I’ve been wanting to do this for some time, but kept chickening out because of the extreme-commitment/mess-factor. This is definitely up there on the high-maintenance-have-lots-of-paper-towel-ready-scale, but SO. WORTH. IT.
Masks are one of those things that are incredibly special. A true keepsake of childhood. A snapshot of their artistic state-of-the-moment. I love these, because no matter what the ability/developmental level, they always turn out beautifully and provide an enriching and memorable experience for everyone involved.
Here’s a break-down of how I laid out this 3-day learning invitation.
When setting up this part of the learning invitation, think about it as though you are setting the table for a dinner party. Present materials in an inviting, colourful and organized way.
Paint the masks first with acrylic paint. I like to set up the paint with warm colours on one side, and cool colours on the opposite side. Give your child a “papa bear” brush, and a “baby bear” brush. Show how to be gentle with the brush (like you’re patting a new baby kitten), and how to rinse the brush each time so the colours in the tray stay bright and beautiful. Once the mask is fully covered in paint, allow to dry. Finally, add elements like beads, feathers, ribbon, sparkles and anything else that tickles your fancy. I use a hot glue gun, and my child shows me where to add the pieces.
Once the masks are complete, show your child how they can wear their mask to become someone else. Dramatize well-known stories, write your own stories to be acted out, paint pictures of the masks, record yourselves… so many possibilities to extend learning.
Have you tried making masks with your child? What do they remember most about the experience?