for serving



1. Preheat over to 375°F. Lightly butter an 8-by-8-inch square baking dish or individual baking dishes.

2. Peel and cut apples into ¼-to-½-inch slices. Try to slice them evenly for even cooking.

3. Toss apples with lemon juice, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, if using. Taste and adjust seasonings. Arrange in the baking dish.

4. Mix together almond meal, all-purpose flour, oats, butter, sugar, salt and pecans, if using, in a bowl, using a pastry cutter or two knives to cut in the butter.

5. Spread topping over apple mixture. Bake until filling is bubbly and topping is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. 

6. Serve with a dollop of vanilla whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 


Polka Dot Blondies

Makes 16 bars

Make your celebration festive with these fun bars from The Lemonade Stand Cookbook: Step-by-Step Recipes and Crafts for Kids to Make – and Sell! (Burnt Cheese Press, 2017) by Los Gatos cookbook author and mom Kathy Strahs. 



½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces, such as M&M’s



1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the brown sugar and keep stirring until the butter is almost fully incorporated into the sugar, with a shiny texture; this might take 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the vanilla and salt.

4. Beat in the egg, and do it quickly so that it doesn’t start to cook!

5. Stir in the flour, salt and half of the chocolate candies until the batter is combined, saving the rest of the candies to sprinkle on top before baking.

6. With a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly, and scatter the candies you saved over the top.

7. Bake until the blondies are set in the middle, 20 to 25 minutes.* Cool completely before lifting out the parchment and cutting the blondies into bars.


* Don’t overbake the blondies! The middle should no longer be jiggly, but you also don’t want it to be baked completely through, like a cake. The texture is best when soft and brownie-like.