Stephanie Peterson with The Utah Mama’s Handbook shares fun activities to do with your family during the month of May.
Mama’s at a Glance: May
Whether you’re a stay at home mom, working mom, or single mom, we all want to engage our children with books, crafts, games, cooking and service every month. But researching and planning can take time. Time often taken up with dishes, laundry, and carpooling. Don’t let these fun activities and events pass you by. Take a half hour to sit down with your calendar and plan what will work with your schedule. Try doing this a week before the month so you can gather books and other supplies you might need. You don’t have to do it all, but pick things that you think your family will enjoy.
Week of May 1-2
Service Project: May Day- May 1st
Bring back May Day with these fun May Day containers. Surprise someone in your neighborhood with a basket on the doorknob. Your kids will love to sneak up to the house, ring the bell, and run. For ideas on how to make May Day Baskets check out Skip To My Lou (http://www.skiptomylou.org/may-day)
Week of May 3rd-9th
Party of the Month: Cinco de Mayo- May 5th
Teach your kids some simple words in Spanish. For example: hello, please, thank you, count to ten, colors, or common food items.
What’s a party without food? Do you have a favorite Mexican dish? Make it easy on your self with tacos or quesadillas and chips and salsa.
The real fun begins with the Pinata and music. Putumayo Latin Playground is a great pick to get the party started.
Break the Piñata
Piñata filled with inexpensive candies
The book: El piñtero/The Piñata Maker, by George Ancona
How To Play:
Before playing read El piñtero/The Piñata Maker, by George Ancona. Then blindfold one child at a time and place them just in front of the piñata. Turn them three times then let them swing. Make sure other children are out of swing range.
Mother’s Day Craft for Grandma
Grandma will love to read with a creative bookmark handmade by you.
What you’ll need:
• Wrapping paper
• Picture of your child
How to make it:
1. Take the cardboard and cut out a long rectangle piece.
2. Take the wrapping paper and cut out a long piece.
3. Tape the wrapping paper over the cardboard and put it on both sides and tape it.
4. Glue picture on wrapping paper.
May 10th- Mother’s Day
Gather all the females in your family eight years of age and older and have a special luncheon the day before Mother’s Day. Dress in your best and have a great time being together as mothers and future mothers.
This will be more fun for your kids than you, but be a good sport. For a full day, have your kids mother you. They can pick out your clothes, cook your breakfast, kiss your boo-boos, read you a story, and tuck you in bed at the end of the day. You’ll probably also get some lollypops and new toys.
Read Mother’s Day Books
Gather your little ones around and read these fun titles. Your kids are sure to appreciate you for at least a minute! I Like Noisy Mom Likes Quiet: A Mother’s Day Story by Eileen Spinelli, The Mother’s Day Mice by Eve Bunting, and Mother’s Mother’s Day by Lorna Balian.
Week of May 10th- 16th
Burn Some Energy:
There’s not a better activity to do than ride your bike. To celebrate National Bike Month grab your bikes or scooters and hit your favorite trail or neighborhood route. You could even make an obstacle course for the family to go through.
Craft: Coffee Filter Butterfly
Suspend them from the ceiling with fishing line, or make several and attach to a paper plate mobile.
What you’ll need:
• ½ black chenille stem
• Paper coffee filter
• Water color paints
• Paint brush
How to make it:
1. Flatten the coffee filter and place it on a plate or newspaper, the paint and water will soak through. Set aside on paper towels to dry.
2. Fold the chenille stem in half. Remember, you are only using half of a chenille stem to begin with.
3. Fold the coffee filter accordion style, in about ½” pleats.
4. Position the pleated coffee filter into the bent end of the chenille stem. Center the filter at the bend.
5. Twist the chenille stem around the filter to secure it in place.
6. Bend the tips of the chenille stems over about ¼” to create the antennae.
7. Fan out the butterfly wings.
8. If desired, hang with yarn or fishing line.
• For a more vibrant butterfly, be sure to paint all white areas with paint.
• Tie a piece of fishing line around the “neck” and suspend from the ceiling. They will look like they are flying!
• Instead of using all the colors on one filter, make some with warm colors (red, yellow, orange) and some with cool colors (blue, green, purple.
Family Fun Night: We all have movie nights, but why not switch it up and have a game night. Some of our favorites include War, Dominoes, and Bingo.
Week of May 17th- 23th
Journaling for the Month
Grab your kid’s journal, a piece of paper, or computer and ask your kids these questions. It will be fun to look back and see what your kid’s answers were.
A good time to do this is at dinner.
• Make a list of your child’s favorite things to collect and kinds of weather.
• What’s the current goodnight ritual for you and your child?
• Ask your child why she thinks her favorite food is so delicious.
Personal History Month
Celebrate Personal History Month by researching each person’s name in your family. Have the family albums out for your kids to reminisce. And then have homemade ice cream for desert. The recipe below is fail-proof!
Cookies n’ Cream homemade ice cream
2 c. milk, 1 ¾ c. sugar, ½ tsp. salt, 2 cups half and half, 1 tbs. vanilla extract, 4 cups whipping cream, 24 oreos.
Scald milk until bubbles form around edge of pan. Remove from heat. Add sugar and salt. Stir until dissolved. Stir in half and half, vanilla extract and whipping cream. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Pour mixture into ice cream canister and follow ice cream maker directions. Add crushed cookies into semi-hardened ice cream (after approximately 20-30 minutes).
Week of May 24th- 30th
May 24- Brother’s Day
If there’s a brother in your brood, declare today is his special day. Help siblings design special love notes for their brother(s) and grant their brother(s) special privileges, such as getting to choose the afternoon snack or activity.
May 25th- Memorial Day
After visiting the graves of your loved ones, gather everyone together for the first official backyard cookout. While the Chicken is barbecuing and potato salad chilling, make plans for the summer. What vacation would you like to take and what do you want to do this year that you didn’t get to do last year?
Memorial Day Weekend is a great time to extend your garden. Plant strawberries and watch them grow. Your kids will be so excited when the strawberries get big enough to eat.
Game of the Month: Balloon Stomp
Supplies Needed: Balloons, string
Let the kids blow up their own balloons and tie one to their ankle with string. At the ‘Go’ signal, everyone runs around trying to stomp on and bust each others balloons. The last person with an intact balloon wins.
Mama’s Helpful Tip:
With the economy being the way it is, we might all feel like we want our kids to know about money and that it doesn’t grow on trees. It’s never to earlier to start helping your child learn how to save, give and spend. First figure out how your child can earn money either with a job chart or point system. Then let your child create 3 jars, one for spending on what ever he wants, another for saving, and another for giving to a charity. It will be hard at first to make it consistent and keep at it. You’ll have a money savvy child in no time.
Utah Mama’s provides personal, professional and parenting resources designed to foster a greater sense of identity, empowerment and connection for women and mothers everywhere. The Handbook covers what, where and how to be the best Mama in town by collecting all the top Mama secrets. From community services and school information, to places to do and things to see-it’s a book packed with information that is compiled into 25+ in-depth chapters.
To order your Utah Mama’s Handbook, and for other great mothering information and advice, visit www.UtahMama.com.