As Easter approaches this month, nature is putting on new “clothes” with the coming of spring. What nature does, humans tend to follow. The donning of new clothes for Easter symbolizes the coming of spring. Not only is the donning of new clothes customary, in Northern Europe it was considered rude and bad luck to the goddess of spring, then known as Eastre, to be seen in anything but fresh and new clothing. The custom of the Easter Parade comes from this. The wearing of three new things at Easter assures good luck in the coming year. The Easter bonnet got its start as a wreath of flowers and/or leaves, the circle as an expression of the roundness of the sun and its travel through the heavens which brought it back for the return of spring. You and your child can make lovely Easter bonnets from things around the house—then parade through the neighborhood for everyone to see. Be creative and have fun!
Making hats out of paper, poster board or paper plates isn’t as hard as it sounds. They won’t last forever, but they are great fun to make and wear. Create a simple hat using a paper plate. Cut a slit from one edge of the circle to the center. Pull the two edges together so they overlap—this will make the hat pointed. It’s a Chinese style. Staple the edges in place (you may want to protect your child by placing a piece of masking tape covering the staples—less pulling of hair). Make two holes opposite each other near the edges of the hat and thread elastic through them to make a chinstrap knotting each end. Decorate your hat by drawing on it with crayons or markers, gluing on squares of tissue paper in pastel colors, and using Easter stickers.
Your child will be so proud of his/her creation. You may even allow your youngster to wear the hat to church or to a family gathering. As you make bonnets together, think that boys may enjoy a crown instead as this may be a little more masculine. In this next hat craft, help your child by cutting the center out of a paper plate and stapling a paper bowl over the hole. Make sure the bowl fits the child’s head. Punch two holes on opposite sides and attach ribbons to use as ties. Set out glue and collage materials such as Easter grass, Easter stickers, paper or silk flowers, fabric scraps, rickrack, buttons, sequins and glitter. Invite your child to glue on the materials any way they wish.
With this last craft, use a purchased straw hat, cowboy hat or even a sports helmet. Older kids can use a low temperature glue gun to attach all kinds of materials along with some purchased Easter decors. Think of silk flowers, ribbons, bows, faux jewels, pastel cotton balls, pipe cleaners, Easter grass; the list can go on and on. But did you ever think of gluing on marshmallow peeps and bunnies and what about a few colorful jellybeans? Make this a contest with other family members. Have the kiddos model their hat and be proud as they walk down your hallway or should I say “runway”.