Let’s all collectively agree that this year we need to add Mother’s Day games and activities to the list of ways to celebrate mom. Honestly, it feels like a bummer when things immediately go back to normal as soon as the cards and gifts are handed out or the breakfast has been given in bed. Then it’s into the kitchen to clean up the mess from making breakfast, or back to refereeing children and getting them all the snacks. If you’re hoping to give the mom in your life a Mother’s Day she’ll never forget, check out some ideas from this list. She deserves something special — an entire day of something special, to be honest — and she’ll love these thoughtful activities and games that were carried out just for her.
Whether it’s playing games that are all about Mom, or ones that require the children to not say her name or ask her for anything, there are plenty of fun family games that Mom can enjoy, too. And as far as activities go, the main goal here is to ensure mom feels loved, appreciated, and above all, well-rested. Give her the break she deserves without sacrificing time with the family — unless she really just wants to get away, and in that case make that as easy for her as possible.
What to do on Mother’s Day
Want to do something as a family to help Mom relax, make new memories, or enjoy some of her favorite things? Try to create an environment in which she’s doing as little caretaking and housekeeping as possible so that she can really focus on and enjoy the fun stuff. There are plenty of activities to do indoors and outdoors, with or without the family in tow that include pampering, creating, shopping, or just laughing. Every mom is different, so plan a day that caters to the things that she enjoys and has been dropping hints about for weeks. Here are some ideas for what to do on Mother’s Day:
- Let Mom sleep in.
- Do all of the house chores — laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. And don’t Mom her lift a finger or ask her a million questions.
- Take a family day trip somewhere pretty.
- Hire a cleaning service to clean sweep the whole house while you’re out for the day.
- Go to brunch at Mom’s favorite restaurant. Do as much of the child wrangling as humanly possible so she can eat her meal while it’s hot.
- Occupy your kids by writing and decorating thank you letters to Mom.
- Send Mom away for a day and night (or two) to a fancy luxury hotel to get pampered and have some much needed rest and relaxation.
- Send Mom to get a new piercing or tattoo, if that’s her thing.
- Book a massage. She wants one, she needs one, make it happen.
- Gift Mom a shopping spree and lunch all alone — whether that means online shopping and a delicious meal made just for her, or sending her off to her favorite stores and place to eat.
- Plan a day (or carve out some time) for some family-friendly games and activities.
Mother’s Day games
Some of the best parenting memories come from the hilarious things your kids say and do. Preparing a few Mother’s Day games sets the stage for new funny moments to unfold, and gives the kids a fun way to express their love for their mom.
- Play the “Don’t Say Mom” game. Challenge the children to not say mom for a certain timeframe. Whoever can go the longest can win a prize. Let’s face it, this can be the most fun game of all for mom, who hears her name said at least one billion times a day.
- Challenge mom to refrain from saying one of her beloved catch phrases for an hour, or even the entire day. Whether it’s “Because I said so,” “Stop,” or even “I love you,” figure out what she says all the time and challenge her.
- Create a game of Madlibs specific to your mom. Make your story all about mom, whether it’s true or fictional, and substitute key words with blanks and have everyone fill in the words. Read it aloud when it’s complete.
- Do a Mother’s Day-themed karaoke day. Choose songs that have Mama in the title and have a blast.
- Play the “Give Mom a Break” game. Everybody wins! Like the classic baby shower game, give each person five safety pins. The rule of the game is that no one is permitted to say mom. Whoever hears another person say the word gets to steal one of their pins. The one with the most pins at the end wins. As an added bonus, everyone will realize just how much they call for mom to do everything.
- Play the classic game, “Mother May I?” It will be fun to boss your kids around at least for a few minutes.
- This sweet game brings out everyone’s inner poet. In “Pass the Poem,” everyone adds a line to a poem about mom as they pass it along. This can turn out incredibly sweet or incredibly funny. Either way, make sure it’s something mom will love and enjoy.
Mother’s Day activities
If the mom you’re celebrating isn’t much of a game-lover, perhaps a planned activity of some sort is more her thing. Figure out exactly how you’ll spend the day honoring Mom, and plan the whole thing so she can just sit back and enjoy.
- Go as a family to the park and have a picnic that you and the kids prepared.
- Get a babysitter and spend time with her one-on-one. Do a day date like hitting up a winery, going to a coffee shop, getting brunch, going hiking, hitting a record store, whatever she’ll enjoy.
- Have an award ceremony and use categories. Have the kids each say what makes mom special.
- Plant an herb garden (or themed garden) with the entire family.
- Set up a photo booth area in your home complete with props, costumes, and signs that say, “Happy Mother’s Day” and the year. You can do this every year and have a keepsake for mom to look at as everyone grows up.
- Hire a professional photographer and have beautiful photographs taken on this day. Plan everything for Mom, including the outfits, and make sure she doesn’t have to decide or plan any of it.
- Create an at-home spa for Mom and have you or the kids pamper her with foot soaks, massages, painting fingernails and toenails, the works. Just make sure she doesn’t have to clean anything up.
- Host a virtual tea party (or wine party) for Mom and her other mom friends (and maybe even her own mother) via Zoom. Send out invitations a couple of weeks before so everyone can be on the same page and have their beverage and snacks of choice.
- Rent Mom’s dream car for the day and let her cruise wherever her heart desires. Alone.
- Watch some sentimental Mother’s Day movies together, with snacks of course.
This Mother’s Day will be extra special because you took the time to coordinate activities and games for the entire family to enjoy, and mom didn’t have to lift a finger. Add this to the inevitable breakfast in bed with eggshells in the scrambled eggs, and maybe even throw in a card with a Mother’s Day poem or two to show her how much she’s appreciated.
This article was originally published on