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Set out thin white paper plates. Also provide collage materials such as colored paper and fabric scraps, ribbons and bows, yarn, rickrack, pompoms, crepe-paper streamers, artificial flowers, and sequins. Invite your children to use their imaginations to turn the paper plates into hats by gluing the collage materials onto the back of the plates any way they wish. When they have finished, punch two holes on opposite edges of each hat and attach ribbon or yarn ties.
Try one or both of these ideas with your group.
Cone Hats: For each child, fashion a piece of construction paper into a cone shape and staple or tape the edges in place. Punch holes on opposite sides of the hat and attach yarn ties. Let your children decorate their hats with marker designs and stickers.
Headband Hats: To make each hat, cut a piece of construction paper in half lengthwise. Staple or tape the two strips together to make one longer strip. Invite your children to decorate their strips with glued-on collage materials. Then fit each child’s strip around his or her head and fasten the ends in place.

Color Hats: Choose a simple hat shape, such as a derby. Cut five derby shapes out of red construction paper, five shapes out of yellow paper, and five shapes out of blue paper. Mix up the shapes and ask your children to sort them into three piles by color.
Shape Hats: Select three different hat shapes, such as a stovepipe hat, a derby, and a clown hat. Cut five shapes of each hat out of construction paper. Mix up the hats, place them in a box, and let your children sort them by shape into separate piles.
Number Hats: Count together the number of different Color Hats and Shape Hats from the games above.
Stock a dress-up box with a variety of hats, such as a derby, a stocking cap, a sun hat, a party hat, a firefighter hat, a football helmet, a baseball cap, and a rain hat. Talk about how some hats protect our heads from the weather or from injuries, some are part of uniforms, and some are worn just for fun or fashion. Encourage your children to try on the various hats in your dress-up box and use them for dramatic play.

Set out five or more hats, such as a rain hat, a stocking cap, a baseball cap, a police officer hat, and a bike helmet. Make up short riddles about the hats. For instance: “You put me on when it starts to rain. Which hat am I?” Or: “You wear me when you’re riding your bike. Which hat am I?” As you recite the riddles, let your children take turns answering them by choosing the appropriate hats and putting them on.
Invite your children to sit on the floor in a circle. Choose a Player to put on a hat and sit in the middle of the circle with eyes closed. Silently choose another child to be the Wind. Have the Wind tiptoe up to the Player, snatch away the hat, and return to the circle. Then have the Player open his or her eyes and try to guess which child was the Wind. Continue with more rounds of the game until everyone has had a turn being the Wind or the Player.

Tune: “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”

Hats on heads here and there,
Hats on heads everywhere.
Hats for rain and hats for sun.
Hats for work and hats for fun.
Hats on heads here and there,
My favorite hat is the hat I wear!
Liz Ryerson

Let your children put on hats and parade around the room as you sing.

Cut extra-large hat shapes out of heavy paper. Set out crayons, markers, and stickers. Then let your children decorate the hat shapes any way they wish to make placemats for snacktime.