The greatest gift a mother can give, so the old saying goes, is “roots” and “wings”—a solid sense of belonging, balanced by the ability to leave home and soar in the world when the time comes. Sounds simple, but as any loving parent can attest, it couldn’t be more complex! Parenting is a balancing act at every age, from toddlerhood through high school and beyond. Here’s a special card to honor Mom this Mother's Day, and to salute the love and work in raising kids. This card only needs simple materials, but do beware: there’s some fairly elaborate scissor and glue work involved. A patient third grader might manage it, but we think it’s probably going to “fly” better with a fourth or fifth grader!
What You Do:
- This card will be made from two layers: a standard card outside, with a “popup” insert glued inside. Start by folding your outer layer of white cover stock paper in half, to make a card 5½" x 8½".
- Now cut out the elements of the tree, which will form the front of the card. You can get creative with colors of your tree, of course; but our standard directions call for cutting trunk and branches from brown, leaves from two shades of green, and apples and sign from red, all using our templates. After your child has cut out all pieces of the tree design, have her glue them down, following this design:
- When you’re done, you’ll have the “tree” part of your message complete. Now things get really fun, as you assemble a popup “bird.” For this part, start by folding the pastel cover stock in half, to form a card 5 ½” x 8 ½”. Place the card on a table surface so that the fold is on the left. Use a ruler to measure 2 ¾ inches down the fold, and mark a line 1 inch into the card. Below it, measure one more inch and make a second 1-inch line. Using your scissors, carefully cut along each line, like this:
- When you open the card, pull the cut strip toward you gently, and crease it gently to the left and right to make a square “popup platform,” like this:
- Now have your child cut the dove and wing shapes from the remaining white paper, using our templates, and fold each of them along the light gray dotted line. Have him glue the wing to the body of the bird, again following the template, and add an eye if he likes, as well. Finally, cut a “Thank You, Mom” banner, again following our template. Glue it to the back of the bird’s beak, as if the bird is holding the banner aloft, like this:
- Line up the fold on the bird with the center fold of your card, and glue the bird to the “popup platform” on your pastel card. When you close the card, the bird should tuck in neatly. When you open it, the bird should unfurl!
- To complete the card, glue the outside edges of the pastel page inside the white outer card, making sure, of course, that you don’t glue down the popup platform! Have your child write “Happy Mother’s Day” on the red sign on the tree, as well as “Thank You, Mom” on the bird’s banner, and add as much extra writing as he likes. This is an elegant, impressive card. Be prepared for oohs and aahs, and a proud young folk artist as well!
Did You Know:
There's a special reason why the bird in this card is a dove! One of the most oustpoken supporters of Mother's Day was Julia Ward Howe, who lived through the Civil War and is perhaps best known as the author of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," a classic American patriotic song. Howe wanted Mother's Day to be a solemn event, recognizing the courage of all mothers, and especially urging women to take the lead in finding ways that "the great human family can live in peace." You can of course use any bird for this card, but in honor of Julia Ward Howe, we thought a peaceful dove was an especially appropriate choice!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.