Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are holidays celebrated not just in Australia, but all around the world. But creating Mother’s Day gifts from kids in the classroom or Father’s Day presents from your students can get complicated when considering all the different types of families. And shouldn’t you be considering all those different types of families?
An inclusive classroom is a safe classroom. But how inclusive is a classroom celebrating a holiday about one very specific type of family? This is your chance to change that!
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day fit for some children, but they often leave countless kids behind. As you’re planning for upcoming occasions, the Teach Starter team of teachers has a few ideas for you to make sure Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are marked in your classroom in a way that makes sure every child in your class feels seen and the gifts your students take home are a perfect fit for their family.
Inclusive Mother’s Day & Father’s Day Ideas for the Classroom
Make Cards for ‘Special People’
Some kids want to write cards to a mum. Some want to write cards to a dad. Still, others want to thank a foster parent, a grandparent, or a coach … and that’s a great way to ensure the holiday includes everyone.
Try making these cute cards with cupcake liners that can be gifted to anyone special in your students’ lives!
- Cupcake liners (different sizes)
- Photo of each student cut into small circles
- Craft sticks
- Green foam sheets or green paper
- Green paint and paintbrush
- Thick card
- Fold a piece of cardboard in half.
- Paint craft sticks green.
- Cut small leaves out of green foam sheets or green paper.
- Have students decide if they want one or two flowers on their cards, and glue cupcake liners — big first, then smaller — to form the blossom of a flower on the front of their card.
- Glue the green craft sticks below to form the stem.
- Glue leaves on either side of the stem.
- Decorate and fill out the card to the special person they want to celebrate this Mother’s Day or Father’s Day!
Check out the Teach Starter Instagram for a video of the cards being built for more instructions!
Don’t have time for this craft? Don’t worry!
Teach Starter created special person cards for the classroom. This way, you can encourage your students to practise their letter-writing skills, but leave the person they want to write that letter to up to them! It’s a perfect gift for anyone… on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or any day!
You can also print our Special Kind of Love template for older students to practise writing about their feelings.
Read About Families
One of the best ways to make sure kids feel seen and to educate others is to ensure your classroom library features books that are inclusive, and this time of year, that means books that are inclusive of the various family structures that exist in the world.
A few favourites to consider adding to your classroom book nook:
- All Kinds of Families by Suzanne Lang
- The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko
- Donovan’s Big Day by Lesléa Newman
- The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption by Jean Davies Okimoto
Focus on the Love
Whether your students have two mums, two dads, live with a grandparent, live with a foster parent, or well, just about any other kind of family, here’s hoping they’ve got plenty of love in their home. And they can give that love back with this fun love heart waterfall gift that will help them practise their scissor skills.
Watch the video below for all the action:
Create ‘Love’ Jars
Give your students a chance to practise writing sentences with a ‘love’ jar project for Mum, Dad or any other person in their life who they adore. Ask students to choose a particular person they want to celebrate, then challenge them to write descriptive sentences about that special person on strips of coloured paper. Students should ensure each sentence has a predicate and subject!
- Mason jars
- Colourful paper
- Pencils or crayons
- Print out handwriting lines on pages of coloured paper, and hand them out to students.
- Challenge students to write sentences about that special someone on each line, practising using their best handwriting.
- When they’ve finished writing out the lines, students can cut out each sentence and carefully fold the paper.
- Fill individual mason jars with each students’ love sentences to take home as a gift!
Talk About Families
It’s tempting to focus activities this time of year on just one parent or another, but learning about family is an important step for primary students to make sense of their place in the world. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day both offer an opportunity to focus on discussions of families as a whole, identifying the many different people who can make up a family and guiding students to develop acceptance of different family structures.
Students can write a book all about what makes their family special with our customisable “All About My Family” mini booklet, then take it home to present as a Mother’s Day gift or Father’s Day gift to that special person or people in their life.
Planning to hand out the ever-popular ‘all about my mom’ template this year? We’ve added all about my grandma, all about my aunt, and more to make sure everyone is included.
Write Poems About … People
Whether your students want to celebrate a foster mum, a grandparent, or even Dad on Mother’s Day, they can practise their poetry skills while doing it!
- A concrete poem in the shape of something their favourite person loves like a flower or favourite food.
- A sensory poem to describe their person.
- An acrostic poem using the letters in the person’s name — or print out this LOVE acrostic template for each student to use as a scaffold.