My Mom is a STAR!

Saturday, April 22, 2017
The entrance to our classroom!
***Please disregard our submarine door and pier piling posts.
We were in the middle of studying the ocean, and we turned our room into a "submarine!"
Last year, we decided that we wanted to do something a little bit different for Mother's Day.  We have always made sweet presents to send home, but we wanted to make the moms feel extra special. SO...  we rolled out the red carpet and did a special Hollywood-themed Mother's Day!

The first step was to have the kids take home an invitation to give to their mom or other special person (grandmas, aunts, big sisters - we even had one dad) couple of weeks before the event. We wanted to give everyone enough time to make adjustments to their schedules, so they could attend.  We had a couple of moms "adopt" an extra kiddo too.  We made sure every student had a special person with them.

Next, it was time to create an awards ceremony ambience in our classroom.  We bought most of what we used from a dollar store.  We got a few things from Target and Amazon (affiliate links provided below), but we created a lot of it as well.  If you decide to do this event, you can go all out or keep it simple!  Since we had waves and sharks hanging from our ceiling, we went all out to try and tone down the ocean theme and create some magic.

What awards ceremony is complete without a red carpet and stanchions?  We ordered our red carpet from Amazon but you could also roll out a strip of red butcher paper.  Make sure to tape down the edges.  We put ours outside of our classroom door; however, you could also put it inside of your classroom. We checked with a few places around town to see if we could borrow some stanchions but were unsuccessful. Sooooooooo, we scoured Pinterest for ideas.  We saw several ways to make stanchions including using toilet plungers and painting them gold; however, we wanted to make some that will last for years and can be used for different events. Michelle's hubby, husband of the year, created them for us.  In addition to our Mother's Day event, they've been used for a whole-school Back to School red carpet event as well as for a teacher friend's first day of school welcome, and they still look brand new.  It was initially a little investment to make them, but for us it was well worth it!
If you are interested in making your own stanchions, we have included the complete materials list, step-by-step directions, and photographs to make six stanchions with four ropes at the end of this blog post.

To add some sparkle to our yummy treats area, we used light up marquee letters to spell out MOM (they were on clearance - YIPEE!), garden lights shaped like stars, and gold star confetti.  We bought the lights and marquee letters from Target.  You could also cut out letters from construction paper or use paper mache letters from a craft store, paint them, and add yellow stickers or glue on yellow foam circles for the lights.  We bought "silver" metal  serving platters and candlesticks from a dollar store to display our cupcakes.  We have already used these items several times for other occasions, so it was well worth the six dollar investment.  Michelle's sister-in-law made adorable mini cupcakes with shimmery gold star fondant cut-outs on top.  We also served sparkling apple cider in disposable champagne flutes (also bought at a dollar store).  Red napkins and black construction paper under the platters completed the serving area. We had the kids serve their moms.

Yummy treats!
We covered our tables in red plastic table cloths, gold star confetti, silver stars, mommy and child direct-draw portraits,  and swag bags.  We also had the Academy Awards Original Music Theme from YouTube playing (no video just the music) in the background. Talk about ambience!

Table set up with swag bags and mommy and child direct-draw portraits.

Every Hollywood star needs a swag bag at a red carpet event, so we ordered these little bags and put  gifts from their child inside.  First, we took three pictures of each student holding signs that said "I Love You" (Pinterest inspired).  We printed them out (4"x 6") and trimmed the top or bottom so that it was no more than 5 1/2" tall, cut three inches off of the long side of a 12" x 18" piece of construction paper, and then cut that in half lengthwise (two 6" x 15" strips). We folded the strips into thirds (5" each section), and the students centered and glued down their pictures in order.  it was a very special keepsake.  Each child also made a fingerprint keychain (Pinterest for the win!).  We tried this with both a traditional salt dough recipe (2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, and add cold water until it reaches the consistency of play dough. Then, bake at 250 degrees for two hours) and with Sculpey oven bake clay.  We liked the results of the Sculpey clay much better.  We rolled out the clay to be about 1/4" thick, and then,  each student used a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out a heart, make a circle on the top with a pencil eraser (very important step), put their thumbprint in the middle (or you could do a fingerprint two times to make a fingerprint heart), and then, we used a pencil to write each child's name on the back.  These baked in the oven according to the directions on the package.  Once they were cool, they lightly painted them with metallic craft paint.  When they were dry, we added a key ring to the hole.   You could also add a silk cord to make a necklace.  Both of these gifts were very precious, and there wasn't a dry eye in the room when the mommies opened up their swag bags. The last piece of "swag" in the swag bag was a "My Mom is a Star"  interview sheet that we completed with the kids before the Red Carpet Mother's Day celebration.

Mother's Day trifold card and thumbprint keychain

Thumbprint keychain

My Mom is a Star interview

Red carpet - check, name in lights - check, swag bag with jewelry - check! Now what we needed was a super special gift! The kids made each of their moms a precious Mother's Day drawing and writing. We have been doing this activity for years, but we made it red-carpet worthy by adding a Hollywood twist!  Each student did a direct drawing of his or her mom and of his or her self  looking at each other.  After they were colored, they painted the background with yellow watercolor and then they were mounted on the top half of a 12" x 18" piece of red construction paper.  For the bottom portion, we had each student write reasons that his or her mom is a star.  These were adorable and the moms absolutely loved them!

Directed Draw Mommy and Child Portrait

Creating the magic!  We invited the moms (or another special adult) to come to school for the first 30 minutes of our day.  Students lined up with their moms outside of our door, took their arm, and escorted them down the red carpet and into our classroom.  Our wonderful instructional assistant wore a Paparazzi badge and snapped pictures of each duo as they walked the red carpet (which we later put into their end of year memory book).  Once inside, each child escorted his or her mom to the table spot with her special writing and swag bag.

Now it was time for our awards ceremony!  Before our big day, we came up with candy awards.  We showed them all to each student and they picked the candy award that they felt best described their mom.  You can either purchase full size candy bars or the fun size.  We had ours in a basket, and the kids handed one to their moms after the award had been announced.

Closed Candy Award

Sample of an Open Award

Samples of Candy Awards

We announced each mom one at a time and she came up with her child to accept her award.  The child handed the mom her award and the paparazzi snapped a picture of them.  Once we finished the awards ceremony, we played a special iMovie that we made.  We used an iPad to take a video of each student telling why his or her mom was a star.  "My mom is a star because she _______." We put all of the video clips together in an iMovie.  It was absolutely precious!
Watching the iMovie together.  Isn't this precious seeing all of these kiddos with their moms?
(And yes, our classroom was also transformed into an ocean!)

We used plastic tablecloths as a red curtain behind our "viewing" screen for the iMovie of
"My mom is a star because...!" interviews.
Once the ceremony was finished, the students grabbed a plastic champagne flute filled with sparkling cider for their mom (and a clear cup for themselves) as well as a beautiful cupcake.  They got to spend a few minutes sharing their swag bag and visiting our photo booth.  For the photo booth, we hung two layers of red plastic tablecloths and made a sign for them to hold that said Mother's Day 2016.

We had SO much fun putting together this special celebration!  Click HERE to download the "My Mom is a Star" interview freebie.

Click HERE to check out our entire product in our TPT store including a link to a YouTube video giving step by step directions on how to draw the Mommy and Me portrait.

We hope this gave you a few new ideas for a Mother's Day celebration.  Our kids and moms really loved it. We went all out, but this could also be done with a butcher paper red carpet, an iMovie interview, awards ceremony with or without candy treats (or ask for donations), and the drawing/writing.  The stanchions took a bit of time to make, but we will reuse them every year and have them for other teachers to borrow as well!

Material List and Directions for the Stanchions

  • 20 feet of 1 1/2" schedule 40 PVC pipe
  • 6 - 1 1/2" PVC pipe cap
  • 3/4" MDF or particle board for bottom of stanchion circles (about a 4' by 4' piece) - you could use 1/2" plywood or MDF; however, the 3/4" made them very sturdy
  • 4 - 6' lengths of 1/2" pipe insulation 
  • 16" of 1/2" wooden dowel
  • 8 - threaded eye hooks with nuts (about 1/2" eye and 1" length)
  • 8 - screw in eye hooks (about 1/2''eye and 3/4 - 1''length)
  • 8 - bolt snap hooks
  • gold metallic spray paint
  • red spray paint
  • primer paint (optional; however, it will use less spray paint if you prime first))
  • silver duct tape
  • Gorilla or other wood glue
  • 1 7/8" hole saw
  • drill and bit for eye bolts
  • jig saw or similar saw to cut stanchion bottom circles

Directions for Stanchion Bases:
  • cut six 12" circles out of the 3/4" particle board or MDF 
  • cut six 8" circles out of the 3/4" particle board or MDF
  • center one 8 1/2" circle on top of one 12" circle and glue together using the Gorilla or other wood glue (complete for all 6 stanchion bases)
  • use the 1 7/8" hole saw to drill a hole in the center of the stanchion (both glued wood pieces)
  • prime the bases (optional) and allow to dry 
  • spray paint with gold metallic paint and allow to dry
Stanchion base glued, drilled, and painted

Directions for Stanchion "Ropes":
  • spray paint pipe insulation red
  • cut 1/2" wooden dowel into eight 2" pieces
  • add a little Gorilla or Super glue into the center of each pipe insulation end and insert one wooden dowel piece 
  • screw in a screw eye hook into the wooden dowel piece
  • wrap and cover the ends with silver duct tape (helps to make it look like metal ends and helps to hold the dowel in place) 
  • attach a bolt snap hook to each eye hook (use split rings, key chain rings, or even small zip ties  to attach to eye bolts if necessary)
Painting the pipe insulation

Adding the bolt snap hook to the eye hook and duct tape at the end of the insulation rope

Directions for Stanchion Poles:
  • cut 1 1/2" PVC pipe into six 40" pieces
  • paint PVC pipes and caps with gold metallic spray paint and allow to dry
  • drill 2 holes into each side of one end of a pipe piece right below where the PVC pipe cap will sit (ONLY DO THIS ON TWO PIECES OF THE PIPE - these will be your center poles) 
  • drill 1hole into one side of one end of a pipe piece right below where the PVC pipe cap will sit (ONLY DO THIS ON FOUR OF THE PIECES OF PIPE - these will be your end poles) 
  • insert threaded eye bolts into each hole and attach and tighten nuts
  • use PVC glue to glue on caps to top of poles near the eye bolts
  • use Gorilla or Super glue to glue the painted PVC pipe pieces into the holes in the stanchion bases
Adding eye hooks on to center posts.

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