I absolutely love to upcycle, creating something from the discarded. I try to base my unit study activities on things that can be found around the house, minimizing cost and waste. I was inspired by these masks on a similar version found on Instagram. I thought they would be perfect for my Guatemalan Unit Study!
The history of Mayan masks is interesting, but long story short, Mayan masks started off as protection during battles, but eventually became used for festivals and weddings. Traditionally they were made out of jade and different types of mosaics when used for special occasions. When I was in Guatemala, I bought a carved wooden monkey mask in one of the open air markets in Antigua. Here is me wearing it 20 years ago. I’m kicking myself I didn’t keep it.
A few weeks prior, I started collecting egg cartons. You really only need a couple, unless you want to make a lot of masks.
I also had some toilet paper tubes to add more creativity, but honestly the egg cartons are more than adequate if you want. Next, cut the cartons into smaller pieces so you have parts to create your masks with. I left the lids intact so we could use those as our masks bases.
So many options! I let my little ones at the table to start creating. I had them place the pieces where they wanted and then I glued them into plate with a hot glue gun. You could use white school glue, but it takes too long to dry when you’re little and impatient.
We used the back and insides of the lids, we used the egg holders as eyes or notes. We used the sides to add flair. So much opportunity for creativity!
Tada! I think they turned out so cute! I love seeing how my little people’s minds transformed a bunch of loose parts into fun masks, and it gave me an opportunity to talk about my experience back in the day in Guatemala and the history of these masks in their culture. What a fun day!