Have a variety of hats available to show to the children. Make the selection as wide and as interesting as possible. Include hats for different occupations, sports, and purposes. Spend some time with the children discussing and modelling some interesting hats.
Ask the children, "What if someone took your favorite hat when you weren't looking? How would that make you feel? Why would someone take something that doesn't belong to them?" Discuss the concept of theft with the children. Discuss need versus want, envy, and the right way to deal with feelings of want.
This Is Not My Hat, by Jon Klassen. Introduce the story by explaining that it's about someone taking something that doesn't belong to them, in this case, a favorite hat. Enjoy the story with the children, and then discuss how the little fish tried to justify reasons that it was o.k. to take the big fish's hat. Take a few moments to talk about what was right and what was wrong in the story.
Game: Hide the Hat. Choose a colorful hat to be "it." Ask one of the children to hide it. Help the rest of the group cover their eyes and sing a little song or count for a few seconds while she hides it. (Ask a parent helper or other adult to help the child hide the hat.) Then, with the help of the adult, instruct the child to give clues to help the rest of the group find the hidden hat. Tell her to say "warmer, warmer" when the group is close to the hat, and "colder, colder" when they are not close to finding it. Play a couple of rounds of this game, and the children will soon catch on.
Bible Verse: Exodus 20:15 "Do not steal." (CEV)
Ask the children to sit again and take a moment to tell them what the Bible teaches about stealing. Explain that it is wrong to want something someone else has so much that they would take it. Also tell them that although stealing is very wrong, that Jesus loves each of us and is always ready to forgive.
Jennie's Hat, by Ezra Jack Keats
Read the story with the children and take time out to discuss the idea of being disappointed, and how to handle feelings of want and of disappointment in a healthy way. Explain that we don't just take what we want, or sulk about what we do not have. If we are patient, and if we take healthy action, we can be content and will be blessed.
Take the creativity of the previous story and run with it! Make "derby hats" with your young ones! ("Derby" here refers to the famous Kentucky Derby style hats.) Don't worry, the boys can have fun with this, too! Be sure to offer lots of fun items to decorate your hats with, including things that will appeal to both girls and boys. Let the children choose the colors and items they want to decorate their awesome hats with!
You will need: lots of newspaper, tape, a stapler, colorful tissue paper, glue, scissors, and lots of items for decorating.
The link below gives fantastic instructions on how to make these fanciful and fun paper hats:
Thank you, henryhappened.com!