Hats on for Story Time

This week's theme for story time was Hats.  Talking about hats was appropriate this week as it is rather cold out and everyone wore at hat to story time today.  We began with our usual letter of the day -H- along with some 'H' words like horse, hand, heart, and helicopter.  Then we talked about hats and why we might have worn one today.

The first book that we read was A hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke.  This book fit right in with the weather today as it was snowing and in the story Minerva loves snowy mornings but all the other hens stay inside with their heads buried under their wings.  Minerva decides to go out and explore, but she needs to stay warm in the snow.  She looks for warm clothing and sees a scarf (a garden hose), shoes (gloves), and begins to search for a hat.  She tries on a flower pot and a boot before deciding of a mitten and discovers that now she has two hats - one for her bottom!  The kids enjoyed this and were able to tell me what the 'hats' really were.

We followed A hat for Minerva Louise with the song Hat, jacket, pants, and boots by Carole Peterson.  This is a version of head, shoulders, knees, and toes but you sub in the words for clothing.  I like this version as it begins rather slow, but is then repeated 4 times getting faster with each repetition.  The kids were able to keep up at the end too, which is always a plus with toddlers and preschoolers.

The second book that we read was Brian Won's Hooray for hat!  Elephant wakes up grumpy but is cheered up when he finds a box that contains several hats.  He set off to show his friends who are all also grumpy but cheer up when Elephant shares a hat with each of them.  However, Giraffe is not feeling well and they have run out of hats!  The solution - everyone puts their hat into a box and they present it to Giraffe.  this is a great book that has lots of repetition and shows how friends can cheer you up.

After reading Hooray for hat we sang another Carole Peterson song, this one called I like my hat.  In this song she sings 'I like my hat so I put it on my __' and names a variety of body parts that are not the head.  This resulted in lots of giggles today (especially when we put the hat on our bottoms).  In the past I have used this song with scarves (once I folded paper hats) but we have a small collection of doll sized straw hats, so I passed those out to the kids.  It was very amusing before the song to watch them all put the small hats on their heads and then tell me that the hats didn't fit them!

Our last book was Which hat is that? by Anna Grossnickle Hines.  In this story a small mouse talks about what she is going to do and describes the hat that she will wear.  Then, the kids can guess the type of hat and we lift a flap to see if they got it right.  They enjoyed getting to shout out the answers on this one.

We ended with the flannelboard game Little Cat.  I have seen many versions of this, some with a mouse in a house, some with a bug in a rug, etc.  The rhyme goes;
Little cat, little cat,
Are you in the ___ hat?

You could do this with colors, but we had more occupational type hats.  The kids really enjoyed this game.  I can see why many librarians use it weekly.  I let them pick which hat we would look under.  We found the cat about half way through, but as a surprise I also hid a grumpy cat, so we looked for him too.

I also made up a career hat match game where they could match a hat to a mode of transportation.  I put it out as a game during playtime, but we also talked about it before ending story time.

As always we ended with Carole Peterson's B-bananas.  I am always surprised when they get so excited for this song (the parents too).  Although, as a result it is impossible for me to eat a banana and not sing this song.

Our craft was a very simple color/decorated a hat.  I gave them the outline of the hat, markers, tissue paper, feathers, and pompoms and let them decorate as they wanted.

During playtime we put out all of the costume hats that I could round up in the library.  Many of them enjoyed playing with these.

We also has some snow sensory bins.  The most exciting one was the snow 'goo.'  It was made by combining equal parts of glue and water and slowly mixing in the same amount of liquid starch.  For fun I also added glitter, sequins, and other sparkly things.  You can read more about the goo here.  I did realize that the original post calls for clear glue, I did not have that but it turned out fine with white glue.  I just made sure to use colored glitter and sequins so they would show up.  The kids had fun digging out whatever they could find hidden in the goo (some of the parents enjoyed it as well).

Finally, as an extra activity or take home, we put out some hat coloring sheet that my co-worker found.  They had to read (or be told) the color and then color the hat accordingly.

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