The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is for children, right? Of course! But the work we do in our building and in the community extends to all members of a child’s family, no matter what that family looks like. As we approach the season of Mother’s and Father’s Day, it is important to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that caregivers, parents, mothers, and fathers put into their families year-round. Rather than confining our appreciation to a single day, we can find ways to honor and celebrate them throughout the year. Here are some ideas for activities to do together, gifts to make for them, and reasons why we love them.
Activities to do Together
People who care for children–parents, grandparents, guardians, older siblings, and more–spend a lot of time with their little ones. At the Museum, we enjoy all the ways families interact together and play. When you’re looking for something to do to appreciate each other and strengthen your bond, consider these options:
- Take a nature walk
Spending time in nature is a great way to relax and bond. Take a walk in a local park or nature reserve and enjoy the fresh air and scenery together.
- Cook a meal
Cooking a meal together can be a fun and rewarding experience. Choose a recipe that you both like and work together to create a delicious meal.
- Play a board game
Playing a board game is a great way to spend quality time together and have some friendly competition.
- Volunteer together
Volunteering together can be a great way to give back to the community and bond over a shared experience. There are several opportunities in our community, including right here at the Museum!
- Take a road trip
Taking a road trip can be a great way to explore new places and make memories together. Whether a short trip to a waterfall in the neighboring county or an epic cross-country adventure, time spent exploring together is always time well-spent.
Gifts to Make for Caregivers
Whether it’s for an upcoming holiday or just a random thank you, we think a heartfelt gift is a fine way to say “I love you!” If you make the gift, it can have an even greater impact.
- A membership to the Museum!
Though it’s not homemade, a membership to the CMSM is an excellent choice no matter the occasion. The experiences here are for the entire family, no matter your age. Joining us for age-specific activities is a great way to meet other caregivers to socialize with.
- Homemade card
A homemade card is a thoughtful and personal way to express your appreciation. Get creative with your materials and add your own personal touch. Bonus: art is really great for developing brains!
- Photo album or scrapbook
A photo album or scrapbook is a great way to preserve memories and show your appreciation for all the special moments you’ve shared together.
- DIY gift basket
Put together a gift basket with their favorite snacks, drinks, and other small items that they will enjoy. We have a small gift shop in our lobby which has some cute things you might include.
- Personalized art piece
Create a personalized art piece beyond a card that reflects their interests and personality. Even better, turn it into an activity and create the artwork together.
- Handwritten letter
Take the time to write a heartfelt letter expressing your gratitude and appreciation for all they do. If children are too young to write, help them think of things they’d like to say and write it for them.
Top Five Reasons Why We Love Caregivers
There are a million moments and reasons to love the people who care for us or our children or our community and its children, but we think this list covers a whole bunch of them in some grand categories.
- Unconditional love
They love us unconditionally, no matter what mistakes we make or how we may fall short. Their love feels like home: a place of safety we can always rely on.
They make countless sacrifices for us, often putting our needs and wants ahead of their own. From giving up the last snack in the diaper bag to staying home to take care of us when we’re sick, the ways they put us first are unmatched. Maybe someday we can return the favor!
They provide guidance and support throughout our lives, helping us navigate through challenges and make important decisions. When a family comes to the Museum for the first time, they often explore every exhibit together. There’s a lot to take in and a lot to learn, and that’s just within these walls! That bond extends far out into everything families do together.
They demonstrate strength and resilience in the face of adversity, serving as role models for us to follow.
They bring joy and happiness into our lives, making us laugh and reminding us of the beauty and goodness in the world.
Appreciating and honoring caregivers, parents, mothers, and fathers can be done in a variety of ways, and it doesn’t have to be limited to just one day of the year. By spending quality time together, creating personalized gifts, and expressing our gratitude for all that they do, we can show them how much they are valued and loved. Happy any type of day you celebrate from all of us at the Museum!