Researching creative Mother’s Day gifts that are useful? I’m always on the hunt for great gift ideas, practical items, and helpful tasks that my parents will both appreciate. This year, I set out to write a blog post with ideas for anyone else doing the same search.
Here are 51 thoughtful, creative gifts that your parent(s) will actually appreciate and enjoy. I’ve split this post into gifts of time (free + labor) and other gifts to purchase.
Creative Mother’s Day Gifts of Time
I grew up near Philadelphia where Mother’s Day is a huge deal. Did you know it was popularized by a Philly woman, Ann Jarvis, back in the early 1900’s? It often falls on a gorgeous spring day; we bring hyacinths to our moms and take mom moms (“mum-mums” aka grandmas) out to brunch.
Read More: How to Help Flowers Last Longer
I hope you’re lucky enough to live near your mother and spend time with her in person. As a parent, I now understand why that’s the best gift of all.
Here are some ideas for creative Mother’s Day gifts of time that your mom might love.
Cleaning Gifts of Time
- Clean out the gutters
- Clean out the garage
- Spend time organizing something for her
- Wash the windows inside and out
- Deep clean/freshen up her favorite room in the house
- Tackle her most hated chore – bathrooms? vacuuming? dusting blinds? descaling the coffee pot?
Do Mom a Favor
- Take her car to the car wash and get it detailed
- Do a grocery run and buy a few extras
- Cook a meal with leftovers for the freezer
- Sharpen knives and re-oil cutting boards
- Paint or fix something around the house
- Replace lightbulbs and batteries; check smoke and CO detectors
- Weed her garden
- Buy a tray of annuals and plant them
- Spruce up her houseplants
Help With Technology
- Update her smartphone – at their request, I recently helped my in-laws with this project. They had actually clipped this article from the paper and brought it with them on a recent visit. We went through the entire list together so I could explain any changes I made to their phones. Helpful tips include making the screen easier to read and creating emergency and health settings.
- Set up a wireless (or wired) charging station
- Load favorite tunes on her smartphone for the gym or walks
- Set up a new TV/streaming service and explain the remote control settings
- Set up preferred grocery store app for coupons – Kroger and Safeway stores have some coupons available through their apps and they’re not necessarily intuitive.
Useful Mother’s Day Tech Gifts
If you like the tech ideas I just listed above, here are some handy devices you might consider gifting (and installing) for your parents. My mother is particularly tech-savvy, but I know she’s a rare bird. I can’t understate how helpful these technology gifts and favors might be for parents over 60, once they get the hang of them. Especially if you handle the installation!
- Digital photo frame – based on reviews, this Aura Carver frame sounds like a good pick if wifi is available. You can remotely send new photos to the frame, which is super handy when the grandkids live out of state.
- Ring doorbell – of course, you’ll want to ask first before installing this device, but it could be a nice upgrade.
- Smart garage door opener – it’s easy to check the door status via the smartphone app, as well as operate it from a phone. Here are a few recommendations. I’ve been meaning to order this one, so I’ll update this post when I have experience with it.
- Indoor/outdoor temperature clock – these are really handy! Know someone who always wants to check the temp outside at a glance? Go the extra mile and set up the outdoor thermometer device first, so the gift recipient can just open the present and see it at work. Here’s a simple $20 version (on sale now) and a fancier version for weather buffs.
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Practical Gifts for Parents
More useful and creative Mother’s Day gifts for anyone who is tired of getting socks. Have a boomer parent? You’re in the right place for practical gifts she’ll want to use and not view as clutter,
- Robot vacuum – requires a pretty tidy home to begin with, but who doesn’t love a vacuum that operates itself? iRobot Roomba still makes a great, affordable robot vacuum. If you’re willing to spend $250, this Roomba version gets fantastic reviews from many sources and is good for pet hair. This iLife robot vacuum is also known to be good for pet hair and is closer to $100.
- Packable sun hat – perfect for gardening, traveling, pool, beach, or walks around town. This one rolls up and fits easily in a bag. Wallaroo hats are awesome because they are adjustable and lightweight, and many styles are UPF 50+. They make a really nice gift for both moms and dads. If you need hat sizes for extra-large heads, check out Sungrubbies for extended sizes.
- Photobook of the grandkids (or other precious people/pets) – Shutterfly, Snapfish, and Mixbook are all great options. If you like to plan ahead, create an album on your phone and add to it each time you snap a great shot. That way, you’ll have a selection of curated photos whenever you want to quickly order a book for someone.
- If all else fails, these socks are always a homerun gift in our family.
Great Consumable Gifts
It’s hard to go wrong with a consumable gift, which is any gift that can be used up. It doesn’t have to be food or drink; gift cards are consumable, too. Here are some ideas that might be well-received:
Gift Card Ideas:
- car wash
- oil change
- gas station
- favorite grocery store
- favorite splurgy store
- hardware store
- pet store
Monthly Subscription Gifts:
Here are highly-rated subscription options in each of these categories.
- Meal prep kits for those who like to cook – HelloFresh, Sun Basket, etc.
- Ready-made meal delivery for those who hate to cook – Home Chef, etc.
- Nuts (my dad really enjoyed this subscription)
- Book of the Month
- Handmade Soap
- Meowbox or PupJoy for pets
- Plants (succulents)
Useful Consumable Gifts
Finally, these are more traditional Mother’s Day gifts, so I won’t tag them as creative. You could always go the extra mile and find something in a new scent, fancier, or a little luxurious if you want the gift to feel special this year.
- Kitchen: splurge on luxe hand soap, kitchen linens, nicely scented cleaners
- Bath set or travel set: restock her favorite shower scents, candles, lotions, soaps. For an easy DIY project, make these shower steamers with your mom’s favorite scents.
- Food gifts: flavored coffees, high-end tea, special popcorn, good pistachios, sweets…
- Flowers: Trader Joe’s has beautiful, unique flowers at great prices! Much better and cheaper than the grocery store. They also sell potted flowering plants and bouquets.
Happy Mother’s Day!
I hope you find a winner in this list. I’m also drafting a similar version of this article for Father’s Day and will link to it here.