Hats Off to You: A Storytime!

With Summer right around the corner I thought I would dust off one of my favourite storytimes- all about hats! The parents will love you for bringing hats back into fashion and the kiddies will adore the Silly Hat song. Or as Liz Anderson and I (and Michael Scott) like to say Win-Win-Win!

I started this storytime like I start most of them: by singing Hello Friends and then getting warmed up with Roly Poly and Open Shut Them. I like to kick off the theme with a Flannel Story or a puppet so I did Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing which scared me for a while because of having so many pieces but it was a whole barrel of fun!

Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing Flannel Story

With the animals wearing clothes on so many different body parts we familiarized ourselves with our body parts- focusing on the most important part of course, the head!

Next up I read the book Can You Keep a Secret by Pam Allen which features a boy and a lost crown. There is lots of repetition as you ask the children to look behind various creatures all for him to discover it in the end!

Now that you’ve discovered the crown it’s time to sing an old Woodie Guthrie original and Pick it Up! You can explain that this is a great way to practice the letter P as it gets faster and faster in the refrain. This would be a great uke jam if anyone’s up to it. Here be the simplified words:

I dropped my hat, pick it up pick it up X3 and put it back on my head
Pick pick pick it pick it up pick it up x3 picka picka picka pick it up pick it up
I dropped my thumb pick it up pick it up X3 and put it back with it my fingers

I love  a good wordless book and Where’s Walrus by Steven Savage fits the bill and then some. Great, bold illustrations make it easy to spot the walrus in each picture as he hides in different hats.

And now the much anticipated Silly Hat song! Not sure where I came across this, if you know let ME know. Sung to the tune of This Old Man this ditty becomes increasingly difficult and hilarious as you try to balance either a real or pretend hat on various limbs.

The last book I shared was I Want My Hat Back because duh, it’s FANTASTIC but you didn’t need me to tell you that. I love watching and listening to different reactions on this, including the parents.

To lighten the mood after such a dramatic read we did a cheery action rhyme called Grandma’s Glasses:

These are Grandma’s glasses
This is Grandma’s hat
This is the way she folds her hands
And lays them in her lap
Here are Grandpa’s glasses
And here is Grandpa’s hat
And here’s the way he folds his arms
And takes a little nap

Finally we ended with Goodbye Friends and a hat stamp to send the wee ones on their way. I created this storytime based on some amazing ones I found kicking around the interwebs so thanks as usual to our awesome colleagues. If you have any ideas or comments I’d love to hear them and in the meantime here are the books I used plus some extras:

Where's Walrus by Stephen Savage A Hat for Minerva Louise Can You Keep a Secret? I Want My Hat Back A Boy and His Bunny Twelve Hats for Lena

6 thoughts on “Hats Off to You: A Storytime!

    1. Jen, I LOVE that book too- but unfortunately cannot take credit for the felt, I found it in my branch collection!

  1. Greetings from Colorado!
    Love your blog, and most specifically- The Elevator Song!! 🙂
    I had a question about the Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing flannelboard:
    Did you just tell the story using the felt pieces? I was thinking about sharing the story this way for a hats story time, but was curious to know how you presented it.
    Thanks in advance for the info!

    1. Hi Evan, thanks for the greetings from Colorado! For the Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing flannel I basically followed the text from the book plus threw in lots of questions to draw kids in. It is a long one, so you can read your crowd and if they’re bored of the idea you can always skip ahead to the end. I really like this one though because it’s basically stick up an animal and then put ridiculous clothes on it. Hope this helps and thanks again for stopping by!

  2. Another Great “hat book” is THE HAT by Jan Brett. Hedgie gets a mitten stuck on his prickles when a little girl is hanging up her woolens on the clothes line. All of the other animals comment about his “hat” and how silly he looks. In the end, all of the animals decide that wearing a hat is important, regardless of how it looks.

    Thank you for your creative sprinkling of ideas like confetti !!!! Truly a great website to refer too!!!

    1. We’ve seen a co-worker do The Hat as a puppet story too using a big mitten and little stuffed animals. A winter classic for sure!

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