This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Thanks to Kwik Stix for teaming up with me for this sponsored post.   It’s the perfect little craft because it is made with love! 

Thanks for helping us grow
When I first became a teacher, I would plan adorable “crafts” for my students to make for their parents.  Perfectly cut-out, flawlessly-glued crafts.

Then I had kids and I realized how utterly foolish I was back then.  I know now that while they look adorable on Pinterest and perfect in that folder that comes home from school… those perfect crafts are anything but perfect.

Do you know what is perfect?   The “art” that our kids make without our help.   The “crafts” that are made with love and not perfection.

A potted plant in a metal pot sitting on a dinning room table.

Why?  It isn’t the finished product that we love; it’s the work that went into it.   I know that my child cut every leaf, that every paint stroke was made with me in mind, that every glue dot was glued with all the love in the world.

Now that I have four kids, I always ask for one thing when the kids want to give me a gift: “Something that you can make me all by yourself… because you love me.”

A little girl sitting at a table coloring with makers.

The same rule goes for their grandmothers’ gifts – make something that is made with love.  Yes, I can buy something beautiful, but I know both of their grandmothers, and I know that they think just like I do when it comes to gifts.

When I asked the kids what they wanted to make for their grandmothers, they each had their plan.   Beau was going to build something, Jack was going to write a note, Ethan was going to make a sketch-drawing, and Allie wanted to “Paint a flower”.   I asked her how she wanted to do it and then I helped her plan it out. The rest was up to her).

A potted plant sitting on a table with a paper flower made with cupcake holders stuck in the pot.

Supplies needed to for the Thanks for Helping Me Grow plant:

  1. Potted Plant
  2. Paint-stirring stick
  3. Glue
  4. Small family photo
  5. A pack of Kwik Stix

Kwik Stix are available online at Target, in-store at Walgreens, in-store and online at Michaels and at Amazon.

An open box of Kwik Stix paint sticks resting on a wooden table.

We use Kwik Stix every time that we paint now.  They are solid tempera paint sticks that dry in 90 seconds.  (YAY!!!!) They are great because they don’t make a mess. The kids can paint without needing brushes or water.   Plus- the paint doesn’t spill on the table (it has never leaked through the paper for me, either).   They are gluten, egg & peanut free, so their friends can use them, too.
A child\'s painting of a rainbow and sun with a variety of painting sticks above it.

I have used Kwik Stix on wood, paper, canvas, cardboard, aluminum, and posterboard.  The Kwik Stix are AP certified (non-toxic), and all you have to do is “Uncap, Twist, and Paint” to create vibrant works of art without the mess of paint!

A pink Kwik Stix painting stick being held in a child\'s hand.

How to make your “flower pot”:
A potted plant with a child\'s homemade flower stuck in the back of the planter.

  • First rule→Let your child create it!
    A young girl painting pictures at a wooden table.
  • Allie painted one stirring stick “like a rainbow”, but she painted her other ones green “like stems.”
  • She also painted the cupcake liner
    A little girl painting at a table with paint sticks.
  • Glue a photo on the muffin liner (a parent might need to help to cut the photo to size)
    A close up of homemade paper frame with a family portrait in the frame.
  • She cut leaves out of construction paper, and I wrote on them for her.   She made a plant for both grandmas and me.
  • She glued it together and put the stick into the flower pot.  
  • She also made a photo to go with it…Thanks for helping us grow

Remember that children are all born with creativity… let them create.
A variety of Kwik Stix sitting on a table with text above it.
Don’t direct them or guide them in the direction that you want them to go.  Let them be who they want to be. Let them draw what is in their hearts.  After all, it took Pablo Picasso a long time to draw like a child…


Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I once made a similar project with my kids for Mother’s Day. It was a canvas of their footprints which we turned into flowers that were blooming. We wrote thank you for helping us grow on it and handed them to their grandmothers!

  2. I think the perfect gifts from kids are the ones they completely create and assemble themselves. I would love a picture from my toddler of our family, or of him and his daddy. I also think those Kwik Stix look sweet for little kids to use! Paint is messy, and as a mom, those look like a life saver!

  3. I love when my children are just learning to write, in those big capital letters, and they give me hand-cut, hand-colored strips of paper saying “I love you Mama!” It never gets old, and it can turn a day around.

  4. What a terrific DIY gift idea you have posted on your blog! I will consider that one for my next project with my students. I have another one which I love very much. My mother made one for me and I just recently made one for my niece. I call it the “Box of Love.” Supplies: small heart shaped boxes, paint, mod-podge (gloss or matte), colored pens, cardboard stock paper (or one can use a computer and use different color fonts then print). Paint the box. You can personalize it with the name of the person you wish to give it to. Then create about 25-50 loving messages (examples: “You are a beautiful person,” “Smile at others, they will smile back,” or “You are good enough always.”). Cut them into small strips and place them in the box for the recipient to pull out of the box whenever they need a little love or motivation. It is one of the most truly precious gifts I have every received.

  5. Oooh, I can’t wait to get a one of these! Love notes, cards and drawings from my kids make me smile.

  6. I can totally relate to this. I always tend to help my kids with their crafts just so that their completed work would turn out the way it should, not realizing that what’s important is the effort they put into it and how much they learn through the process. Great to also learn about those Kwix Stix, will add these to our art supplies

  7. Ohhh Becky!! I so enjoyed your post today about the Mean Mom poem! I really love that your mom shared that with you when you became a mom. I’m still trying to decide if I want to share that with my newly married son. 😊 Keep up the sharing and caring with all of us….your “fans”!!!

  8. One of my favorite gifts was made by my husband and kids. He had each of them hold up the lettTratrrs to make the word “MOM” and took a picture of each one of them. After the pictures were printed out he put them on a canvas mat and had each one of them write something under their picture before he had it framed. Every time I see it on our wall, I smile.

  9. Absolutely the most precious gift a child can give is something they made entirely themselves! It has the most meaning because it comes from their heart and shows their creativity! I have such a hard time getting rid of ANY of them!!

  10. I love anything my kids make but if I had to pick one project it would be the ones where they make picture frames and include a picture of themselves, especially a picture that completely captures their personality. It’s not a perfectly posed picture but one that lets their personalities shine through.

  11. My children have taken to writing me notes about what they love about me on Mother’s Day. I treasure these notes more than anything they could possibly buy with a million dollars.

  12. I really like the idea of the Kwik Stix. I need to get some and let the boys make some artwork.

  13. This is such a great idea. I love when my son wants to paint, but cringe at the mess I know will happen, even when he is careful! I will look for these next time I am in one of these stores!