This mask-making activity will unmask children’s creativity!
- Grades: PreK–K
brown or white craft paper
markers, tempera paint, brushes
white craft glue
child safety scissors
materials to decorate masks, including construction paper, tissue paper, foil, pipe cleaners, feathers, pom-poms, and yarn or string.
pictures of animals from books or magazines
Objective: Children will work together to create costumes and plan an animal masquerade parade. This activity will help develop social interactions and creative-thinking, fine-motor, and observation skills.
- Show children pictures of different types of animals and explain that they will work together to plan an animal masquerade parade. Give children time to look at the different pictures and to choose a favorite animal or animal the interests them.
- Invite small groups of children to work at the art area and create an animal mask and costume to wear for the parade. Give each child a paper plate to use for the mask-making activity. Measure and cut out the eyeholes and mouth area for each child. (Remember: It is very important to make sure that the eyeholes on the children's masks are large enough for them to see clearly.) Set out art materials and talk with children about the different features of the animals they are making. What shape is the nose or ears? Does it have spots or stripes? What materials can be used to make whiskers or hair? The children can use paper plates or white paper to bend into beaks or ears.
- Make two small holes on either side of the children's mask even with the eyes and attach elastic string to one side of the mask. Place the masks on the children's faces and measure the amount of thread needed to secure them.
- Children can make costumes for the parade using brown or white craft paper. Cut a large sheet of paper for each child to wear like a poncho. Ask the children to think of the things that they will need to create their animal body. What color paints will they use? Are there collage materials that they would like to apply to the paper? Assist the children in gathering the materials and colors they will need to create their costumes.
- Read a book to the children about animal movements, such as Jiggle, Wiggle, Prance* by Sally Noll (Scholastic Inc.; $1.88). Ask the children to put on their animal costumes and think of how their animal moves its body. Choose music or favorite animal songs and invite everyone to create an animal movement dance. Now let the Animal Masquerade Parade begin!
Cooking: Masquerade Parade Foods. Children can assist in preparing and planning special foods to serve to celebrate their pet masquerade parade. Use prepared or a favorite cookie dough recipe to make animal cookies. Give all of the children cookie dough to "sculpt" cookie animals. Use tropical fruit juice, seltzer, and fresh fruit to make Jungle Punch. Vanilla frozen yogurt makes perfect Arctic Snow Balls.
Animal Action ABC*
by Karen Pandell
(Scholastic Inc.; $3.71)
by Kyoko Toda
(Kane/Miller Publishers, 1996; $8.95)
by Jakki Wood
(Scholastic Inc.; $3.71)