Mother’s Day. The cards in the grocery store are all pink and feature syrupy, sentimental poetry. The florists are gearing up for their busiest season. But Mother’s Day is about more than cards and flowers and breakfast in bed. If you’re a mom, it’s the one day a year that has your name on it. Instead of sticking to the script and doing what you always do or what your kids want to do or what you think you’re supposed to do, what if for Mother’s Day you did what you wanted?
If you love being outside like we do, this Mother’s Day is also the perfect time to celebrate the big Mama. Gaia, Prithvi, Spider Grandmother, Mother Earth. However you think of her, everything that lives on our planet depends on her for food, water, and shelter. She was here before we were born and she’ll be here long after we’re gone. She’s the mother of us all, and it’s her day too!
Human moms, dog moms, people with moms, and people who appreciate moms can all join in to honor Mother Earth on her big day. Plan an activity with your kids or a friend’s kids. Or take a break from the kids to meet up with some friends. Whether you have kids or don’t, here at KEEN we’ve got some ideas to help you spend the day or even the whole weekend having fun and connecting with nature.
MOTHER’S DAY WITH THE KIDS
Don’t get us wrong. Brunch is our favorite meal. But it’s also fun to mix it up. If you’re spending Mother’s Day with kids, planning an afternoon or all-day, nature-based activity is a great way to put the Mother Earth in Mother’s Day.
Play the Mom Card
If each and every Sunday your kids refuse to put down the game console when you suggest a trip to your favorite hiking spot, now’s your chance. On Mother’s Day, moms get to pick the activity — and it’s not video games. ;)
Plant an Outdoor Herb Garden
Helping kids start their own herb garden is an easy way for them to learn about plants and gardening. Herbs are simple to grow. All you need are a few pots or planters, some potting soil or clean compost, a set of kids’ gardening tools, and four or five plants from the nursery, supermarket or your own garden. Some of our favorites include rosemary, mint, sage, basil, oregano, and chives. Plant the herbs and water them in. It’s that simple! Kids can help take care of them and track the plants’ progress. They’ll feel a sense of pride as they watch the lovely plants grow.
Pro Tip: For an even more exciting herb garden, give it a theme. A pizza herb garden includes oregano, basil, and parsley. You can also add a few tomato plants if your spot is sunny. Kids can help harvest the herbs and tomatoes and make the pizza. After all, nothing tastes better than a meal you helped grow yourself.
Visit a Wildlife Center
Seeing wildlife up close can foster a lifelong appreciation for the creatures with which we share the planet. Kids can visit hawks, eagles, owls, and falcons at a raptor center. They can learn about their local coastline and watch the mesmerizing movements of jellyfish and the antics of otters at an aquarium. Wildlife centers in every region house animals that have been injured and aren’t able to live in the wild. Many are open to the public and offer tours where you can visit the animals and learn about how they’re being cared for and rehabilitated.
Plant a Tree
A great way for kids to learn about environmental stewardship is to plant a tree. You can plant one in your own backyard, or join a tree-planting event with a local organization. Bring your work gloves and a good attitude. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes. Look for groups that plant native trees and shrubs. If you’ve planted a tree in a park or nature area, you can come back to visit any time!
MOTHER’S DAY WITH FRIENDS
From burnt pancakes to a flower picked from your own garden to a handmade card with a drawing of you that makes you look like an alien, time spent with small fry on Mother’s Day is heartwarming and often hilarious. But then you have to do the dishes. What if you spent some time away with those folks you call your friends instead? The ones that, far too often, you only see in social media posts? Mother’s Day is a great time to reach out to your buddies and schedule a meetup. What better day to celebrate all the hard work you do the other 364 days a year?
Go on a BIG Day Hike
You know that hike with the steep drop-off on one side and the steel cable on the other? The one that’s much too difficult for small hikers, but offers breathtaking alpine views? Mother’s Day is the day to grab your friends and your wildflower book and get out there. Make sure your hike includes a peaceful spot where you can eat lunch and enjoy some grown-up conversation before heading back.
Sign up to Clean up
Helping makes us feel good. When you sign up for a street or river cleanup in your city or town, you’re helping to make the place you live healthier and safer. You’ll not only feel more connected to the people in your community, but you’ll develop a deeper appreciation of the local environment as well. Plus, when you pitch in with a group of friends, the time flies and the results are immediate and gratifying.
At a time when climate change is affecting many of us where we live, it’s more important than ever to spend time in wild places. This Mother’s Day, we encourage you to get outside, have fun, and make a toast to Mother Earth. After all, she’s the only one we have.