Last week I mentioned Polar Bear, Polar Bear What do you Hear? by Bill Martin as one of our favorite zoo themed books for preschoolers. If you haven't read this particular book, at the end the zoo "animals" are all children wearing animal masks and making the animal sounds. The boys love to play "dress up" so when I found these printable animal masks, I knew this would be a fun way to follow up the book, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear? These are from the Big Book of Animal Masks which you can order at Masketeers.com.
After reading the book, we laid out all of the masks and played a game of verbally labeling the animals and their sounds. This was great for Tyson who is 2 years old and has a speech delay. Tyson loves animals so animal words are generally within his control. If he can't say the name of the animal, he can usually make its sound. He can always locate the animal if I label it. Naming the animal and locating the animals let Tyson feel like a rockstar! I would say, "Can you find the animal that says "grrrr"? When he located the bear, I would ask him to tell me the animal's name. And before we even made the masks, the boys knew how to use these large animal faces.
After we did some animal labeling, we tried on the masks. These printed out so nicely onto card stock and were easy to assemble. Aren't they adorable?
As a reading specialist and a mom of two young boys, I can use these masks for a variety of play and learning. We can use them to reenact and retell stories. The masks also work well for children to use in their creative free play. My boys were kept entertained as they tried on different masks and let their imaginations run wild! In fact, I peeked in on their play time and I heard Logan telling Tyson, "I'll be the Walrus and you be the Walrus's Grandma." When provided with a few "props" their imagination takes them places I couldn't dream up for them.
I think these masks could be used with so many different themes. Do you use masks in your pretend play?
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The Sunday Showcase, The Learning Laboratory, Made by Little Hands Monday, Book Sharing Monday, Hey Mom! Look What I Did, Kids Get Crafty, It's Playtime, stART, Thrifty Thursday, Kids Co-op, What My Child is Reading,
Disclaimer: I was provided a free download of this product. This is my honest opinion of the masks. No other compensation was given for this post.