Tuesday the 15th January is National Hat Day when all self-respecting hat wearers can don their finest head gear and proudly display their love of hats for all to see. Hats can make a great personality statement, cover up a bad hair day or importantly, offer protection from the elements.
And if we get the cold weather as predicted more of us will be digging out our warmest head gear to keep our ears warm and stop the heat from our bodies from escaping, our hats will not simply be there to provide a fashion statement!
The humble hat has officially been around since at least 3000BC, although some form of head gear probably existed even before then, with the remains of a man, and his hat, discovered from the Bronze age, frozen in a mountain between Austria and Italy.
Hats come in all different shapes and sizes, colours and designs, and have become synonymous with legendary film characters such as Indiana Jones, The Blues Brothers, The Mad Hatter in Alice and Wonderland and of course The Cat in the Hat!
Other famous hat wearers include Winston Churchill, Jackie Kennedy and practically every member of the Royal Family, especially the Queen.
So to celebrate National Hat Day, we are going to get creative here at Discovering Days and come up with some ideas to make our own extra special head coverings.
Want to find out more? Read on!
Hat making, or millinery, to give it the proper name, is a skill that few master professionally, and some of the best designer hats can cost thousands of pounds!
However, we think hats can be made at slightly more affordable prices, (only a hint of sarcasm there, honest), and by recycling materials, raiding cupboards, visiting charity shops and generally using whatever you can find, we think beautiful hats can be a sight to behold, cost very little to make, and you can have a lot of fun in the process!
Hat Making Ideas
This is where you can let your imagination take over. If you are making hats as a classroom activity you could start by deciding on a theme and asking the children to bring in pictures of their favourite hats, or funny hats that make them laugh; hats that make a statement, hats that are worn for protection or hats that are part of a uniform.
You could suggest drawing out the designs first of all, then follow up by having a collection of materials that would make your hat-making project a real classroom event and once all the designs have come to life, you could finish off by having a hat parade for all of the children to display their wonderful creations to the rest of the school!
As it’s winter time, you could have a rummage around for left over balls of wool and knit a multi coloured, fun to wear beanie hats, and add an easy to make fluffy pom to the top for a bright finishing touch.
Or you could make your very own red and white striped top hat like in the Dr Seuss stories, all you need is lots of card, paint and staples and off you go!
If your class enjoy sticking and gluing, buy a packet of balloons and let them cover with Papier-mâché; then once it is dry, you can fashion your super hats in to any kind of style you like! Simply pop the balloon inside and cut away the bottom of the hardened shell so that there is a hole large enough to fit on to the children’s heads before letting them paint and accessorize to their hearts content.
There’s also hats to make for Valentines Day, or, (pardon the pun), get ahead and start planning a spectacular Easter Bonnet parade, or simply ask children to bring in their own hats that they could decorate with ribbon and other accessories. The possibilities are endless, and what a fun time you can have in class, talking about, and preparing your hat themes.
Getting Creative for National Hat Day
To be creative it really helps to have the right materials and equipment.
Our perfectly sized wooden Activity Table, is the ideal work station for children to gather round and get busy with the paint, glue, ribbons and glitter. Not only that, our wood is of premium quality and is treated with a non-toxic, long lasting finish for protection from robust play, so you don’t have to worry about damage to equipment or children. Furthermore, we only purchase our wood from sustainable sources so there is minimal impact on the environment too!
Having creative playtime is essential for a child to develop, and whilst they are having fun making their hats, they will be developing their communication abilities and learning to share effectively, giving them lifelong skills that will assist them in their everyday lives as they mature through childhood.
Indeed, in the Finnish education system, which is one of the best in the world, learning through play is essential, as this highly insightful report Finnish Education in a Nutshell, demonstrates.
So if you’re wondering what creative play you can do with your class now that the Christmas festivities are over for another year, and you would like to bring a little colour in to your classroom, why not plan your very own National Hat Day Fashion Show, we’ve given you a few ideas to get started, but really the people with the best imaginations are the children themselves!
And if you want to know anything more about our Activity Table, or any of our products and services, you can contact us here or call 01282 416 755 to speak to one of our dedicated team who will be delighted to discuss any requirements. We have a wide range of delightful wooden play equipment to suit different budgets and all classroom or nursery spaces, large or small.
Enjoy making your hats, and don’t forget to tag us in pictures of the finished creations!