Now, more than ever, we need to take care of the earth. The Amazon Rainforest is the largest tropical ecosystem on the planet, hosts the most biodiversity on earth, and is home to many indigenous people. If we maintain our current interaction with the environment, the Amazon Rainforest, and the human and plant life that lies within it, could be gone in 40 years. There is a lot at stake. But, things don’t have to end up that way. We hold the power to reshape our relationship with our environment and to educate our children how to take respect the land.

We often neglect the fact that plants and animals are living. We forget about the human life that relies on the physical environment. In order help children realize that humans and nature are connected and rely on one another, we have created a mask-making activity for you to share with kids!

Mask are often used during rituals and ceremonies by tribes around the world. The reasons why and how they are used vary across cultures and tribes. Rather than appropriating the use of mask making from another culture, today we encourage you to create your own ritual with mask making. Make your own ritual of giving thanks to the earth as you collect the objects and celebrate the connection between humans and nature by creating a mask out of these natural elements!

I always recommend starting by preparing your mind and your materials. Take a moment to look over the activity and its meaning.Take a few moments to let it sit and breathe deeply with kids, and then begin! By organizing yourself first, you make the activity more enjoyable and meaningful for everyone!

Materials:

  • Cardboard
  • Exacto knife / Scissors
  • Hot glue / Elmers glue
  • Natural elements:  leaves, grass, rocks, bark, etc.

1. Prep Materials

Before sitting the kids down/ depending on the age of the mask-makers, I suggest cutting up a few pieces of cardboard roughly the size/shape of a face!

2. Get outside

Grab your gloves, coats, a bag, and get outside! Explore your woods and gather some materials to make your mask with! Leaves, grass, acorns, bark! Spend as much time exploring as you’d like!

3. Create

Connect with the earth as you create a face made out of natural elements. Use Elmer’s glue or hot glue to connect objects to the cardboard. After masks have been completed, you can ask kids to share why they used certain materials for different parts of their face and share the meaning behind their mask!

How can you make an impact?

1. You can symbolically adopt an acre of land using Amazon Aid’s Acre Care program. 100% of your donation goes directly to our partners on the ground with the Amazon Conservation Association and its sister organization in Peru la Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica in the Madre de Dios region.

Credit: PMG Film

2. You can symbolically adopt a tree to be planted in a reforestation concession near the Manuani river in Madre de Dios to help reforest an abandoned gold mine.