We entered 2021 glad to be rid of 2020 and filled with hope for the future. For most of us, having had a rubbish Christmas and New Year, January arrived fresh with new start ideals and resolutions. Nothing could compare to the dreadful year we’ve just had right? With just one day of the new term at school under their belts, children are no longer going to school, as the Coronavirus once again has the country firmly in its grasp and we have entered a National Lockdown – version two.
You may be thinking what on earth lanyards have to do with a national lockdown, however, if like me, you are now stuck at home for the foreseeable future trying to juggle children and home working, or you are now stuck at home for the foreseeable future having already Netflix-ed out over the Christmas period and done all your jigsaws and read all your books during the last lockdown, you may be looking for fresh ideas to keep yourself and any smaller humans entertained. And that is where lanyards come in. I have been thinking for a while about how inefficient masks are for children. Although there is no legal requirement for children to wear masks, given their propensity towards being germ riddled at the best of times and with an unsurprising lack of general hygiene no matter how many times you tell them to wash their hands, I figured it was best for the population as a whole that my children wore masks when we went out. The problem I had, and although I have anecdotally shown this with children, I must admit to having this problem myself as an entirely grown adult, is the fact that masks get misplaced ALL THE TIME! I feel like I have single handedly kept mask makers in business for the last six months. Getting stuffed in pockets and handbags and left on walks, I figured there must be an easier way to carry them with us and reducing the amount of mask-related losses my household has. But what could we use that is both detachable, so reusable masks can be washed, secure enough that an absent minded child won’t lose it (okay, okay… so an absent minded adult won’t lose it) but with ease of use and accessibility? Lanyards! I said to myself sleepily at 2am when my brain decided it would wake me up with the most obvious of solutions.
So why lanyards? We use them everyday for everyday purposes. I have one for my keys (they also have a tendency to become misplaced!) I have one when I go to work, I see them on healthcare workers, on business people and security personnel. There is nothing to stop them being utilized for carrying masks. And the beauty of lanyards is the myriad of options you have for custom design!
Make your own lanyard
If you want to entertain either children or yourself this lockdown, then making your own lanyard for a mask is a fun, yet practical way to pass the time. At Only Lanyards you can find a blog entitled “Lanyard Making – The Art of Scoubidou.” If you are brave enough to attempt the knots and patience required for traditional lanyard making then I recommend this as a first read. However, if you have the patience of a small child, or if you have a small child, then we still have lots of options. Lanyard literally means “strap.” So it doesn’t matter how it looks or what it is made from. If it is a strap that can carry a mask then we have ourselves a lanyard!
One option is to get some thread and beads and make your own. I highly recommend using an elastic cord or ribbon, but please be aware that beads can be a choking hazard for small children and you do not want to be going to A&E with a bead stuck up a nose in the midst of a pandemic! To be able to attach your DIY lanyard then you need an alligator clasp. This is the clasp found on necklaces, although you can get them larger for this purpose.
Another option is to use “loom bands.” Popular several years back with primary age school children and oddly enough – goths, the premise of loom bands is very similar to how traditional lanyards are made. Although flexible plastic has replaced rope! You need to purchase clips to attach them to your mask, but this is a good way to have some fun and inspire creativity in children whilst making something with a practical use.
Design your own custom lanyard
If like me, you have a collection of quite interesting masks – polka dot anyone? And would quite enjoy a lanyard that matches your mask, then custom designing your own is a good option. This doesn’t have to apply to my ideas of matching your mask, you can design a lanyard to clash, to be simple, have a photo of your loved one printed all over it – whatever you like. You have freedom of design! This is particularly useful for smaller children, or if you don’t have the dexterity or eyesight to be threading beads or playing with loom bands. They can draw their designs on paper and you can use those as a basis for your print. I promise all lanyard companies have seen everything, so don’t worry about what you want printing on one!
The benefit to custom designing your own lanyards for you or your family, is that you can pick your own material (useful for children and adults with sensory issues) and what attachment you have to carry your mask. All the choices are there at the click of a button, which is somewhat less stressful than trawling the internet asking “what is an alligator clip?” You also have safety breakaway clips as standard, which gives you peace of mind when using them for the masks of children and vulnerable adults.
But regardless of what lanyard you choose, make your own or design your own; it is something to pass the time in what will be a miserable situation for many. And to end on a positive note, having a reusable lanyard to carry your mask is eco-friendly and helping to save our planet! Especially so if you opt for Only Lanyard’s recycled lanyard materials like bamboo or PET. But mostly because I’m pretty sure my carbon footprint will halve when I stop having to buy all of the masks! Design a lanyard, save a turtle! The soon to be rallying cry of Lockdown two.