Families Make It! Masks
Masks have been made out of many different things and for many different reasons throughout history. This project is so flexible according to your kids age and stage. In the Kylee Makes A Mask episode, I make a mask out of plaster cloth. Trust, Dax (2.5 years old) would never, ever, ever sit still long enough for me to put plaster on his face. Don't you worry, I've got ideas for you!
Plaster Mask Tips
If you do want to go the Plaster Cloth route, it is super fun! Again, I would recommend doing this with kids who are a bit older. It's a little gooey, but not unpleasant. They will need to be able to lay still for about 30 minutes altogether. I strongly recommend having two people for this project: a person who is the face-form, and then the person who is applying the plaster. If kids were put in pairs, they could take turns.
I purchased my cloth on Amazon, but I have also seen it in many craft stores, all under $10 a roll. I used about half of a roll for my adult-size half-face mask.
Three layers of plaster will do the trick for a nice, strong mask. It takes about 15 minutes to dry, but I found that once my top layer was done, my bottom layer was dry enough to take the mask off. After the mask is off, you can continue to add details to the mask with plaster (ears, noses, cheeks, etc.). Wait until it is fully dry to paint/decorate.
If you want to attach elastic to the masks, I left a bit of space on both sides of my mask, near my temple, to put the elastic through once it was dry. I simply looped it through these spaces and then hot-glued it into a loop so it would stay in place.
Other Mask Ideas
There is a simple mask template on the kids page you can download and print on paper if you're looking for a quick and easy starting point for this project at home. Simply cut it out (or have your child cut it out if they can), and decorate!
If you're looking for a sturdier option (which could be helpful for a lot of paint, glue, or heavier materials), a great option is using half of a paper plate as the base for the mask.
I used small plates because it's what I had on hand, and also, my little guy has a little face! I just cut it in half, cut spaces for eyes and for the bridge of his nose. I used pipe cleaners (seriously, any day I get to use pipe cleaners is a day I am excited about), as a way to secure it around his head. I just punched a hole in the side of the mask with the scissors and looped them around, twisting them to secure it and twisting again at the back of the head to secure it to fit. I like this option because the masks are then interchangeable with people who have different sized heads (read: your kid and YOU).
The project potential is endless here. It would be so fun to just get out every art supply you own and see what happens! Sometimes, however, especially with young and short attention spans, it can be helpful to limit the amount of items they have at their disposal, to keep them focused.
For Dax, we are going to be using dot stickers (which I love almost as much as pipe cleaners), and shapes that he is going to cut with his toddler scissors (this is a great fine motor skills exercise)! My favorite way to have him practice cutting is to get paint strips from the store, cut them narrower, and hold them up for him while he cuts. This is awesome because at this point, he is still using two hands to cut. These are firm enough to cut easily, be held up by me, and also, they are colorful! Bonus!
My last tip here is about gluing. Again, what your kid is able to do is going to vary a lot depending on how old they are. For my toddler, what I've found works best, is to hold the glue myself. I have him point where he wants to put his shape, I put down a dot of glue, and he then places his shape on the glue. Lots of great practice here: making decisions, communicating those decisions, working as a team, and again, a great fine motor excercise.
As always, I'd love to see what you and your family discovered and created as you were inspired by this episode or post! Post and tag @kyleemakesit or use #kyleemakesit on Facebook or Instagram. I can't wait to see it!
Watch Kylee Makes A Mask here!