Are you looking for the perfect handmade gift for your mother-in-law? My heart melted as I read this note handed to me by my daughter with the little box to your right:
This is a very special gift that you can never see. The reason it’s so special is, it’s just for you from me. Whenever you are happy or even feeling blue. You only have to hold this gift and know I think of you. You never can unwrap it. Please leave the ribbon tied. Just hold the box close to your heart. It’s filled with love inside.
This simple project is inexpensive and priceless.
- Small box: a cardboard jewelry box, a wedding-favor box from a craft shop or a non-glossy box from your recycling bin.
- Poster paint and brushes
- Box of Love printable
The best Mother’s Day presents are handcrafted without adult intervention!
Here are directions for this priceless gift:
- Give the box a base coat. Young children are often wonderfully sporadic with their painting. A light base coat of paint will give the project a finished feel without your having to say, “You missed a spot.” Be sure to let it dry for 24 hours before decorating.
- Prep the area and prep your child to paint. A vinyl shower curtain makes a wonderful art tablecloth; it is easy to wipe up and covers a huge amount of space. Be sure to have a damp towel on hand for spills.
- Let the child decorate the box any way they wish. Walk away and give the child full ownership of the project. If your little one decides to experiment and mix all the paint colors together, remember that a brightly colored bow will look vibrant against black
- Decorate the box with a ribbon. After the paint is dry, have your child adorn the box with a small bow. Add a dab of glue to ensure it stays in place.
- Pull Mom’s heartstrings. Hand write or print the Box of Love poem.
Add an Educational Twist
Use this project as an opportunity to chat with your child. Before they begin painting hold up the box front facing forward and ask, “What shape is this?” The logical response is “a square.” Now hold the box side facing and repeat the question. Suddenly from a side perspective the box is a rectangle. Let this open the door to a variety of “things are not always what they seem” conversations.
I recently discussed the importance of a child being able to mentally handle an open ended math question with my Montessori mentor over tea. Children are often taught to be obsessed with knowing the right answer. In today’s dynamic world we need to teach our children critical thinking and that there is often more than one correct answer or approach to a problem. This type of thinking can be played out with leftover Halloween candy. Recognizing ten Snicker bars can be four plus six OR two plus eight is an important accomplishment. Asking your child the shape of the Box of Love is one very simple elementary example of an open ended math question. Don’t miss these small opportunities in your daily interactions.
Didn’t her son do an amazing job? Bello!