With the school year fast approaching, and mandated masks a new way of life, parents are faced with the challenge of teaching their children how and when to wear a mask, and helping to make them feel comfortable and safe, as well. Learning about masks and practicing with them now will make it easier for your child to transition to wearing one at school.
A few basic strategies include finding a mask that your child wants to wear (maybe with a favorite character, print, or color), wearing your own mask comfortably and confidently while you’re around your child, and having your child get used to wearing a mask in your home while doing familiar or fun activities.
A very timely and relevant article we have found online is How to Help Kids Adjust to Masks Before School Starts. It covers 16 easy, practical, fun activities you can do with your child to practice mask-wearing.
This same site provides an article here with sensible ways to introduce your child to wearing a mask, and another article here that breaks down tips for mask-wearing by the child’s age.
University Hospitals has published an article entitled How to Help Your Child Get Used to Wearing a Mask. It explains that masks can be unsettling in a number of ways for children and suggests ideas for caregivers to ease that anxiety.
Here are a few more related sites, with videos and ebooks for kids, and articles for caregivers:
- Elmo Learns About Face Masks (a video by Sesame Street and CNN)
- Masked Heroes: A short cartoon video about wearing masks for kids (by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital)
- Wearing a Mask, printable coloring book
- Wearing a Mask, ebook for kids
- Putting a Mask on My Toys, ebook for kids
- My Mask, ebook for kids
- Helping Kids Get Used to Masks (an article by kidshealth.org)
- Cloth Face Coverings for Children (an article by healthychildren.org)
- Tips to Help Your Child Wear a Face Mask (an article by childrens.com)
- Ways to Get Your Child to Wear a Face Mask (an article by Akron Children’s Hospital)
We hope that those resources will help you find some tips and ideas that work for your family.
When you are ready for your child to practice wearing a mask outside your home and to interact with others, consider a trip to the Hudson Library to choose a few books and chat with our friendly mask-wearing librarians!