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Show And Tell: How Are Your Kids Getting Creative With Masks?

Justin Paget
Getty Images

There are a lot of questions around masking kids at school. Which masks will keep my kids safe? What if my kids mask up but the adults don't?

It can be a very scary world for parents to navigate, given the rise in the delta variant, breakthrough cases and concerns about developmental delays from wearing masks. For kids, masks can be a disturbing visual reminder every day that they're living in a global pandemic.

But, I'd like to take a break from all the scary and upsetting news for just a moment to focus on a cool aspect that has come from all of this ... mask expression. It can be hard enough trying to get your little kids to wear a mask properly, but then what happens when they want to wear THIS mask, but not THAT mask.

And so, the design world has stepped forth with a slew of cute and cool masks for kids. Masks like this one that turns your face into your favorite character, or ones like this that allow you to say what you want, or like these that turn into wristlets your kids can wear to school.

Obviously, not everyone can afford a name-brand mask, and of course the brand doesn't mean it's safer, by any means. But as a parent, I've seen lots of clever designs and ideas out there that make mask-wearing just a bit more bearable.

And I'm wondering how other parents and caregivers are handling this.

And so, here at NPR Ed, we'd love to hear from you, parents and caregivers, in either of two ways:

  • We've asked you before to send us postcards made by your children or students about life in the pandemic. So, this time, ask them to draw, paint, sketch us a postcard about masks — their masks, their friends' masks, masks in schools, whatever. And, then, on the back, have them write us a little postcard note (or if they're too little, adults can help): "Dear NPR ..." that explains their picture.
  • Or, send us your own story, or a photo, or both, about how you've dealt with this.  What workarounds have you found? A homemade PAW Patrol variation? Or a storebought mask that bedazzled? Or just an anecdote or image that brought this all home for you.
  • We look forward to hearing from you, and we'll publish some of your comments and images, along with postcards from children.

    Here's how to get in touch:

    Postcards: Take a photo of the front and the back of your child's postcard and — as their parent or guardian — email them to us, at npred@npr.org and put "Masks" in the subject line

    Include your child's first name and the town or city and state where you live. (Please note: by sending in your child's postcard, you grant NPR a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, universal license to use, publish, or display the postcard on npr.org or on NPR's social media channels)

    Or, drop us an email line with your own story or images at npred@npr.org. Put "masks" in the subject line.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    LA Johnson is an art director and illustrator at NPR. She joined in 2014 and has a BFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design.