Like many parents over the summer, I was eagerly (and apprehensively) awaiting the return-to-learning plan from my children’s schools. In late July, we learned elementary-aged kids in our district would be given a choice: full remote learning or in-person instruction. I’m very grateful to have been given the choice, even though I struggled to know the right thing to do. Now, thankfully, my kids are over a month into learning in-person at school, are thriving, and are doing it all in masks!
At their school, teachers, staff, students, and all people on school property are required to wear masks. The kids have socially-distant mask breaks and obviously remove them at lunch. The teachers have also reiterated each child should have a clean mask every day. I’m not a do-laundry-every-day kind of person, so I knew I needed a minimum of five masks for each of my kids. I also wondered, like many parents, how do you coax a child into wearing a mask all day? This ended up being a non-issue. Everyone’s wearing them so they are just a normal part of the school day.
But I also wondered, how will my kids not lose their mask every day? Most parents have probably experienced the missing single mitten, hat, sock, or water bottle. But the mask solution I found came from a smart advertising algorithm on Etsy. I was searching for kid-sized masks when I was served an ad for mask lanyards. Genius! I thought. For just a few dollars each, my kids have made it through a month of school with all of their masks accounted for. Below are the lanyards I purchased, as well as some other editor-approved alternatives.
These are the lanyards my daughters wear to school every day. The strap is made of stitched cloth and is adjustable. Some lanyards I've seen use velcro and I can only imagine it getting stuck in long hair. These have snaps which every-so-often get a stray hair stuck, but overall have been great!
Make Your Own Personalized Mask
Our contributing editor Jaclyn bought these masks for herself and her 3-year-old son. She then DIY-personalized his mask with these letter beads from Target.