As the Education Manager at Carousel Theatre for Young People, it’s part of my job to create fun and educational activities to help children learn more about our productions, how theatre is made, and to explore ideas sparked by what they’ve seen. As the parent of three boys, I often use them as my test audience to make sure we’ve gotten it right!
In Go, Dog. Go! Hattie tries on many, many hats hoping to find one that M.C. Dog will like. Finally, she wears the biggest, most beautiful hat of all and the dogs love it so much they celebrate. With this activity, children (and their adults!) get a chance to create and decorate their own hats and throw their own party.
Make Your Own: Go, Dog. Go! Hat
For this activity, I enlisted the help of my 5 year-old son, Jasper, who is in Kindergarten. One evening, after dinner, we spread paper plates, construction paper, and a big heap of crafty odds and ends on the cleared dining table and plunged in.
Here are the supplies you will need:
- Paper Plates
- Construction Paper
- Scotch Tape, Glue Sticks, Stapler
- Decorating Supplies: Markers, Paints, Feathers, Artificial Flowers, Glitter, Tissue Paper, Scrap Paper, Sequins, etc.
This is not my first time at the parenting rodeo (Jasper is the youngest of my three) so I withheld the glitter, but you may be a stronger mom or dad than I am, or at least own a better quality vacuum cleaner. Proceed at your own risk!
We made two styles of hat – the Bonnet for me and the Top Hat for Jasper. Both started with a paper plate and a hole cut in the centre large enough to fit the crown of the head. (The Bonnet may work fine without a hole if it is going on a smaller head, or if the paper plate is very flexible.)
To make the Top Hat, roll a tube of construction paper the same diameter as the hole. (We used decorative masking tape to tape two pieces of paper together, which resulted in a very colourful hat.) Cut inch-long tabs along the bottom edge of the tube and fold back to make flaps you can anchor to the brim with tape or glue.
To make the Bonnet, simply attach ribbons on either side of the paper plate and tie under the chin. I cut a hole in mine to better fit my grown-up head and because the plate was the heavier type that doesn’t have much bend. I then covered it with some tissue paper using a glue stick to adhere it.
Now onto the really fun part – decorating! This is a great way to make use of bits of gift wrap, ribbons, craft feathers, and any other supplies you probably have, if you’re anything like me, cluttering up the house. Jasper had a great time applying paint dots to every surface in sight on both our hats. I twisted some tissue paper scraps and secured them with green masking tape and voila! Flowers! Jasper decided he wanted his to be a “fireworks hat” so we threaded some orange curling ribbon through holes punched along the top.
Once the hats have been built, it’s time to celebrate! Put on different types of music and have the children move around the room. It’s fun to see how you move differently when the music changes, or to imagine how the sort of character who would wear the hat would walk and dance.
Jasper, for his part, had a very particular way he wanted to enjoy wearing his hat – “Hey, Mom! I know! Let’s take a selfie!” We’d love to see your selfies, too. Bring your hats with you on the day of the show and share photos with us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!
– Jessica Gutteridge, Education Manager