Running a home day care means that on special days (like Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas ect) I have one more gift idea to come up with- a gift from the daycare children to their parents.
Full day kindergarten has been rolled out in this area. That means some kids are starting full day school as young as three years old! So the children under my care during the day range in age from six months to three years.
I could come up with a slew of great/fun/pretty/useful things for Mom- I am one so I kinda have the inside scoop ;) But these gifts have to be something the kids can make, not something I make on behalf of the children. Additionally they have to be cost effective since we are not just making one gift, but four!
So my idea this year is to have the children dye white carnation flowers any colour they think Mom would like and present it in a sweet bud vase. This gift will run less than $3 per child and is something I think would bring a smile to any mothers face.
In case you have never done this fun craft/ science experiment, gentle readers, here's how.
First, head down to your local floral supply. If you can get white carnations from a farmers market or small local florist that would be what I would recommend- I always prefer to support small businesses first, and if you talk to the merchants they are usually very well priced too. If, however, this option is not available to you places like Wal-Mart, Superstore and Costco also sell flowers for reasonable prices.
Since carnations are one of the few flowers you can dye this way, its also an added bonus that they are one of the sturdiest and cheapest flowers out there. You can plan to spend about $1/stem.
Next, grab the prettiest bud vase you can find at your local dollar store- they usually have them in abundance.
Fill your vase 1/3- 1/2 with water. Show the children your food colouring selection and have them choose which colour they would like to dye their flower. Encourage them to mix several colours for a lesson on the colour wheel combined with this science experiment. Have them add the colouring to the water in the vase. You'll want a lot of food colouring to make sure this activity is completed well and the flower is completely dyed before Mothers Day (**Dear That Guy: Mother's Day is less than a week away! Just saying... :)**) You'll need about 30 drops of colour per vase.
Allow three to five days for the flower to sit in and absorb the coloured water.
Add a pretty ribbon and note card to the vase for mom and- Volia!- a sweet and inexpensive gift done with wonder and pride by the child themselves.