October 17, 2013

Unmask the Halloween Monster

Unmask the Halloween Monster

Many children are afraid of masks, and Halloween is a very difficult time for them.  

Years ago I published a Parent's Corner article with Babybug Magazine entitled 'Unmasking the Halloween Monster'.  The article had suggestions for helping little kids understand what's behind the mask.  This post is a reiteration of that article, which is well worth repeating.


  • It's easier for young children to understand that a mask is not a real face if they actually construct one. At this point Calvin had no idea he was creating a mask. He was just having fun doing art with his Neena.

  • I had already poured a little orange paint into a container. I always pour just a little.  That way if it spills, it's just a little spill.

  • Calvin used a big brush.  He got busy immediately, and in a few minutes he had the paper plate almost covered with paint. 

  • I was impressed by how hard he worked to spread paint onto the plate's circular edge.

This was the neatest painting session we'd ever had.  There were no paint drips on the floor and hardly any on the art table.  That doesn't mean next time will be neat, but it was sure nice this time.

  • I had already cut two eyes and a nose, which Calvin placed into the wet paint. 

  • Then I showed him how the mask could look happy or sad just by changing the mouth's orientation. This fascinated Calvin, and he made the mask go through several mood swings until he settled on happy. 

  • When we were almost done, Calvin wanted to put on ears. This was very significant.  Calvin wasn't just following directions.  He was interacting with his own art. 

  • Once the face was dry, I cut holes for the eyes and taped on a craft stick handle.  I was so excited to see how Calvin would interact with his first mask, but I would just have to wait until the next time Calvin came to Neena's for art.  
  • Stay tuned.  He's spending the night on Friday, and we're going to play with the mask. I'll let you know how it goes.

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