My little ones just adore woodland creatures. I mean… I do too. Who doesn’t?! In November, we made these sweet forest friends masks and went on a little nature walk through our back yard. Hearing my sweet Betsy girl say “I a hedgehog!” was one of the cutest moments of my life.
These forest friends printables truly can be used in so many ways. I’m excited to get them out again and again to make new things. This month, we simply cut them out and cut holes for the eyes. We taped a string of yarn on the back on each side to tie our masks on. For the hedgehog mask, we cut off the illustrated spikes and added pine needle spikes instead. They were SO cute!
Once we had our masks assembled, we read some woodland creature books while munching on popcorn and then headed outside to play in our forest. One of my favorite things about making together and then PLAYING together is the vulnerability that it breeds. I loved getting a glimpse into my daughter’s heart as we played forest creatures. She came up with the sweetest story. She was a reindeer and I was a fox. She said she had to go pull Santa’s sleigh. I (a fox) always wanted to pull Santa’s sleigh but only reindeer can. She said she would teach me how and that I could be her special helper. Raising little ones can be exhausting. So often it feels like you don’t see the fruits of all your hard work trying to teach them how to be kind empathetic humans. But playing this little game gave me just a peek into her heart. Her heart to be an includer. To bring people along. To empower them. Instead of going to “you’re a fox. You can’t.” She said “Come! You’re welcome here! I’ll be right beside you.”
I hope that as you all are playing with your little ones you get to see little bits of the kindness in their hearts as well.