BONUS: Tips to make mask wearing a breeze for kids
Discovery Place Nature
For the past few months, Discovery Place held in-person Summer Camps with adjusted procedures to keep safety top of mind. These adjustments include requiring all Campers (and staff) to wear face coverings, and we couldn’t be prouder of our Campers who are rocking it in their masks!
Now, as the school year gets under way, face coverings a very real likelihood for any in-person learning, whether it takes place at schools or in programming opportunities like School Camp at Discovery Place. So, we are sharing some tips to help you ensure your child is comfortable and protected in their mask throughout the school day.
Comfort first. There is a reason to put this at the top the list. It is critical to select a mask that is comfortable around your child’s face and ears, and one that will continue to be over the course of an entire day.
There are many different options available for face coverings nowadays, from masks with elastic or strings, bandanas, gators, buffs and more! Choose one that doesn’t slip on your child’s face or irritate their ears. Try to pick one that is a breathable fabric and does not feel like its suffocating when your child is walking or talking a lot.
Make it fun. Kids look to their closest adults as they begin forming their own opinions and perspectives of the world. If they see you having fun with wearing a mask, they will begin to as well. Use a variety of fabric designs to express your personality and infuse fun into this new garment that is now a part of your everyday wardrobe selection.
Allow your child to select their own mask designs, too. Compliment them on their masks and ask about why they chose that shark, rainbow, Star Wars or dinosaur mask. Share with them how, like other pieces of clothing, a mask may reveal something interesting about the person wearing it that we otherwise would not have known – like a favorite sports team or animal.
If a mask starts to slip (by itself or with the help of some restless fingers), remind kids that they need to hide their nose and mouth. With little ones, turn it into a game of peek-a-boo to make their mouth and nose disappear!
Normalize masks. For once, “everyone is doing it” can be a rallying cry of positivity! When they look around and see that their family, friends and teachers all wearing masks, kids begin to feel mask wearing is a normal, shared experience that they don’t want to miss out on.
As we all continue to do the things that keep our family, friends and neighbors safe and healthy, wearing a mask is one of the most significant actions we can take to keep our community safe and healthy.
Hopefully, these tips will help you work with your children to make wearing a mask as normal and important as brushing their teeth.