Mother's Day and Spring Ideas For the KIDS to Do!

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Just in time for spring, I'm delighted to share the Mother's Day celebration I created for Yum!  Food and Fun For Kids magazine's latest issue, available on your news stands now.  (Unless you live in Arizona, evidently, because I can't find a physical copy anywhere!)

The goal was to create a spring garden party, but one so simple, that the kids could do it all, and let mom have a break.  

The decorations were as simple as can be--no elaborate, expensive flower arrangements.  Instead, we went to our local nursery and picked up a variety of flowers, herbs, and vegetables that we planted after we had our meal.  Decorations, gift, and family activity all rolled into one!

The potting bench that served as our buffet was a Craigslist score for $10!  It was absolutely perfect for our theme.  I loved using the built-in bucket to hold ice and drinks in particular.

I developed several different recipes that kids could make entirely on their own, and tested them out using my own darling daughters.  My 3 year old loved making the open-faced cucumber flower sandwiches in particular.  I'll have tutorials and recipes for everything coming up in the next few days.

Caprese salad is a family favorite, and since it requires nothing but a little cutting, drizzling, and sprinkling, it's a perfect recipe for a child.  It's the flower-like arrangement of the ingredients that makes it extra fun.

Miniature flower pots were a fun, easy way to display our favorite veggies to snack on.  My girls like to eat them without any dip, but it would be incredibly easy to add a little paper cup of ranch under the vegetables.

My 9 year old is such a great baker, that I wouldn't even have had to help bake the cupcakes (though I did).  Both girls had so much fun crushing the Oreo cookies for the dirt, and making the garden cupcake toppers.  I guarantee we'll make these again soon.

the girls also made miniature trifles with store bought components.  Simple, fresh, and delicious.  And I didn't have to lift a finger!

The girls even made the beverages for the garden party.  Pink lemonade (just from a mix, with some sliced strawberries added for fun).  

And sun tea, a long-time family favorite.  

I'm a big fan of using real glasses and plates.  Sure, paper plates and cups are easy, but nothing can beat the feel and look of pretty glassware.  It makes everything feel more special.  I love the way the family's glasses look here, garnished with straws from Petite Party Studio.

It was a casual celebration--just the family together, enjoying a gorgeous morning and wonderful treats lovingly made by my children.  Now that's what I call a great Mother's Day--not over-priced, over-crowded, mediocre brunch at a restaurant, no matter how good the intentions.

I love that my 3-year-old insisted on designing her own pipe cleaner bracelets for the photo shoot.  So what if it's a strange styling choice?  These are my girls, and I love their creativity and ideas.  Why wouldn't I want to indulge that and make them feel important and clever?

Big balloons are always a hit, especially with the fun floral twist we added.  

I had two of the balloons, but one popped in the car on the way home.  Oh well.  The girls just had to take turns!

I think I have to hang a set of these up on the wall at our house.  There are too many outrageously cute shots!

Is it spring yet where you are?  I'm eating up this gorgeous weather while I can, before the heat drives us inside into the AC all summer long.