For children of all ages, spring is an exuberant season, as flowers and grasses pop up in all their colorful glory. You can purchase Mother’s Day baskets, of course…but here’s a homemade paper basket that your kindergartener can make, while practicing patterning skills that are such a big part of her math curriculum. And now that it’s near the end of the year, she should be writing her own words and early sentences, too.
Help her make a Mother’s Day basket with her own handwritten message attached. Okay, if you’re the mom setting this up, it may spoil some surprise, but don’t forget: you can also make this one for grandma, or for some other really cherished maternal figure in your family’s life.
What You Do:
- Trace your Template #1 onto two different colors of construction paper, and use scissors to cut each one out. Following the lines on the template, cut strips from the bottom of the template shape.
- Trace Template #2—the solid heart—onto a piece of solid construction paper, and cut out a solid heart shape, which will form the back of the “basket.”
- Cut a strip of paper construction paper in a third coordinating color, at least 12” long by about 1” wide, to serve as the “handle” for the basket.
- Help your child “weave” the two sides of the heart from Step 1. Encourage kids to do as much of this as possible independently, so that they develop hand-eye coordination skills, and practice the pattern of “over-under” that they need for their math work. When they are done, they will have an attractive woven heart.
- Staple the woven heart to the plain one, and staple the strip of paper across the top to make a handle. Now you have a “heart basket” that is perfect for a special message.
- Fold a remaining piece from one of your cut construction paper pages, and invite your child to make a picture of the person she’s honoring. Below it, ask your child to write at least one sentence to that person. (Don’t worry if the spelling is “fearless”—what’s important is the thought!)
This is a big project for a kindergartener—be sure you offer lots of praise. It’s also a great bridge into the new challenges of first grade, when kids will be doing lots more small-motor skill work, reading, and writing. Oh, and lest we forget—it’s a heartwarming gift for any special mother figure, any day of the year!
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.