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Toddler Talk: DIY Cardboard Masks

With major gift-giving holidays over, there’s sure to be piles of cardboard boxes around the house. I know my recycling bin is full! And now that most of the hubbub of the holidays is over, I wanted to keep things at home quiet and simple as we recuperate from all the festivities and projects and outings and visits. Now ... how to use these boxes for a craft?

As you’ve probably noticed from past crafts, Ramona has been very into her dress-up box. She’s got superhero capes and eye masks, tutus and vintage clothes, and funny hats and costume jewelry. And lately she’s also been learning how to channel the personality of other characters, sending her imagination even deeper! So to add to her stash of costumes we decided to make her a mask. And, per my usual M.O., we wanted to keep it to simple supplies that can often be found around any home.

So we took those old cardboard boxes and found the inside space of a side large enough to cover her face. Then I drew a large head-and-neck shape and some circles for eyes and nose and mouth. This helped her really understand what we were getting at. Then I gave her some markers and told her to go to town decorating the face. She drew some random circles and colored in the soon-to-be-cut-out eyes. And then she enlisted my help with hair and blush and eyebrows and, what do you know, a spider on her forehead.

Then she watched me cut out the mask and eye-holes, and there she had a silly mask to hold up. She called it Edith and preceded to speak in a funny voice while she giggled and walked around. Later that day she even asked me to make another mask for me so Edith could have a friend. Brilliant! I think I’ll name him Bob.

What you need

blank cardboard (the inside of old boxes should do)



What you do

1. Draw the outline of a face, neck and start of shoulders. Also draw the outline of the eye. Or if your little one understands that, let her do it!

2. Have your little one color in the outline as much or as little as she'd like, in as realistic or imaginative style as she prefers.

3. Cut out the outline and the eye holes

4. Name your new friend!

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