The Magic of… Hats

Hats! We wear them in winter when it’s cold and summer to give us shade… they are practical objects we use from our youngest days to our oldest ones. So what makes them so magical?

It’s important for wee ones to wear hats because infants cannot regulate their temperature as adults can, indeed many children come home from the hospital for the first time wearing a hat! I was told by my mum many times “90% of your heat escapes from your head, put your hat on!” I can’t say I’ve ever fact checked that statistic but I’m sure you may have also heard something similar before.

A little bit of history…
Hats are worn for various reasons, from fashion to protection, for ceremonies and rituals, for women and men. There are so many designs across cultures that we can find out about. Hats have indicated class throughout history and are used to differentiate nationalities, branches and also ranks in the military!

So why are hats such a magical tool we can use for play? Well firstly there are so many different types of hats: tophats, cowboy hats, crowns, sunhats. With endless variations of colours and materials comes an endless supply of imagination to fuel our play. When we pick up a hat, what questions can we ask about it? Who does it belong to? When and why do they wear it? Are they the only person that wears the hat? Does the hat have magical properties like the sorting hat from Harry Potter!?

Here are some suggestions for activities you can use:

Hats off, hats on
Gather a selection of hats or just some pictures would work if you can’t get hold of actual hats!! Play a little game like ‘Simon says..’. The rule is when you say ‘hats on’ or ‘hats off’ without saying Simon or a name you choose to fit in with your topic (for example Captain ect) they shouldn’t move their hat. If you start by saying Simon or Captain says ‘hats on’ or ‘hats off’ then they move their hat.

Hiding hat
Place 5 interesting and magical, curious items inside the hat. It could be a key, a tape measure, a velvet ribbon and so on. Suggest that magical folk have hidden theses items in the had. Encourage the children to predict, guess why, who and how they have hidden the items in the hat!!

Guess who wears this
A simple story building game. My granny wears this to hang out her washing! Or to go hill climbing, or swimming!! Or the queen wears this to play tennis. Make it funny and entertaining as well as serious for a variety of hats.

Where can you find such heavenly hats? Try having a rummage around your local charity or antique shops or even your grannies’ wardrobes! Or perhaps you could jazz up a few of your hats that don’t fit anymore… Whatever your ideas are we love to hear about them! Tag us on instagram @adventureswithalicesharp