My friend Kerri taught me how to make the coolest paperboard masks ~ we created 24 of them a few months ago to create Native American masks with our sons’ First Grade Class.

My little son’s pre-school teacher recently wondered if I’d like to do some painting with her class. Upon asking my 5 year old (who has attended all of the art classes where I’ve worked with his big brother’s classes for 2 school years) which project we should do with HIS friends at pre-school ~ he chose mask painting. This project took place on Tuesday of this week.

The paperboard mask ~ easily created from a cereal box. Such a blank canvas!

I buffed up on my knowledge the morning of the lesson ~ and the more I learned and saw, the more excited I got. This pre-school class contains the sweetest little group of children. I was positively jubilant by the time I sat down with the little ones.

We talked very simply about who the Native Americans were and how they worked with the materials they had in their lives ~ no place to buy paint! So they made it with berries, minerals, leaves, spit and such. 🙂 Their paint brushes were created with animal hair and other natural materials.

We gave the children three paint brushes, one for each color, and discussed how the sample masks I showed didn’t utilize paint blending and mixing ~ rather blocks of rich, pure color next to each other.

This is my little darling 😉

We talked very simply about the meaning of the animal figures chosen to create crafts and totems. The Bear referring to protection, strength and sky; the wolf meaning love, gentleness and teacher; Mountain Lion inferring smarts, strength, freedom, power and confidence. I created a mountain lion for each of them because I admire the confidence and freedom of 5 year olds 🙂

We talked very simply about how Native Americans told stories through dance and ceremony ~ using masks and costumes.

I think the kids were proud, in the end. They focused on adding color to their masks for almost a half hour.

We talked about the meaning of colors, such as green meaning summer and earth, rain and plants; Blue referring to sky, female, moon and sadness; Red inferring anger, war, blood and the sunset.

This was completely fun. While the teacher washed the brushes in the bathroom, I got to read to the kids in circle time. Such a joy. I even had moments on the drive home that I might want to go back to teaching in a pre-school… yah, never mind 🙂

It’s Free Cards Friday ~ Add your note or insight to this blog post (here at the blog or on the Facebook page) throughout the weekend and be in the running to win some cards ~ I’ll choose the winner on Monday.

Love & Sincerely ~ Katie