5 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas Moms Really Want

Are you and your kids looking for great Mother’s Day gift ideas?

Want to make a gift for Mom that she’ll really love?

The editors of My Kids’ Adventures asked moms what they really want for Mother’s Day.

The answer may surprise you. Hint: It’s not flowers or chocolate.

In this article I’ll tell you what Moms really want, share several Mother’s Day gift ideas from around the web and even provide some tips that will help you and your kids create the perfect day for Mom.

Mother's Day gift ideas that moms really want and our favorite resources from around the web to help you and your kids deliver a perfect day for Mom.

Why Celebrate Mom?

Moms work hard to make sure their kids have only the best. Mother’s Day is the chance for kids to say thank you with handmade gifts, special treatment, lots of hugs and a bonus dose of love.

Whether you’re a Dad, Grandparent, Aunt or Mom’s BFF, you’ll want to do everything you can to make the day special.

Mother’s Day is an excellent opportunity to have an adventure with your kids. Go through this article, choose your favorites and create a memorable day that Mom will love.

So, what is it that moms REALLY want?

The thing moms want the most is a special, low-key day filled with love, quality time and maybe a handmade gift or two.

family kissing mom

Spending time with mom is a wonderful way to make her feel special. Image source: iStockPhoto.

Each mom is different. You can simply ask her, “What do you want for Mother’s Day?” Or you can take a deeper look at the responses we got to that very question.

The comments varied, but a strong theme emerged. Over and over again, moms said they want a “day off” for Mother’s Day! Not a day off from being Mom, but a mini-vacay—a day away from the mundane chores that seem to take over their lives the rest of the year.

Here are the top five things that you and your kids can do for Mom to make her Mother’s Day super-special!

#1: Prepare Breakfast or Brunch

Breakfast in bed for Mom is a time-honored tradition. If Mom likes to sleep late on her annual day off, make it brunch instead!

My Kids’ Adventures has a list of their favorite Mother’s Day breakfasts, many of which can be made as a team effort with you and your kids.

You’ll find simple ideas, like this no-bake Berry Flower Mother’s Day Bagel from Krissy Sherman Bonning at B-Inspired Mama! You’ll give mom flowers and breakfast in bed all in one!

bagel with fruit

Use different fruits to turn Mom’s breakfast bagel into a Mother’s Day flower.

Looking for a delicious breakfast you can prep the night before? Brooklyn Supper has this baked Strawberry French Toast! Also, the Overnight Fridge Berry Oatmeal by Emily on Busy-Mommy is no-cook, super-easy and something older kids can make themselves.

Whatever recipe you choose, let the kids help you prepare it. Read the recipe in advance and think about what tasks are safe and fun for your kids to do.

mom and kids eating in bed

Moms love breakfast in bed—no matter what you serve. Image source: iStockPhoto.

Note: Mom will love your special breakfast, but don’t forget to clean up afterward. Mom will not be happy if you leave piles of dishes, bowls and pots for her!

Breakfast Shortcut: Take Mom out to her favorite restaurant or one known for making delicious breakfasts!

#2: Make a Gift

Moms love it when their families give them a gift, collaboratively created between Dad (or other special person) and the kids.

Sure, Moms appreciate expensive gifts now and then, but a macaroni necklace really is the kind of gift they’d love. Note: Not one person we asked suggested jewelry or other high-end items.

Here are some of the types of gifts you and your kids can make for Mom.

Photo Gifts

This photo bookmark from Make and Takes is awesome because all you need to do is find a photo booth. (Or take your own pictures and create a strip effect in a program like PicMonkey or Canva). You could even hold up a sign with a personalized message—”I Love You, Mom!” or “Mom, you’re the best!”—while you take the pictures.

photo bookmark

If Mom’s a book lover, this photo bookmark craft from Make & Takes is the perfect gift.

Want to get a little fancy? Laminate it, punch a hole and add a ribbon. Those additions are nice, but not required. You could also glue it on thick paper and have your kids sign the back!

Tip: If Mom’s a bookworm, give her this bookmark with a new book!

If you want to send Mom a message, create photography portrait word art like the one on Frugal Upstate. Have each child hold a word or a letter in his or her picture to send your Mother’s Day message. You have lots of options, so be sure to read through all of the variations.

Note: Don’t be overwhelmed by the framing. Moms would like getting these wrapped up just as prints!

Handprint Crafts

Gifts with handprints are always popular because they record the growth of your children from year to year. You can put handprints on a variety of items too!

Cards are easy to make. Plus, if the handprint doesn’t turn out quite right, it’s inexpensive to redo.

making gift

Moms love handmade gifts from their kids. Image source: iStockPhoto.

These poem cards from Activity Village are nice because they offer several poem options. You can also help your kids write their own poem for Mom.

Also consider an owl handprint card from Dandelion Moms or a handprint flower from Skip to my Lou. Both are easy and totally adorable!

Aprons, like this one from B-Inspired Mama, are perfect for the Mom who likes to cook.

handprint apron

A handprint apron by B-Inspired Mama is perfect for Moms who like to cook.

There are many variations you can do with an apron for Mom. You could simply do handprints and have the kids sign their names and ages. Or have them each paint a different section on the apron.

Tip: Handprints in clay or salt dough are also long-time favorites. Another option is doing just a fingerprint, which is the perfect size for a pendant.

Crafts From the Heart

Like handprints, crafts with your child’s silhouette are also beloved. Stephanie on the Henry Happened blog created these silhouettes of her kids as her Mother’s Day gift to herself. Dads, this is a memorable gift you and your kids can make for Mom with love.

This art mug craft from Fireflies and Jellybeans is easy, practical and personal. It’s also a great gift for Grandma!

painted mugs

Help the little ones make mug art like this craft by Fireflies and Jellybeans.

Gift Shortcut: Dads, if you want to go shopping, get your wife a personalized necklace with birthstones of your children. You can also get something with their names and/or birthdates.

#3: Prepare a Spa for Mom

Although they rarely receive it, Moms love alone time! Give them some time for themselves on Mother’s Day, and get a happy Mom in return! While some Moms appreciate uninterrupted time to read, others might want to spend their “timeout” working on a craft or a crossword puzzle. Almost all Moms would love a spa day!

To encourage Mom to live in the lap of luxury—for a few hours at least—here are recipes for some homemade spa gifts. Dads, you and your kids will love playing “chemist” in the kitchen.

woman in bathtub

Make spa gifts for Mom so she can enjoy a little time to herself. Image source: iStockPhoto.

Bubble Bath

If Mom only has a little time to pamper herself on Mother’s Day, make sure she gets a bubble bath. These two recipes for bubble bath require only a few ingredients that can be found at most stores. Try this skin-softening homemade bubble bath from Apartment Therapy or honey bubble bath from High Plains Thrifter.

bubble bath

Use four easy-to-find ingredients to make this wonderful honey bubble bath from High Plains Thrifter.

Honey, which is commonly used in many do-it-yourself (DIY) home spa products, tends to separate. Remember to mix it just before you present it as a gift.

Note: DIY bubble bath doesn’t contain surfactants, so there will not be many bubbles. If you want to maximize the bubble output, increase the castile soap in the recipes.

Body Scrubs

Most scrubs are salt- or sugar-based, like this easy lavender sugar scrub from Wonky Wonderful or this rose petal sugar scrub from Imperial Sugar. Sugar and salt scrubs get rave reviews because they exfoliate and leave skin feeling soft.

lavender sugar scrub

A sugar scrub, like this one, is simple to put together and smells great.

Tip: When using natural essential oils, be sure to use the suggested oils, unless you know a lot about them. Some essential oils are not safe to put directly on skin. However, many scrubs, like lavender and rosemary, feel great and are healthy too!

DIY Foot Scrubs

This simple foot scrub from A & B Stories uses only three ingredients that you probably already have at home. Plus, it contains a magic ingredient: baking soda!

brown sugar foot scrub

Three-ingredient foot scrub from A & B Stories.

Another simple three-ingredient option is this honey and lemon foot bath from Babble. Both of these foot scrubs are easy to throw together at the last minute.

In fact, you could make either one of these while Mom is eating breakfast in bed. When you remove the dishes, deliver it to her with a homemade card or personalized tag from the kids.

Tip: Plan ahead and pick up a pumice stone or acrylic foot file to accompany any of these foot scrubs or baths. A new pair of socks and/or a bowl (for soaking feet) would also make a nice gift.

Fizzy Bombs

Customize bath bombs from Simply Designing for Mom. It gives you and your kids the opportunity to experiment with color and scents, so you can come up with the perfect combination for Mom.

Note: These fizzy bombs will need to dry several hours before they’re ready to give!

fizzy bath bombs

Customize fizzy bath bombs for Mom from Simply Designing.

Tip: You can use different kinds of molds for your fizzy bombs: baking tins, silicone molds or plastic containers. You can also recycle cream cheese or yogurt containers, just make sure they’re clean! Or if you want to invest, purchase a 60 mm 2-part plastic ball. Put the concoction in both sides of the ball and then snap them together—voilà!

Home Spa Shortcut: Take your kids to the store and let them pick out several of the above products. Wrap up Mom’s spa presents in a basket with a note that she gets all morning to herself (if she wants). While Mom’s relaxing at her home spa, work on idea #4 or just take the kids to the park or the movies for a couple of hours.

Note: You can also buy Mom a gift certificate for the spa or a mani-pedi at the nail salon.

#4: Clean the House

By far, the number-one request from moms for Mother’s Day is to have a clean house that they didn’t have to clean! Since this is Mom’s day off, that means you and the kids are responsible. You’ll need to clean the house… and keep it clean all day long.

Granted, this can be a daunting task. Luckily, there are great expert tips at your disposal. The idea is for everyone to pitch in and enjoy themselves while working on this much-desired gift for Mom.

Education.com shares 13 ideas for getting the house clean with kids. Their first suggestion—pump up the music—is one of my favorites!

Valerie at Inner Child Fun compiled a list of 10 awesome ways to make cleaning fun. This is a list of things that have worked well at her house to get kids to pitch in. For example, one suggestion is to have kids find something they like to use, like the Swiffer, and encourage them to use that tool.

child sweeping

There are ways to make cleaning fun for kids. The end product: a great gift for Mom!

Tip: Give the kids a “pregame pep talk” the night before Mother’s Day. Explain how much Mom does for them all year. Since this is their day to show Mom how much they appreciate her, ask them if they want to make it special. Tell them the goal of the day and be specific about what you expect of them.

If you’ve communicated with them in advance and get them re-psyched in the morning, you’re more likely get the support you need from your kids.

Cleaning Shortcut: Hire a service. Sure, you could clean the house yourselves. However, this is another way to make sure the house sparkles and have plenty of time and energy for family bonding!

#5: Spend Time as a Family

Mother’s Day is the perfect day for family time. No errands, no strict schedule—just quality time as a family.

mom with daughter

Moms want a day off from chores and cooking. A day to relax, recharge and enjoy their families. Image source: iStockPhoto.

Here are some things you can do.

Play Games

Whether you play inside or out, there’s plenty of time for family games on Mother’s Day!

The games can be simple, like a jellybean toss; duck, duck, goose; button, button, who’s got the button; charades or Pictionary! You can also go outside and play kick-the-can, tag, hide-and-go-seek or any other neighborhood games. Don’t forget about board games or cards!

If you want to try something new, check out this glow-in-the-dark bowling by Kirsten Nelson or family game show from Susan Merrill.

Glow-in-the-dark bowling and family game show are two fun family activities from My Kids’ Adventures.

Game Shortcut: Mad Libs has books, an app and downloads you can enjoy as a family. These fill-in-the-blank books are a great way to get everyone laughing!

Plant a Garden

Weather permitting, Mother’s Day is the perfect time to plant a garden as a family. It’s a great way to bond as a family, and it might make for a fabulous family tradition too! Plus, it leads to some other great gift ideas.

If Mom wants to mulch the soil with compost or plan the garden layout, give her a planter pot, soil and/or seeds, like Jen did at PaintCutPaste.com.

Or your kids can make a beautiful flower pot. You could gift it with flowers in it, packets of seeds and/or a new gardening tool.

girl with bouquet of flowers

Kids can make this adorable vase to go along with flowers for Mom.

Gardening Shortcut: Purchase Mom’s favorite plant or flower and make it gifty: wrap it in fabric or burlap. A favorite flower could be an orchid or a beautiful hanging basket. It could also be a cypress or a two-year-old sequoia tree! And wrapping the base of the plant makes even the cheapest plastic container look chic and polished. Don’t forget the homemade card and bow!

Make Ice Cream

There’s nothing like a cool treat to top off Mother’s Day. Have you ever made ice cream? Try Melody Joy‘s delicious homemade ice cream recipe—no churn or rock salt required! This recipe has three variations, but you can make your own creations too. Be sure to make Mom’s favorite!

ice cream

Homemade ice cream is the perfect way to top off a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Ice cream is the perfect afternoon snack or dessert after a wonderful afternoon of games, gardening or whatever else you choose to do for your family celebration. Note: You’ll need 6 hours of freezer time, so just plan accordingly.

Some Final Thoughts

End the day by taking Mom out to dinner or preparing one of her favorite meals. Be sure to clean up! This day is all about Mom. Now pat yourself on the back and give the kids a big round of applause. You’ve just delivered a memorable Mother’s Day!

This list might not be perfect for every Mom, but we hope you found some good ideas. Moms want to know they’re appreciated, but every Mom likes different things. So hint around (or ask outright) to figure out what she wants most for Mother’s Day.

Some Moms like you to tell them that you love them, while others just want to spend quality time together as a family. Whatever you do, we hope you have an adventure as you prepare and present gifts to Mom on her big day!

What do you think? How do you spend Mother’s Day? Do you have a favorite Mother’s Day gift or tradition? Moms, is there anything we missed? Please share it with us! We’d love more ideas and inspiration!

Images from iStockPhoto.

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About the Author, KJ Ammerman

Kristin Ammerman is a mom, creative writer and the evangelist of fun for My Kids' Adventures. Her three kids love that their mom's job includes trying out new family activities. Other posts by »


  1. Irene O'Leary says:

    Love these ideas–I want to try a few myself…thanks!

  2. Kimber says:

    Awesome ideas! I need all the help I can get. Thanks!

  3. Thanks KJ! I think the moms you polled got it right. This sounds like the perfect day!

  4. KJ Ammerman says:

    I think the moms I asked nail it! When I sat back and saw the trends, I realized it wasn’t the typical response, but it was spot-on! ha ha!

  5. KJ Ammerman says:

    I’m glad you found some good ideas here for Mothers Day, Kimber :)

  6. KJ Ammerman says:

    Thanks, Irene! I’m glad you like the article and found a few ideas to try out!

  7. Melody Joy Elick says:

    These are some really terrific ideas, Kristin! The lavender sugar, bath bombs and bubble bath look especially appealing. And the ice cream recipe is so simple, Dad and the kids can manage it all on their own–a tasty surprise Mom will love.

  8. Crystal Foth says:

    Great suggestions KJ!! I love it all!

  9. KJ Ammerman says:

    Thank you, Melody Joy! Maybe you’ll get some activity ideas for all your sweet nieces?! You could do one of your awesome camps for tweens – “spa camp”!

  10. KJ Ammerman says:

    Thank you, Crystal!! I hope you have a wonderful Mothers Day :)

  11. aljsfkjsd;faksjfkjflkfd says:

    these are awesome ideas!!!

  12. Melody Joy Elick says:

    “Spa camp,” What a fabulous idea!

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