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Festive Top Hat

30-45 Minutes: 4 and up

Festive Top Hat



This festive hat can be made to celebrate holidays, or simply as a challenge to promote critical thinking and planning as children prepare and execute their designs. Decorate with foam paint and enjoy wearing immediately—no time needed to dry!

Set Up Ideas

Create a full spread of creative embellishments that children may use for their hats, including pipe cleaners, foam shapes, crayons, paints and more.

Let’s Get Started

Ensure that every child has a hat and easy access to their foam paints. Consider creating a shared palette of foam paint for children to use. That may help limit the amount of foam paint used, and also encourage communication and teamwork.


Don't pop up your hat up just yet! With your white paper hat still flat, use crayons to create a bold design on the rim and center of the hat.


Use a shaving brush to sweep foam paint onto the rim and center of the hat as desired. Then, remove any excess foam paint from the hat.


Carefully pop up the center of the hat. In gentle, sweeping motions, lightly paint the sides of the hat. Be careful not to get the sides too wet.


Make pipe cleaner coils on your fingers and then adhere them to the hat along with adhesive foam shapes. Add a few beads to the coils for a more interesting design.

This activity should encourage children to think outside the lines and design a hat that expresses their own interests and preferences for color, shape and texture. As children color, paint and add embellishments, ask about their unique design decisions and their creative processes.


Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks

Younger children may have difficult painting the sides of the hat without tearing it. In that case, simply paint the tops and rims of the hats—they'll still look great!

Follow up Activity

Follow up Activity

This hat is festive apparel for holidays such as New Year's Eve, Independence Day and more. Create an exciting and festive musical shaker to match your hat by adding beads to decorated bottles!

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