Nature Masks

  • Children icon Age: 0 to 8+
  • Clock icon Time: 1 hour+
  • Leaf icon Materials: nature treasures, paper plate, stick, glue and tape
Our "not a....." activities are some of our most treasured activities at Tinkergarten. These open-ended invitations activate kids' creativity and let them know that the only limitation is their own imaginations. In this "not a plate" activity, kids are invited to make a mask with materials from nature. 

The Guide

Set Up: Cut two holes for eyes in a paper plate. Gather some nature treasures, glue and a stick. Glue or tape one side of the stick onto the bottom of the plate.

Invite Play: Show your child the plate and ask, “Do you know what this is? It’s not just a plate, it’s a mask!” Invite your child to share their ideas about what kind of mask it could be. A face that looks like theirs? A special animal? A superhero mask? Look at the nature treasures you gathered and wonder out loud what your child could use to make the face on their mask. What could they use to be the eyes? Nose? Mouth? Ears? If they are making a face of an animal creature, what could they use to be the fur, scales or feathers?

Support Play: As kids set to work making their mask, wonder each of the features might give them special powers or skills. Do the eyes allow them to see at night or see animals from far away? Do the ears allow them to hear even the quietest of sounds? Do the feathers allow them to fly or stay warm in cold temperatures?  Invite kids to search outside for additional materials to add to their mask. Once dried, invite your child to try out their mask and pretend to move or play like a super creature.

Why is this activity great for kids?

Masks are a marvelous tool for taking on the perspective of another creature or person, and they allow kids to experiment with different emotions and build empathy. Creating and wearing a prop or costume is also a super way to help kids enter into creative and imaginary play.

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