Hats Off to Hats

Hats abound in Dr. Seuss’s books. Dr. Seuss believed a hat had a special kind of magic that could transform the wearer. Whether it’s for a party or just to add a bit of nonsense to the day, kids will have a hatful of fun making and wearing these hats.

What you’ll need:

  • construction paper
  • scraps of paper, cardboard, and cardboard tubes from the recycling bin
  • clean, empty plastic food containers from the recycling bin
  • bits of yarn, ribbon, and fabric
  • colored tapes
  • paints, markers
  • fluffy chenille stems, pompoms, feathers, modeling clay
  • scissors, hole punch, tape, glue


If hats are needed for a special occasion, set up a table with basic craft supplies and ask your party guests to design their own festive toppers. Have copies of Happy Birthday to You!The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, or Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! for them to read and look through for ideas for wild and wacky headgear. Kids can decorate traditional cone-shaped party hats of construction paper with cut paper shapes, fanned paper strips, fuzzy pompoms, chenille stems or whatever strikes them as Seussical!

With a smaller group, have kids get creative by assembling a hat that promotes their favorite Dr. Seuss book.  Using cut paper, clay or toy figures, they might reproduce a scene from their book in miniature on the bill of a ball cap. Or give the story the royal treatment by fashioning a paper crown with each point decorated with characters from the book.

Kids especially may like to make a Who-ville for their heads! You’ll need clean, empty plastic food containers in graduated sizes. Start with the largest bowl that fits your child’s head. Then top it with gradually smaller sizes of upside-down bowls. Secure the bowls with glue or use colorful duct tape and let your child paint and decorate each container like a tiny home for a Who. Provide modeling clay for your child to make Whos, trees, and more to attach to each level of your child’s Who-ville hat. Since this hat may be heavy, hole-punch each side and attach a ribbon to tie the hat on under your child’s chin.

If kids would rather focus their hat around one character, start with a sturdy construction paper band that fits around your child’s head. Then use paper, empty paper towel rolls, feathers, pompoms, and chenille stems to create the horns, ears, antlers, manes or plumes of a Preep, Joat, Jedd or other fabulous Seussian creature. Then watch them put the transformative powers of hats to the test!