Mother’s Day: 20 thoughtful gifts that cost nothing
There are obviously loads of ace Mother’s Day pressies you can buy, but I’m going to focus on the more important stuff – thoughtful gifts that cost absolutely zilch! Some of these free Mother’s Day gifts need a bit of adult supervision, but many of them older kids can do themselves, so us solo parents can still get a treat! Many are things that us mums can do together with our kids too.
Pics are some of the blimmin’ wonderful mums I photographed in 2019 🙂
FREE MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS
1. BREAKFAST IN BED
Who’s not a fan of breakfast in bed? Made and delivered by your own kids it comes served with an extra dollop of cuteness, which let’s face it, is sometimes needed to counterbalance how endearingly inedible it is 😉 A tray with a big mug of her favourite tea or coffee, her favourite brekkie and a couple flowers grabbed from the garden… Smaller children can still easily enjoy making it all themselves switching the tea/coffee for juice, and a bowl of cereal instead of anything cooked.
2. PRINTABLE COUPON BOOK
These lovely printables can be completely filled out by the kids (and coloured in by them), so you can choose more personal things that will be especially appreciated by your mum in question. There’s also a space for a name on each one, so each book can have different coupons from different children in the family too. These ones can be coloured in, but the ‘treats’ are already chosen for you. This one has a combination of ready-chosen treats and some blank ones too for your own ideas. If you’re after completely ready-made ones that only need printing, these ones are lovely.
3. COOK HER DINNER
Let the kids cook dinner for her – they may well enjoy making it more than Mum enjoys eating it, but it’s the thought that counts! The BBC Good Food website has some great kid-friendly recipes. If you can’t face tackling a full meal, kids love baking cupcakes & this recipe from Annabel Karmel is super-simple and can be decorated with icing, sprinkles or just throw on whatever sweets you have lying around.
4. HANDPRINT / FOOTPRINT ART
There are loads of great ideas for easy art using painted hands or feet. Either keep it loose or frame in an inexpensive frame from IKEA/Poundland or similar. A few of my fave hand/foot-print ideas: Monsters, Dinosaurs, Lion, Owls, Elephants.
5. BE MUM’S ‘SERVANT’ FOR AN HOUR / MORNING / DAY
Let her put her feet up like the Queen she is and order you around for a while. Cups of tea… the papers / magazines… the remote control… run her a bath… give her a foot massage… she’s the boss!
6. FILM NIGHT WITH POPCORN + PIZZA
Grab some popcorn and Mum’s favourite pizzas and curl up under a blanket on the sofa together to watch a film you’ll all enjoy. Here are some of our own personal family favourites (NB. obviously depending on the age of the kids, not all of these listed are suitable for younger nippers!): the Star Wars series, Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse, The Goonies, Labyrinth, Coco, the Harry Potter series, The Witches, the Madagascar movies, the Hotel Transylvania series, Indiana Jones films (although I still can’t allow the kids or even bring myself to watch parts of the Temple of Doom!), The Hunger Games trilogy, Inside Out, Home Alone, Mary Poppins, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, Elf, E.T, the Shrek movies, Spirited Away, Early Man, Dora & The Lost City Of Gold (yes I thought this would be horrendous too but it’s actually alright!), The Grinch, Chicken Run, Edward Scissorhands, the How To Train Your Dragon series, Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Stand By Me, Matilda, Fantastic Mr Fox, Coraline, Turner & Hooch, The Incredibles movies, Big, the Toy Story series, the Lego movies, Neverending Story and the BFG.
7. MOTHER’S DAY NAME POEM
Make an acrostic poem from Mum’s name – using each letter of her name as the first letter of a word or sentence to describe her (example below for Trish – my own lovely mama!). If you’ve got the time, make piece of artwork from it by decorating the letters and adding colour and pictures. If you get stuck, here’s a list of adjectives for all letters of the alphabet.
Reads sooooo many books
Hugs better than anyone I know
8. REASONS I LOVE MUM LIST
Self-explanatory! A list of all the reasons Mum is ace.
9. HOMEMADE STORY ABOUT MUM
Make Mum the superhero in a story written by the kids. If they’re struggling to think of a plot for the story, these printable story prompt cards are a great way to spark their imagination and give them something to get them off the blocks.
10. WASH HER CAR
I know dads seem to have a strange heartfelt fixation with washing their cars but most of us mums really don’t have the same joyful compulsion. It’s just another chore that we probably should do but rarely get round to. Here’s where kiddos can help out – what kid doesn’t love getting soaking wet and chucking water and soap suds around? Inexplicably they also seem to bloody love hoovers. A bonus if they can actually clean Mum’s car in the process.
11. DECORATE A ‘THRONE’ FOR MUM FOR THE DAY
Grab one of the chairs in the house and let the kids go nuts decorating it and making it into a ‘throne’ for her to sit on for the day (or perhaps at chosen points in the day, depending on how comfy it is!) Tinsel, silver foil, cardboard, glitter, pipe cleaners… whatever is to hand that will make her ‘throne’ extra special!
12. HOMEMADE CARD
You can’t have a list of free Mother’s Day gifts without including homemade cards on it – always far better than shop-bought ones. Here and here are some great ideas that aren’t too taxing – also the handprint and footprint art ideas (number 4 above) can easily be used on the cover of a card too.
13. CREATE A WEBSITE ABOUT YOUR MUM
There are some great free simple website creators around such as Wix and Weebly – fill Mum’s website with pictures, photos, quotes, stories, habits, all the things you love about her… whatever you like – then send her the link on Mother’s Day!
14. A LIE IN
The stuff all parents dream of.
15. MAKE A PLAYLIST
Make a compilation of songs that remind you of Mum in some way – a mixture of her favourite songs, ones that were playing during good times you’ve had together, or ones with titles/lyrics that are relevant to her in some way… Then you can then pop them all on a playlist and send them to her. If you need some extra help, here’s a pre-made Spotify playlist for mums that you could pinch some ideas from.
16. MAKE A TREASURE HUNT
Obviously these can be as simple or elaborate as you like, but at its simplest, just hide a bottle of Mum’s favourite wine/beer or her favourite chocolate bar somewhere in the house, the work backwards location-wise with the clues for as long as the kids are interested! Make your own clues from scratch if you and the kids are feeling especially creative, or if you get stuck, here are some ready-made riddles, and this is a great resource for ideas for making clues.
17. PHOTO COLLAGE
Make a photo collage for her. If you fancy doing it totally DIY, print off lots of pictures of the family, then glue them onto a sheet or sheets of paper, slightly overlapping the pictures so that no background shows through. You could keep it the standard rectangular shape of the paper, or you could cut the paper into letters spelling MUM and stick the photos on to those, or cut the paper into a heart shape… Or if you prefer, you can do it all digitally.
Get the little ones making Mum’s favourite sandwiches, pack a lovely picnic basket and head out somewhere nice to eat together in the great outdoors.
19. MAKE A FAMILY VIDEO
Make short clips of each member of the family saying what they love best about Mum and their favourite memory they share with her. To keep it simple, you can just film it all on your phone or tablet, then create a video with iMovie (there are various alternatives to iMovie for both iPhone and Android)
20. HOURLY HUGS
A massive bear hug, on the hour, every hour.
So there we have it! Lots of lovely free Mother’s Day gifts, hopefully lots of happy Mums and not a penny spent!
Do you have any other suggestions for free Mother’s Day gifts? I’d love to hear them – pop them in the comments below!
SOME FREE STUFF FOR YOU 🙂
FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY E-BROCHURE
Of course if you’d like to treat the Mum in your life to something particularly special – some precious family memories recorded, so that in years to come she can look back at what a great mum she is – please feel free to download my family photography e-brochure if you think you’d like me to come and capture a bit of your own family’s magic. I do offer gift vouchers too 🙂
FREE PDF: 5 TIPS FOR TAKING GREAT PHOTOS OF YOUR KIDS
A little pdf I put together containing some simple techniques to get better photos of your kids – these are relevant no matter what camera you’re using, phone, DSLR, compact, anything 🙂
If you liked this article you might also like:
My free Facebook group for families, Our Everyday Stories – a little project set up to encourage us to regularly record, honour and enjoy images of our own family’s precious everyday stories.
Take care folks and enjoy those lovely families of yours!
Tips, inspiration and resources to inject some joy & lighten the load
Manchester family photographer, for down-to-earth, adventurous, big-hearted families all across the North West, London and UK
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