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How to Make Miró Inspired Magic Animal Masks For Kids

by Catalina Gutierrez
March 14, 2019

Catalina Gutierrez of Redviolet Studio shares how to create cardboard Miró inspired magic animal masks for kids!

“I want to see large birds, snakes and creatures of the night in pictures.”Joan Miró

I have a long, and I mean a LONG list of favorite artists that inspire me day after day to do art with children.

Miró is among the top of this list as his art is so colorful and relatable. It’s full of shapes and lines–so magical and inspiring to children (and adults too of course)!

I have done a few projects based on his work before. But I have got to say that these animal masks for kids (inspired by Antony Penrose’s book:“Miró’s Magic Animals” and by the artist’s wonderful paintings of fantastic animals) were a project that really sparked the kids’ interests and imaginations.

Animal mask made using cardboard, paint and glue

After reading the book and learning a little about Miró’s life and his love for plants and animals, we saw some of his paintings of magic animals, and I started asking the kids questions:

“What kind of animal could this one be?” I asked.

“It’s like a fish head with a lizard body!” and “This one has the head of a giraffe and the legs of an armadillo!” were some of their answers.

They were so excited trying to figure out what they saw and give names to the animals in Miró’s paintings.

Purple and pink Miró inspired cardboard animal mask

After this discussion I asked the kids to think about what their magic animal would look like.

“Mine is going to be a Uniraffe!” said a girl. “And mine a catbear!”… We had come up with all sorts of animal mixes and crazy ideas.

The kids were fired up and ready to start working on their masks based on the animals they had invented.

Four Miró inspired magic animal masks with paint and scissors and cardboard

How to Make Animal Masks for Kids

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  1. Cut out the animal mask shape

    First, start by cutting out the shape of the mask using recycled cardboard and an Exacto knife or sturdy kitchen scissors.

    If you are working with more than one kid at a time cut the masks differently; be creative and silly!

  2. Paint the animal masks

    Then set out the pre-cut masks and invite the children to paint them. Cover the animal masks completely with the acrylic paints set out in small jars or cups.

    Remind the children to think about their magic animal face, “What does it look like? What shapes can they see in these faces?

    Encourage them to cover the whole mask in paint, using different colors and shapes.

  3. Cut, glue and paste on animal features

    Bring in the glue and most of the supplies you gathered for the project: paper, felt, sticks, cardboard pieces, eyes, foamy, straws, cardboard shapes, etc.

    These are mainly things I had around my studio, but you can pretty much include any item you have that may be fun to add features to the animal masks.

    Child using paint, buttons, oil pastels, yarn, scissors and glue to create Miró inspired animal masks for kids

    Ask the kids to think about what the animal’s eyes look like, and nose…could it have two noses? What about the mouth? Will it be a large one or a tiny one filled with sharp teeth?

    Pick their minds asking questions so they really put a lot of details into their creations. Remind them to use their scissors to cut the different materials into the shapes and sizes they desire.

    Black animals masks for kids with googly eyes inspired by Miró

  4. Add hair to animal masks

    Bring out the yarn, pre-cut in long strands and in different colors and see what happens.  Most of the children started adding hair and beards to their animals.

    It was so fun to watch how the masks mutated into something more fun and fantastic every minute of the process.

    Create magic animal masks for kids with cardboard and glue and yarn

  5. Add a dowel rod to the mask

    Glue a dowel (with a glue gun) to the back of the mask once it’s dry and take all the animals out on a parade!

  6. Imaginative share & play with animal masks

    The children loved showing off their masks and discussing with each other what they created and the special powers their animals had.

    It was a cool process all the way to the end! And I mean, check these out!!

I hope you get a chance to try making these amazing animal masks for kids!

Child holding up Miró inspired black cardboard animal mask

Pin It For Later

Catalina Gutierrez of Redviolet Studio shares how to create Miró inspired magic animal masks for kids using cardboard and other materials on hand. #kidsart #artsandcrafts #upcycled #kidscrafts #cardboard #recycledcraft #craftsforkids

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