Monday, May 07, 2007

Montessori Curriculum Ideas for Mother's Day: Herbal Pillows and Tin Punching

boy hugging mother NAMC montessori curriculum practical life activity mother's day ideas
Mother’s Day is a day that children love to celebrate with hugs and kisses and handpicked bouquets of flowers. Children should not feel pressured to buy their mothers store bought gifts, but to give those made by both heart and hand. It was especially joyful to hear one of my own students tell her parent just the other day “I don’t need to go buy Mommie anything. I already made her something.”

And as mothers know, a handmade gift is special and treasured. To this day, my own mother keeps many gifts that were made by my sister and me in her china cabinet, a symbol to all of her “priceless” treasures.

A nice gift is one that works as an extension to a practical life lesson. One such craft is a punched tin ornament. Tin punching is an activity that develops manual dexterity and children love to do it. For younger children (3-6), a pattern (such as a heart or flower outline) may be provided for the child. Older children may choose to create their own pattern.

Montessori Curriculum Idea: Mother's Day Tin Punch Ornament/Sun Catcher

What You Need:
  • Small metal juice can lid (saved from either end of a frozen juice container)
  • Hammer and nail Simple, small pattern (copies enough for each child)
  • Small piece of wood (or tree stump)
  • Pretty ribbon, cut into lengths

What You Do:
  1. Place the pattern chosen on top of the lid and secure with tape.
  2. Place lid on the wood (or stump) as the work area.
  3. Using the hammer and a nail, punch holes around the lines of the picture.
  4. Remove the paper and you have a tin punch ornament or sun catcher.
  5. Remember to punch a hole at the top of the ornament.
  6. Thread a piece of ribbon through the hole and secure with a knot.

Sewing is a big part of the Montessori Practical Life curriculum. Here is an herbal pillow that older children will love to sew for mom. Learning about the healing properties of various herbs is also an extension of the Montessori Botany lessons!

girl hugging grandma mother's day NAMC montessori curriculum practical life ideas

Montessori Curriculum Idea: Mother's Day Herbal Pillows

What you need:
  • Rice Herbs (Peppermint and chamomile are for relaxation and help with breathing and sleeping. Lavender and rose petals are soothing)
  • Pretty cotton fabric, cut into 6” X 6” squares
  • Needle
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Funnel
  • Bowl for mixing
  • Large spoon
  • Small cup

What you do:
  1. Mix your selected herbs and grains at a 2:1 ratio (e.g. 2 cups grains to 1 cup herbs.
  2. Stitch a bag using two squares of fabric with right sides together.
  3. Stitch three sides of the bag together.
  4. Turn bag so rights sides of fabric are on the outside.
  5. Fill the pillow with the herb/grain mixture, using a funnel.
  6. Stitch the bag closed, making sure that none of the herb mixture can spill out.

To use for cool therapy, freeze the pillow and use when needed. For warm therapy, microwave the pillow carefully in 30-second increments until it is at the desired heat.
The greeting card business has made millions by creating poems about mothers. Even very young children will enjoy making their own card for mom. This card, with a tiny handprint, will be treasured for years to come.

Mother’s Day Handprint Card

What you need:
  • Copies of the handprint poem (below)
  • Small picture of the child Water based paints – finger paints or tempera paints
  • Bowl to hold the paint
  • Brush or sponge to apply paint to child’s hand
  • Paper towels for clean up

What you do:
  1. Print the poem (make extra copies).
  2. Apply the paint to the child's hand, then press their hand to the paper near the poem. This might take several attempts to get a good print, patience is the key.
  3. Clean that little hand, before you get hand printed, too! Personalize with the date and name (if it isn't already).
  4. Let dry, then glue on a photo, if desired.


Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls
But every day I'm growing --I'll be grown some day
And all those tiny handprints
Will surely fade away
So here's a little handprint
Just so you can recall
Exactly how my fingers looked
When I was very small

Put a date here
Love, put child's name here

Related NAMC Blogs:
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Monday, May 7, 2007.


  1. I really like the curriculum ideas for Mother's Day! I will try to make some these things with the children in my class for Mother's Day this year.

  2. Hi Angela,

    What fun you will have with these creative ideas! I love my herbal pillow my son made me.



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