The past few weeks, my Instagram feed is full of my friends’ adorable kids in their back-to-school outfits… complete with fresh, new face masks.I’m so proud of these kids for being responsible about in-person schooling, and for parents for insisting on kids wearing masks.

See, our kids can do this! (We always knew they could.)

That said, seeing so many kids in the exact same masks — especially those school-uniform plaid ones for kids in private schools — makes me realize how easy it is for students to mix up their masks with other students. So we’ve been hunting for some cool face mask accessories for kids that will make it easier for them to keep those masks clean, separated and on.

They also happen to be great for students who are schooling from home, like my own older kids. After all, we all still need to wear masks when we get out of the house or head to the supermarket, and anything that encourages mask-wearing by all to help stop the spread of Covid is good by me.

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Related: We found the cutest animal face masks for young children

Cool face mask accessories for kids: Custom name lanyards that also function as ear savers

If you’re going to invest in one accessory for kids, I’d recommend a face-mask lanyard. These custom name lanyards at Made By Kat Designs are really cute for younger elementary or preschool aged kids, with their little names spelled out in blocks so there’s no doubt at all whose mask belongs to which kid!  Plus, it doubles as an “ear saver” by pulling the elastic bands back away from your ears when you tighten the lanyard. Smart!

(Ed: Please note that a few readers have suggested that out of an abundance of caution, younger kids in particular shouldn’t wear lanyards around they’re necks if they’re being active, like playing on a jungle gym. We say assess the risk yourself.)

 

Cool mask accessories for kids: A breakaway lanyard that's just a little safer for young kids

This breakaway face mask lanyard at Oatnick is really smart, especially for young kids. The plastic clasp “breaks” off with a gentle tug, to address any choking hazard concerns. And I like that the maker has offered lots of patterns kids will like, from sparkly unicorns to baseballs to camo.

Cool face mask accessories for kids: Mask Mate sliders save your kids' ears—and they're so fun!
Photo: Glenda Smith via Whimsical by Mily’s Etsy page

Worried your child will take their mask off a lot because it’s uncomfortable o tugging too much at their ears? then the cute Mask Mate Sliders at Whimsical by Mily are a smart and affordable option for kids. Caroline recently shared these in her great roundup of clever mask accessories post, which is worth a read!

There are lots of cute kid-friendly options to choose from, with characters from Avengers and Mario to unicorns and princesses, as well as themes like sports, emojis or my favorite, donuts.

Related: 10 arguments to help you convince your friends and neighbors to wear a damn mask in public already.

 

Cool face mask accessories for kids: A beaded mask lanyard that doubles as a necklace or bracelet

For teens, I’d snap up one of these cute beaded mask lanyards from Firefly Feeling Bright on Etsy. They’re very affordable, and stylish without trying to hard. I like that you can clip the two clasps together to wear as a necklace or bracelet when your mask is put away; you can also clip the lanyard to your glasses, if you wear them — same premise, but mask-ready. Because this is 2020, right?

Cool mask accessories for kids: These masks fold up to turn into bracelets when you're not wearing them

The new Mask Buddies from Cub Coats allows each adorable mask to be tucked into an interior pocket on the mask, to become a bracelet your child can wear on their wrist. And presumably not lose. (Think of them like the reusable nylon bags that roll up into themselves.) They feature cute puppy, cat, and fox faces like the company’s cute animal masks that our readers went wild for earlier this year. an interesting concept for kids who are old enough — and have the dexterity — to make them work. I’m guessing first or second grade might be the sweet spot. Plus, they donate 10% of their proceeds to COVID relief efforts.

Face mask accessories for kids: Use custom name labels to keep them straight (bonus: it's a name tag too!)

Don’t forget that labeling your child’s mask can be the easiest solution to keep them from getting lost!  I usually order the cute, custom iron-on fabric labels from Mabel’s Labels for our kids’ clothes this time of year, and they work perfectly for face masks too. Having their name right on the front of the mask (or on the inside in a non-irritating spot) will help kids keep all those masks straight. Plus, I like that they work asa a name tag, helping kids make new friends more easily for the new school year.

 

Cool face mask accessories for kids: A matching headband that's super fun is even more motivation to keep your mask on.

If your style-conscious child really want to complete their look, they can pair a  child’s face mask with a matching scrunchie thanks to the the Etsy shop Happy Threads by Kelsey. Or, go full-out with an amazing headband that matches a face mask (shown here). How happy does this cutie look with her My Little Pony accessories? It’s not designed to keep masks from getting lost per se, but In my experience, the more fun you can make a face masks for kids, the more likely they’ll be to wear it. And keep track of it!

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