Friday, October 30, 2015

The Vocabulary Hat Parade!

Can you believe that October is almost over?! Where is this year going??
Before I talk about my absolute FAVORITE event of the school year, I wanted to mention my newest classroom purchase. I have always wanted one of those shelved for displaying seasonal books, but was only able to find large ones that were expensive and too big for my classroom. I came across this one on amazon for less than $18 and snatched it up!
It is only made of cardboard, so not super sturdy, but I covered it with duck tape and I think it will hold up pretty well with the added support. The kids LOVE it and are constantly picking books from it. :)
Now, on to the vocabulary hat parade!
Every year our school does a vocabulary hat parade on the Friday before Halloween. Each grade level is assigned a topic (Kinder has letters, first grade has nouns, etc.) and each student creates a hat to match their word. All of the students and staff (and parents!) come out and we get to parade around the school with our hats.
The kids always have a lot of fun... but probably not as much as I do!
I LOVE the vocabulary hat parade, because there is almost nothing I love more than making something for a theme!
My first vocabulary hat was a flamingo (naturally!). I made it by covering a pink foam hat and paper towel roll with felt and feathers. The kids really got a kick out of it!
The following year, I decided to draw on my background in floral design to make a rather large (and as it turned out, very difficult to balance!) garden hat!
It had a lighted garland around the fence and a working solar light in the middle.

 Last year, I decided to simplify a little, and went for an aardvark poking out of its burrow.
I used Styrofoam to build the structure of the burrow, covered it with batting and a suede-like material, and added the plants, longs and clay ants.
When I was planning out my hat for this year, I decided to pick a noun that would allow me to use a few different animals and some lights. I decided on the Arctic ocean because there was something about the walrus that I found irresistible!
I made the ocean with blue mesh ribbon that I filled with tulle and some blue LED lights. I added some chunks of Styrofoam as floating ice as well as a beluga whale plush and a clay narwhal. Underneath the walrus is a mini sound machine that plays ocean wave sounds!
This hat was by far the easiest for me to balance! I think I must be getting the hang of making hats!