I'm barely awake. The sun is just peering through the corner of our window and I hear the kettle beginning to whistle. I look down and see my three and a half year old, Elliot holding up his polar bear mask. On his back is a super hero cape. A moment later Asher runs in, galloping really and he hands me his own red panda mask and of course, super hero cape. I look at the clock and then glance out the window: our neighbors are already gone for work. My husband is getting up and so, I say "yes." I fix their masks and clasp their capes around their neck. Almost instantly, they're off: roaring and jumping; eating their "food" and always yelling "look at me! look at me, mommy!" And so, begins a full day of play. They will play with blocks and cars; they will color and read their books. But I think their masks are their favorite, and honestly, it's currently my favorite as well!
We are part of Opposite of Far's Endangered Animal Mask of the Month Club. Each month, you receive a mask along with a 5X7 print of the featured animal along with information about that particular one. Each animal has been chosen to bring awareness about the species. As I see my kid's learn and play, I am confident that their awareness flows out of their play. They may not fully understand it yet (they are 3.5 and 2.5) but they learning to love the animal; they will grow up caring because they used their imagination to put themselves in the shoes of the animal. They are learning empathy as they run across the room, usually in their underwear and making oh so much noise. They are learning empathy as we talk about each animal. Although the conversations are short and simple, I know they will make a lasting impact on their minds.
Besides the hollering and jumping over all the place, the boys love to match the masks to the photos on the information cards. They are young, like I said and this is a perfect little matching game for them! We think of what noises each animal makes and imitate them together. Gosh, our poor neighbors! ;)
I feel so very lucky to have stumbled upon Opposite of Far's site, although I'm not surprised: they are quickly becoming apart of many children's lives. They are all over the place! Jessica, the owner and creator behind the play is a fantastic, inspirational woman. Not only is she encouraging play with her masks, but she is also helping parents inform their kids about important subjects through the use of imagination. She gets it: that's how kid's learn!
Opposite of Far is offering all my readers a 15% discount on any purchase in the shop! Just use the code ENDANGERED. If you purchase the Mask of the Month Club- Endangered Animals, then she will include a free polar bear mask, which is modeled on Elliot below. ;) That is so very generous. <3
And here are the elusive polar bear and red panda bear in their natural habitat. ;)