5 Fun Tips To Encourage Kids to Wear Masks
Janene Russell is an elementary teacher turned toy inventing super-mom dedicated to early childhood development. As a lead product manager at Educational Insights, she brings over 15 years of experience and a unique educator’s perspective that melds creativity, laugh-out-loud fun and hands-on learning through toys and games. As a passionate advocate for kids of all abilities and needs, Janene is devoted to creating innovative new ways kids can learn, grow, and celebrate their own unique selves. Janene’s inspiration is often sparked by the wonders of playtime with her two young children, because after all, play is the work of the child and parent!
Masks can be scary for kids and validating their feelings can help address their fears and confusion. Never underestimate the healing powers of play to communicate emotions and create a sense of comfort when wearing masks. When parents make playful connections to real world situations, children will cope with changes in productive ways.
Parents wear many hats and one of the most important roles we play is the Creative Strategist. We often rely on our toolbox of tricks when we need to convince our children to accomplish tasks. Whether it is getting our child to eat their greens by making “Dinosaur Juice” popsicles or turning chores into a timed, playful race—we are masters of disguise and we know how to creatively tailor solutions to fit our child’s needs.
Enter 2020, the year of absolute improvisation. Many parents are challenged with the new norm of getting our little ones to wear a mask. Here are five fun tips to add to your toolbox to encourage your child to wear a mask.
Gather scraps of fabric from an old t-shirt or pillowcase to design a special mask for your child’s favorite toy. Creating a mask for their beloved toy will inspire your child to match. Follow these sweet and simple, printable patterns to get started!
Just Right for Me
With your child, create a wish list of all the things their ideal mask would need to include. It’s no surprise kids have a strong affinity for colors, themes, patterns, and material. Then, research together to find the perfect match.
To make it easy for parents, Educational Insights recently launched these sweet animal masks to help kids feel safe and playful while wearing their new accessory.
Star of the Show
Kids love starring in their own stories, especially when they see themselves as the superhero! Talk about what kind of special powers their character possesses and what their superhero suit and mask might look like. Together with your child, draw their unique suit on paper. Explain that kids can be superheroes in real life too. Then try on your real masks to make your characters come to life. This charming tale is a perfect read to spark your superhero adventure!
Pretend play is important because it gives children a chance to explore, experiment, and even investigate new characters—sparking imagination! In our community there are real heroes who wear all types of masks, helmets, and face shields to help others. Together with your child, brainstorm the different members in your community who wear masks as part of their job. Dress up as these everyday heroes and you can even upcycle boxes to create a scene to match your character. Storytelling combined with imaginative play will empower your child to create endless possibilities.
Children are often inspired to imitate what grown-ups are doing. Try wearing your mask around the house, walking around the neighborhood, or even playing outdoor games to let your child get used to the idea that masks can be fun and worn at any time. Switch roles and put your child in charge of reminding the family to “Mask Up” before leaving the house. Your child will soon follow your lead as they begin to understand that they too, can be just like you.