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Try some of these hat activities with your preschool students.
Bring in hats worn during different types of weather - visors, rain hats, warm stocking caps, sun hats, etc. Talk about each hat and then show the class pictures of different types of weather. Have them choose the hat that is best for each weather situation and discuss why.
For your dramatic play area bring in a variety of hats for the students to look at and try on. Try to include hats and helmets for different sports and occupations as well as other hats such as bonnets and decorative hats. Encourage your students to act out what they would do wearing the different types of hats. You can also provide some plain straw hats along with flowers and ribbons so that students can decorate the hats before wearing them.
Collect pictures of different hats for sorting activities. Students can sort hats by color, size, function and special features like brims or decorations. You can also provide real hats for sorting.
Read the book Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina to the class. After reading talk about the colors of the caps - red, blue, gray and brown. Then give each student a small picture of a cap to color. Tell them to color it their favorite of the colors from the book and then use the caps to make a graph. For a math center idea to go with the book, take a piece of white paper and glue die cuts of caps in the four colors on it. Place different numbers of each color on the paper and laminate. Have the students count how many of each color hat there are. You could make several different mats so the students can practice counting on each one. This is also a fun book to let the students act out.
Have a hat day and encourage your students wear hats to school. You can talk about the different kinds of hats worn that day and what they are used for. For a cute graphing activity take a picture of each student wearing his hat. Then use the pictures to make different graphs. You can graph the hats by color, size or type of hat (cowboy hats, baseball caps, etc.) Reuse the pictures to make a new graph each day.
Give each student a plastic visor to decorate with stickers or foam shapes. Another fun idea is to give each student a paper plate to decorate. They can use crayons, markers, glitter, feathers or any other craft materials you want. Then punch 2 holes across from each other in the plate. Tie a piece of yarn or string from each hole. Let the students wear their paper plate hats by tying the string under their chins.
There are lots of fun books about hats to share with your students when you are doing your preK hat activities. A few favorites are Hats, Hats, Hats by Ann Morris, The Hat by Jan Brett, The Magic Hat by Mem Fox and of course The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. All of these books can be found on Amazon.
Want some more ideas? Try this lesson plan using the book Aunt Flossie's Hat.