25 Mother’s Day Traditions to Start With Your Kids

Mother’s Day is a unique and beautiful celebration of the love of a mother! Family members come around moms and mother figures to honor them for their special role in our lives. Mother’s Day is a great time to start a new family tradition that promotes bonding and family togetherness! 

garden center with lots of plants and planters in bright colors with 25 mother's day traditions to start this year

The History of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is celebrated in the United States on the second Sunday of May. Mother’s Day was originally created by Anna Jarvis of West Virginia as a day to celebrate her mother (who was an activist for women’s rights). Anna wanted a day set aside to honor the contributions and sacrifices mother’s made for the well being of their children and communities. President Woodrow Wilson signed the day into an official national holiday in 1914. Originally mother’s were given white carnations as an honorary designation–the holiday quickly spread and spiraled into the giving of Mother’s Day cards, flowers, and gifts of all sizes and shapes. 

mid thirties mom with dark hair holds a present in the center is a grandma with short gray hair holding a bouquet of flowers while smiling at her granddaughter.

Retailers expect consumers to spend 35 billion dollars for the mother’s day holiday, with most people purchasing gifts of flowers, jewelry, special outings, and electronics. But spending a lot of money on Mother’s Day isn’t necessary! You can create special memories and traditions with your family that don’t cost anything! Many mothers appreciate gifts of quality time, acts of service and words of affirmation more than anything you can purchase at a store! 

Dealing with Expectations on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is one of those holidays where it can be easy to get FOMO (fear of missing out) and for jealousy to rear it’s ugly head, especially when we don’t get what we were expecting or arent’ celebrated how we thought we would be on the “big day” for moms. A few things to keep in mind to manage your expectations. 

  • Clear is kind. If you’re the mom or celebrating your mom it’s helpful to get clear on what you want for your Mother’s Day. Subtle hints don’t work! If you’re the child or husband planning Mother’s Day being sure your traditions and plans will ACTUALLY be enjoyed by the woman of honor is the most important thing when choosing a Mother’s Day gift and tradition. When in doubt, ASK. 
  • Remember everyone. There is often a tension between families wanting to celebrate their grandmothers and mothers. Moms of young kids and teens are doing a LOT of heavy lifting in this stage of life and deserve to be prioritized, but also be sure to take time to honor your mom and mother-in-law. 
  • Communicate and communicate again. Once you’ve talked about your desires and expectations be sure to communicate them kindly and early so no one is disappointed and your family has plenty of time to plan and organize for traditions you’ll love! 
  • You can celebrate on a different day. Maybe it works better for you to celebrate Saturday and leave the official holiday on Sunday for the Grandmas or vice versa. Maybe you have sports on the weekend and want to celebrate midweek! Mothers of large families may want to spread out the celebration over a couple weeks so they’re sure to connect with everyone. Whatever works for you is perfect! 

Examples of Clear Boundaries and Expectations for Mother’s Day

“Hey husband! Mother’s Day is coming up in a couple week and I don’t know if you’ve thought about it yet, but I wanted to check in about budget and schedule. Right now I have $30 budgeted for a small present for each of our moms. I’ll handle sending the gift and card for my mom and if you could do the same for your mom that would be great! On Sunday, I’d love if we could do brunch out after church and then go to the Botanical Gardens and enjoy the blooms together as a family. If you want to get me a gift, I’d love a hydrangea plant or a gift card to a bookstore!”

mom and dad with three kids eating ice cream outdoors

“Hey! I know this is kinda crazy, but if we could make it happen I’d LOVE to go to Dollywood for Mother’s Day! Do you think we could make that work?” 

“I absolutely love it when I get a homemade card from you and the kids and you make me a pancake breakfast! There’s nothing I want besides that and a quiet nap on Mother’s Day!” 

ALSO, I’m a FIRM believer that Mother’s Day should be used to support any and all female nurturers whether biologically or legally your mother or not

We have so many women who give unselfishly to support and nurture us that deserve our respect, love and gratitude. While I will use the term “mom” here, please feel free to insert friend, mentor, aunt, social worker, second mom, mother-in-law, or any other female nurturing title as it applies to your unique situation.

a mom with blonde hair bakes in the kitchen with her two kids. They're wearing colorful aprons and smiling at each other. Text overlay says: 25 mother's day traditions to start this year

25 Mother’s Day Traditions to Start with Your Kids This Year

If you’re looking for some a new tradition for mother’s day–look no further! These creative, hands-on, and low-budget ideas will delight your mom’s heart this year! 

Classic Mother’s Day Traditions

1. Make breakfast for mom

Here are some easy Mother’s Day breakfast ideas that children and husbands can work together to create! Mama shouldn’t have to cook on Mother’s Day! Upgrade her soggy cereal with these delicious recipes  that are kid-helper-friendly too! 

Oatmeal pancake stack with pat of butter and fresh strawberries

2. Go to church with your mom

Yes! Your mama may want you in church with her with a smile on your face! This is a great way to value your mom, even if you don’t regularly attend church with her! Many churches have a special service that honors moms or small gifts for mothers and women in their congregation. 

​3. Give mom fresh flowers

Whether you buy a bouquet of flowers, pick some flowers from your own yard, or buy her some annuals to plant herself, fresh flowers are hard to beat for a mother’s day gift. 

4. Give mom some space.

Ah the gift of some space! What your mom or wife may want (NEED) this year is some space to be herself and do her own thing. Send her off with a gift card to a coffee shop or to Target to relax in peace and browse to her hearts content. 

A mom and daughter in robes with cucumbers on eyes sit on couch with toes ready for a pedicure

5. Give mom some pampering. 

  • A printable gift card for an at-home spa night
  • Coupon for a back rub
  • Gift card to a nail salon
  • Gift card for a spa day with a massage or facial
  • At home neck massager (I love mine!) 

​6. Write mom a letter

More than just signing your name at the bottom of a Mother’s Day card, write her a heartfelt letter about what her life has meant to you and how grateful you are for her! 

7. Call your mom

A simple phone call or Facetime, zoom or skype your mom so you can speak face to face on Mother’s Day can be incredibly meaningful! You can also get the whole family on a multi-way call or zoom to celebrate mom together! 

Dad in plaid shirt cracks egg in kitchen while young daughter looks on

8.Share a meal

Sharing a special family meal is a great mother’s day gift! Whether you treat her to brunch or grill up a large feast for her, bonding over the table is a great way to show your love and appreciation! And all moms enjoy a break from cooking! 

Unique Mother’s Day Traditions

​Start a Mother’s Day tradition as unique as your mom! 

9. Use a mother’s day poem to honor her. 

Select a mother’s day poem that touches your heart and represents your relationship or write your own! You can even use the poem to create an art piece she can see for years! 

10. Paint or craft together

Take your mom to a pottery painting, wine and canvas night or buy an online painting, crochet, or needlework class to take together! The tradition of creating together can be expressed in so many ways and is a particularly unique mother’s day tradition! 

11. The gift of family photos

So many times moms are the ones taking the pictures–they never get to be in them! So some beautiful pictures of their mothers and children together are a cherished gift and make a nice annual or semi-annual tradition. 

family of four looks out on the summit of a hike on a clear day with their arms outstretched like they're flying

12. The gift of hiking

As a mom who loves to hike (and has a family that tolerates it) planning a fun hike someplace beautiful for mother’s day would be a wonderful tradition and gift! Better yet if the gift included no whining or complaining! 

13. A Mother’s Day Tour

Take your mom on a tour of local coffee shops, bookshops, doughnut shops, wineries, greenhouses, cheese shops, ice cream stores or literally anything mom enjoys! Making memories and driving together to each spot is half the fun! You could also look up official tours in your area, but I love the idea of curating a specific tour for her and buying her a small gift, snack or yummy treats at each spot. 

14. A Night Away 

This is especially amazing for moms of small kids! A night away at a hotel with room service and a full nights sleep may be your mama’s ideal Mother’s Day present! This would also be a great combo gifts for dads or children to go in on together so mom can have a girls getaway! 

15. Family Work Day

Give the gift of hands-on help! Maybe the whole fam comes over and pitches in with household chores for spring cleaning! Or everyone helps clear and plant flowerbeds for summer. Offering tangible help is great gift and tradition to honor all the hard work your mom has poured into you! 


16. Laundry Takeover

 As someone who hates laundry having ALL my laundry caught up by my family would be a GIFT! You could also pay for a laundry service to drop off clothes one-time or for a whole month! 

17. Yard Service or Landscaping

If your mom loves gardening, this could be a great practical gift! Pay for a professional to come alongside mom and help her put in new garden beds or clear out old ones! 

Fun Mother’s Day Traditions

18. Concert tickets 

A fun mother’s day tradition would be buying concert tickets to one of her favorite bands! A family concert whether classical, country or Taylor would be an amazing memory to make with your own mother! 

mom with minnie ears and daughter with unicorn minnie ears lean together at Disney World with smiles on their faces.

19. A trip to an amusement park

This isn’t every mom’s cup of tea, but a trip to an amusement park like Dollywood, Disney World, or Cedar Point would suit a fun mom’s heart perfectly and create amazing memories with her family! 

20. Take your mom to a movie

Going to a movie of her choosing is a great way for moms to unwind and connect! 

21. Photo Scavenger Hunt

Take mom on a fun photo scavenger hunt! You can look for types of moms, some of moms favorite places, or for anything Mother’s Day related. 

22. Game night 

​If your mom loves games she may love a new game that she completes with the family! Get some special snacks and put on her favorite playlist. Bonus points if you let mom win!

woman puts puzzle together on a table in beautiful lighting

23. Puzzle your mother

​If your mom likes puzzle you can create a personalized puzzle or get her a beautiful spring one. Spend some time doing the puzzle with her–or let her enjoy it by herself if that’s more her style! 

24. Hammock time

Give your mother the tradition of relaxation by pairing a gorgeous and comfy hammock with a book and her favorite beverage! 

woman in blue shirt lies spread eagle in a white hammock with a straw hat over her face

25. Adventures with mom

Does your mom love a good adventure? How about taking her rock wall climbing? Or to a trampoline park? Active family fun could be a great tradition to start with your family! 

Small Gifts for Mother’s Day

mother's day printable coupons

Plus these printable mother’s day coupons include some blank designs so you can fill in your own special Mother’s Day treats and ideas to pamper and show love to the mom or special woman in your life!  

Mother’s Day celebrations don’t have to be elaborate, but they do have to be intentional. Don’t forget to ask your mom what family traditions she would like to start for Mother’s Day! The gentle strength of mothers is worth celebrating in big and small ways whether it is your first Mother’s Day or 50th! 

Happy Mother’s Day to moms everywhere! 

If you like this post be sure to share it with the person shopping for your mother’s day gifts!

25 best mother's day activities for families in large text with mother's day brunch flatlay behind

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    1. Hey Tia! If you put your email in via the box above you’ll get a free copy. You cannot edit it though. It comes as a PDF.

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