Engaging programs to keep kids coming back to the library
One of my favorite books to use in the winter is out of print. Martin’s Hats by Joan W. Blos and illustrated by Marc Simont is a perfect story to tell about getting dressed, wearing hats, community helpers or using your imagination. I use this story with a flannel board, and with a hand-made headpiece. Here’s how:
Using a puppet as a guide, purchase a headband that will fit its head. Try to find one that has a gap in it so you can mount a piece of cardboard to it. Make five slits in the center of the cardboard and fit the headband to it. Use hot glue to mount it.
Hot glue the felt to the cardboard. Cut out hair. Touch up the sides of the hair with paint (you’ll have a cardboard edge showing if you don’t). Now you can use felt hats to tell Martin’s story:
If you can’t get your hands on the book (used copies are quite expensive), here’s my version of the story. You’ll need 10 hats:
Martin loved exploring all over the place. He loved putting on his explorer hat and crawling into caves under his bed. One day he climbed through a cave and up a hill and found a party. He put on his party hat and joined the fun. (You can ask the children what kinds of activities Martin did at the party and what kinds of food he ate.) At the end of the party, people were getting on train to go home. Oh, no! They can’t leave because they don’t have an engineer. Wait, Martin has an engineer hat! “I’ll drive!” said Martin. (You can ask the children where the train is going.) “All aboard!” “Is anyone hungry?” asked Martin. He put on his chef hat and cooked a meal. (You can ask the children what kind of food Martin cooked.) When they arrived at their destination, there was much to do! First Martin had to put on his police officer hat and direct traffic. He helped all the train attendees cross the street safely. “Remember to look both ways before crossing,” he said. Then he put on his post office hat and delivered the mail. (You can ask what kind of packages Martin delivered. Square boxes? Rectangle boxes? Envelopes?) On the way back to the post office, Martin had to put on his fire fighting hat and put out a fire! (You can ask the children for help lifting the ladder and using the fire hose.) Then Martin climbed up high and put on his welder hat. He helped build a new building overlooking the farm. When he climbed down, he put on his cowboy hat to harvest the hay and plow the fields. He had to feed all the farm animals, too. (You can ask the children what farm animals live on the farm and what kinds of food they eat.) At the end f the day, Martin hung up his hat, washed his hands at ate dinner. After dinner he took a bath, got into his pjs and a special hat was waiting for him…his nightcap. “Sweet dreams, Martin.” (I always have the children blow Martin a kiss.)