The mischievous, nocturnal antics of raccoons provide rich fodder for spinning many entertaining stories for preschoolers using a raccoon mask craft in pretend play. In making and playing with a raccoon mask, your preschooler learns facts about this forest creature such as its intelligence, excellent swimming ability and that it is anything but a picky eater. Through parent-child dialogue, she increases her vocabulary and through the manual process of crafting, she develops her motor skills.
Making a raccoon mask with your preschooler requires only common materials easily found or obtained even on a limited budget. Paper plates, construction paper or poster board, glue or glue sticks, tape, scissors, crayons or colored pencils, a hole punch, string or yarn and popsicle sticks or straws are all you need to costume your child as a furry little woodland raccoon in several different ways.
Preschool crafts go more smoothly if the adult precuts the pieces before the child assembles the craft. Cut an ovoid out of black construction paper the width of a large paper plate. Cut eye holes in this mask, lay the mask over the plate and cut matching eye holes out of the plate. Next, cut two black 1- to 2-inch trapezoids for eye brows and two pairs of 1-to 2-inch triangles, one smaller set in white and a slightly larger set in black. Cut out an extra black one, too. Cut out a pink or red long half-oval. Once you have the pieces ready, let your child color the plate gray. Have him carefully spread glue on the back of the black bandit mask and press it into place, matching up the eye holes with the ones on the plate. Glue the trapezoids over the eyes as eyebrows and the black triangles to the top edge of the plate at either side as ears. Glue the white triangles inside the black ears, the last black triangle in the center under the eyes as the nose and the half-oval under that as the tongue. Your child can glue black yarn to the cheeks as whiskers or draw them in. Punch a hole at each side of the face and tie a length of string at both sides so you can tie the mask onto your child before letting your wild raccoon roam free for creative play.
For a quick raccoon glasses mask craft, cut a 2-inch by 18-inch strip of white or gray construction paper or poster board with a 1- to 2-inch half circle bulge on one long side centered between the ends. Hold it up to your child's face with the bulge covering her nose and mark where the eyes and sides of the head are. Cut out the eye holes and bend back the arms so they will fit over your child's ears, cutting out a bit on the ends to fit the sides over your child's ears. Give your preschooler a black crayon or colored pencil to color in black around the eyes and a nose on the bulge. He can also color raccoon stripes on the arms of the glasses.
If you prefer a carry mask in the style of opera or Mardi Gras rather than a wearable one, sketch a general outline of a raccoon face, either in half or full mask form on white or gray construction paper or poster board. Spider Magazine, Scholastic and Human Wildlife Control all offer raccoon mask templates to make this craft even easier. Cut out the eye holes and let your child color the raccoon pattern on the face. Tape a straw or Popsicle stick on the back of one side to provide a carry handle that allows your preschooler to instantly transform from her own lovable self to a wild raccoon.
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