making faces

I had originally made this activity to occupy the kids during our long trips to NYC for Matilda's medical appointments with her transplant team. But after playing around with them, I realized that it was much more than just silly faces.

As my four year old and I were playing, we began to talk about the emotions each face represented. Was the man sad, disappointed, confused, or excited? And even better than recognizing emotion in facial expressions, we started to create back stories that engaged a lesson on empathy, curiosity, and understanding.

We both enjoyed each other so much and ended the day with laughter and love. Since then, we have brought out this activity multiple times and each time we are able to create endless combinations of faces. My two year old is also able to join in and loves acting out the characters being portrayed.

Fun for all, I tell you! So, here is how you can make your own.

Supplies: chipboard, paint, Cricut Explore (or x-acto knife)

Process: find fun faces and accessories in the Cricut Design Space* (or anywhere on the internet) - we collected our parts from the Dr. CheckupPaper Dolls for Everyday, and My Quiet Book image sets. We ungrouped the images to gather just the parts we wanted (heads, hair, accessories, etc.) and deleted the rest. Once you have sized all the pieces to fit with each other, you are ready to cut. Load your chipboard on the cutting mat, set the Cricut to the custom cut setting (pick chipboard from the dropdown list), and hit Go to cut it out. Once the pieces are cut, paint them with a base coat of white and then finish with whatever color(s) suit your mood. It's all fun and games after that.

Time: 1-2 hours depending on how quickly you choose your faces and how long your paint takes to dry.

*Even if you don't have a Cricut Explore, you can register for a Cricut account and access the Design Space. This will allow you access to Cricut's image library (some images cost money), which you can then print and use as a stencil to cut with your x-acto knife.

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