This craft is perfect for a wide range of ages. Arrow is just over two and loves to paint and he really loved this craft. Older children could paint with more care and detail and they could apply the extra decorations themselves. If you’re a mama with a small child like me, you can indulge in the decorating or simply leave them painted.
Supplies Needed: scissors, paper egg carton, Natural Earth Paint, brushes, foraged nature treasures, glue gun
Cut the egg carton into little mask shaped sections. I recommend cutting out the eye holes at this stage.
I set Arrow up with our favorite Natural Earth Paint and he had fun exploring the messy side of painting. He’s usually quite neat and tidy but today he went for the full sensory experience - painting his hands with the brushes and then smudging and rubbing them all over the table.
If he’s safe from danger and we’re clear of irreversible mess or damage, I try not to interrupt his play but instead sit back and watch. It’s in these moments I can see his mind ticking over and I get to witness him exploring his curiosities. It often leads to the cutest conversations. As he was repeatedly pressing the brush into the table and seeing the patterns it was making, he said, “I’m making flowers for mummy” - * heart melt *.
Once the masks had dried, I set up a tray with a selection of our foraged treasures. We collect bits and bobs every time we’re out and about and store them on a larger nature tray that Arrow always has access to outside.
We love to craft with things from nature as it’s such an easy way to bring the natural world into our everyday lives and really get familiar with it. Nature delivers all the textures and colours you can imagine, collecting these treasures brings discovery and adventure and I take the opportunity to teach Arrow about respect and being gentle, we ask the plant or tree before we take from it ☺ and then give thanks. Another thing I like is that we’re not spending money on arts and craft supplies and once finished they won’t hurt the environment.
Back to the masks... I added the leaves with a glue gun while Arrow sat with me and rummaged through the tray, and basically made a mess examining each piece, crunchy leaves, fluffy balls, bunny tails, dried flowers and toi toi grass. I also added the stick at the side to help hold the mask to the face. If you don’t have a glue gun, you could have fun with paint and glitter or stick leaves or coloured bits of paper etc. with glue. You can also use a paper straw taped to the side of the mask if you don’t have glue strong enough to hold a stick in place.
Once they were finished, we spoke about birds and ran around chasing each other tweeting and squawking.
If you make an egg carton mask, we’d love to see! Please share with @the__mamas and @chasing_arrow on Instagram.
Taken with permission from The Mamas’ blog post. Thank you to Jade and Arrow in Auckland, NZ for this post!