Make a Mask

 

mask
Click here for mask template and instructions.

A Real Superhero

Jack was a super imaginative little kid.  He was constantly drawing—mostly superheroes.  He made superhero costumes out of paper scraps.  When anyone asked my then four year old son what he wanted to be when he grew up, Jack’s response was always the same, “Superhero.”

On career day, Jack’s preschool teacher had each child create a life-sized drawing of themselves dressed in their adult work clothes.  Jack wanted to draw himself as a superhero, but a classmate told him, “Superhero isn’t a real job and Batman and Spiderman aren’t real people.  If you want to be a superhero when you grow up, you have to be a policeman, fireman, or soldier.”  Jack reluctantly drew himself as a fireman—in a superhero mask.

When I picked up Jack from school, he talked about the art project.  He was mad there were only three job choices for “real-life” superhero and actual superhero wasn’t one of them.  I told him there are millions of jobs to choose from and when you’re good at your job, everyone thinks you’re a superhero.  “You could be a teacher, a doctor, a scientist, a garbage man, a computer programmer, a comic book artist…”  He stopped me, “Wait, comic book artist is an actual job?”

From that day on, Jack created his own superhero comics.  He drew the pictures and told me the words he wanted written on the pages.

He brought his comic books to school for Show and Tell.  The school day ended like a Comic-Con convention. Four year olds burst through the exit door wearing paper superhero costumes and carrying comic books they had designed.  Jack got in the car and grinned, “They liked my comic books.  They want to be superheroes, too.”   Jack was the superhero of promoting superheroes.

I thought of this story because I recently called a friend, but she didn’t have time to talk. Her seven year old son was getting ready for career day at school and they couldn’t find his Captain America costume.:)

superj

This mask craft was inspired by Jack’s love of inventing superheroes and their costumes.  I decided to start with a simple “m” shape for the mask.  I thought it would be fun for kids to think of a character (noun) and an adjective that would tell something about the character, then create a mask for the character.   Click on MAKE A MASK to get the template and instructions for this craftivity.

 

Cat Cones

cat cones
Click the photo for CAT CONES template and instructions.

SAVE THAT JUNK

When I was in fifth grade I got a book from the Weekly Reader book order called, “Save That Junk.” The author claimed that every piece of trash was a hidden treasure just waiting to be discovered; all you had to do was use your imagination and some crafty embellishments. As I flipped through the pages of that book, my imagination went wild! There were line drawings of previously discarded garbage transformed into useful knick-knacks. I couldn’t decide which craft to make first: Soda Can Wind Chime, Bleach Bottle Piggy Bank, Phone Book Angel, Paper Bag Purse, or Cereal Box Moccasins.

My sister’s ninth birthday was coming up, so I decided to make the piggy bank for her gift.   I begged my mom to “clean more stuff,” because I desperately needed a bleach bottle.  I also needed four empty thread spools for the legs of the piggy bank.  That was no problem; I knew where my mom kept her sewing stuff.  I quickly unrolled thread until I had four “used” spools.  The bleach bottle still wasn’t empty, so I decided it was time to clean the bathtub drain.   Now I had everything I needed to make a super useful thing out of used junk.

First I painted the spools with white house paint.  I accidentally spilled a little paint on the rug in my bedroom.  I didn’t have the right kind of glue to make the spools stick to the plastic bleach bottle, so I used chewed gum.  I snuck a knife out of the kitchen to make the necessary cuts in the bottle.  Because I never washed the bleach bottle, drops of bleach dripped out onto my bedspread as I carved the coin slot.  I used a permanent marker to draw spots on the pig. Each time I turned the bottle to make more spots, I was stamping the previously drawn spots on my new sweater.

I don’t remember if “Save That Junk” had any ideas for balls of tangled thread, a marker stained sweater, a rug caked with dried paint, or a comforter dotted with bleach spots, but that bleach bottle piggy bank was awesome.  It was hard to believe it was made from unwanted junk.  I loved it so much, I decided to keep it for myself.  For my sister, I made a birthday crown out of a paper grocery bag and some used wrapping paper. It was gorgeous!

bdaycrown

 

“Save That Junk” inspired this craft.  I call it, “Cat Cones.” You only need one sheet of paper to make this project. (And if you were wondering, yes, it can be a used sheet of paper.) You can print the template and instructions by clicking on CAT CONES.