For those of us with children or children in our care, you may find that last month’s new provincial mask mandates are bringing up the topic of masks more than ever in your life these days. In case you are a bit out of the loop, the province-wide mask mandate for schools has extended to grades K-12 and masks are now mandatory in all indoor public spaces for people age 5+. These efforts are aimed at helping reduce COVID-19 transmission, and to help us get past this pandemic in due time. For some children, this is going to be a big change, and with hope, the following resources will help make this transition easier for everyone in your child care centres and/or homes.
How To Get Kids To Wear Masks by HuffPost Canada starts with an excellent article of tips and tricks. Their suggestions range from setting a good mask wearing example as adults, buying children’s masks specifically for comfort, giving children the reins in choosing the design of their masks, offering children incentives for mask wearing and practicing deep breathing with children. Be realistic in your expectations, and make masks entertaining. Give it a read if you’re having struggles or are just not sure where to start.
This (possibly) new wearing of masks may bring up further conversations with the children in your life. On the Government of Canada’s website, there is a helpful piece called COVID-19: Kids, here’s what you need to know, it is quite user and child-friendly. It covers COVID-19 as a whole, and its section, Why some people are wearing masks could be a great topic to revisit and discuss in light of these new mandates.
Speaking of making masks entertaining, the Hello, WONDERFUL website has a great mask colouring art activity for kids. It’s a fun activity to harness children’s creative energies. It can serve as another opportunity to have conversations about masks and how they keep all of us safe. The surprising way this art activity reveals the mask will help bring an entertaining element to these new realities with the children in your lives and we hope, more ease in the transitions ahead.