I made these prints just after my third baby was born. It was a bit messy (definitely an outside activity) but it was easy to make multiple copies to give to the Grandparents, and I also scanned them to make cards.
Using a paintbrush, paint (non-toxic) paint on the soles of your children's feet and then either press the paper against their foot, or get them to step (carefully) on the sheet. Have a bucket of water for washing at the ready.
Paint your own Whistlers Mother (image courtesy Activity Village)
Make your own Whistler's Mother The kids probably won't understand what you're on about, but why not get them to make their own Whistler's Mother – with their mum (or Grandma) as the model. This famous painting is regarded as an American icon, and while your child's creation might not win the next Archibald prize, it could be a fun gift to make.
What would you do if this was given to you this year? (image courtesy Create Craft Love)
Ice Ice Baby I had to include this for sheer awesomeness. A serving tray covered in bling. If your mum is the hostess with the mostess then this wooden serving tray (which you can get at Bunnings) is covered with small diamante stickers (which you can get at Red Dot). Hilarious.
Stunning flowers are created from book pages (image courtesy Better Homes and Gardens)
Flowers for the bookish True book lovers may regard this as sacrilegious, but if your Mum loves flowers and reading, then this might be the perfect combination. Using the pages from old books (get one from the op-shop), they are cleverly crafted into flowers which will last forever. And they say the book is dead. This might be an activity for the older kids.
This bookmark is made from beads and wires (Image courtesy Crafty Bits)
Buggy Books A bookmark made out of beads, in the shape of a butterfly. If you can convince your kids to give it to Mum/Grandma they will love it, and if you hunt around you probably have the supplies already.
Cards With Love
Most mums will tell you they are happy just with a handmade card and big hug. So if you're going to be a cheapskate and just give her a card and a hug at least make the card a cute one like this. Can't find a button? Ask Mum what she does with the spare buttons that come with new clothes… she probably has a stash somewhere.
So easy and so perfect for Grandma (image courtesy Woolly Mammoth)
Jill and Ben the Flowerpot Men You can use this idea for a picture (and frame it) or turn it into a card. Perfect for Nanna, this card uses pictures of the kids as little flowerpots. Dig it!
Need more ideas?
The Activity Village website has an enormous range of surprisingly clever ideas. And they are all quite achievable. Try making a bar of translucent soap with petals, a paper mache bowl, a bouquet of tissue-paper flowers or a mosaic made from egg shells (looks better than it sounds).
For sheer quantity, this website from Mothers Day Central has over 151 projects, all conveniently grouped according to type.
I couldn't resist including the mother of all mothers: Martha Stewart. Ignoring the prison and insider trading episode, Martha certainly knows her craft.
The Tater Tots and Jello site links to other craft sites that are all a bit posh and blingy. Definitely one for the older kids.