Friday, August 30, 2013

Do You Have a Hat?

Mags and I don't officially start her first grade year until Tuesday, but we are still doing our extracurricular activities, including meeting weekly with our homeschooling co-op.  A few of the moms expressed an interest in starting a Book Club for the group (similar to the personal Book Club events of mine that I have posted about prior), and since I was elected to host the first one, I chose Do You Have a Hat? by Eileen Spinelli, in honor of "Fall Hat Month" next month (September). 
Maggie and I love this book.  It's full of cute rhymes about famous people in history, remembered for their hats!
 (Here is one of the inside spreads, about Francisco de Goya.)
 For the event, I asked everyone to come wearing their hats, then when I read the repeated phrase, Do YOU have a hat? (listed fifteen times in the book from the cover page to the end), I would point to a different child each time and ask him/her to tell the rest of the group about his/her hat.  Here is Maggie's hat that she got from her uncle last year.
I was tickled that even the moms wore hats!
Here was our group, donning their headwear!
 To start the lesson, we talked about hats.  Why do we wear them?  What do we use them for?  Then, I held up these little pictures that I printed from some clipart and the children hollered out their guesses as to what kind of hat it was and when it would be worn.
 After that, we read the book, stopping at every "Do you have a hat?" to ask one child about his/her hat.  When we got to the pages about famous hats, I held up printed pictures I found online of the real people the book was talking about.  (Here is a painting of Francisco de Goya, the same historical figure that was in the photo of the book spread that I posted above.)  The kids seemed to be really interested in their actual likenesses. 
After we read our book and discussed all the historical figures and their hats, it was time for a craft!
I found the idea for our hat craft at, using a plastic bowl and plate (I bought packs of matching colors at Dollar Tree), tacky glue, tissue paper, and a fabric flower.  Simply glue your bowl upside down onto the bottom of the plate, then decorate.  Here was the example I made for the kids.
For the boys, I provided ribbon, feathers, and these badges to make a more masculine hat.  Here was my example.
The kids were excited to get to work!
Here is Maggie, working on hers.  (That girl LOVES red!)
All done!  Here is Mags' hat!
For the snack, I wanted to make a hat of sorts.  I found these Jessie Hat Cookies at
 One of the things you need (which I had not used before) is Wilton's Cookie Icing, in red, which I purchased at the craft store.  (Always use 40% off coupons if you have to buy your supplies at craft stores!  We have JoAnn's, Michael's, and Hobby Lobby here, and I always print out coupons from online before I head to one to get my supplies!)
After baking some sugar cookies (I simply made two batches from Betty Crocker pouches of mix), I let them cool on wire racks.  Once cool, I laid waxed paper under my cooling racks, read the directions off the Cookie Icing bottle, then poured it over the top of my cooled cookies.  (I had 51 cookies, and it took 2 bottles to cover them all.  I'm sure this could have been poured more neatly, but like I said, it was my first time using this stuff and I was happy with the results.)
Once the Cookie Icing had dried (it takes about an hour), I took some white icing (I used a tub of Betty Crocker frosting, transferred to a squeeze bottle for easier decorating) and put a large dollop at the bottom of red gum drops, which I then stuck to the middle of my cookies.  (The white icing makes it look like a hat band.)  They're starting to look more like hats now!
Finally, using that same squeeze bottle, I piped a line around the circumference of the hat, then added "stitches" to appear like Jessie's hats.
I think they turned out pretty cute!  :)
 The kids loved them!
To end our Book Club meeting, we played a hat relay race, but before they left, everyone went home with these packets I made of all things hats ... handwriting sheets, games, puzzles, etc.
 It was a great time and another fun Book Club hosting!  See you next week!  WE START FIRST GRADE!!!  :)