Berenstain Bears: Old Hat New Hat Activities


One of the best things about being a parent is rereading all the books you loved as a kid.  Some of your childhood favorites are completely forgotten until you randomly come across them again while looking for books for you own kid.  I was so happy when I stumbled on Old Hat New Hat.  I LOVED this book.  I remember looking at all the different hats and picking out my favorites.  I was a big Berenstain Bear fan, but Old Hat New Hat does not feature the Bear family.  Instead it is about a bear going to hat store to replace his worn out hat.  However, he finds something wrong with all of the new hats.  The story is told through very few words so it is a great book for the toddler/preschooler attention span or beginning readers (it’s a first grade reading level).

(Common Core Standards appear in italics.  They correlate with specific standards in different grade levels.  These standards are used in almost every school in the country.  Click the Common Core tab above to learn more.)

Here are some ideas try when you read it:

  • Practice sight words– Pick out one word that is repeated throughout the book (hat, new, too) and see if your kiddo can point them out on the page.  Then practice putting the word together with letter blocks.
  • Opposites– Make a list of all the opposites listed in the book.  (kindergarten- Demonstrate understanding of frequently occurring verbs and adjectives by relating them to their opposites)
  • Too, to, two–  Talk about the different meanings and spellings of “too” and how it is used in the story.
  • Retell the story–  After reading the book, ask your kiddo to retell the story.  It is different from some books because most of the action happens in the pictures, not the words.  (first grade- Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson)
  • Adjectives– Tell them words that describe something are called adjectives.  Identify adjectives in the story.  Look at one of the hats.  What other adjectives could be used to describe it?
  • Touch scavenger hunt– Stop after reading a page and touch things around the room that match the adjectives in the book (bumpy, scratchy, wrinkly, etc.)  This gives kids real-life experience with the words and gets a few wiggles out, too!
  • Ask questions– After you read, ask your kiddo some questions that relate to the story.  Which one was her favorite hat and why?  Why do you think the bear chose the old hat?  Why do you think the salesman looked mad?
  • Make a hat– Decorate an old hat with left-over craft supplies like ribbon, felt, or pom poms.
  • Draw a hat– Draw and color lots of different hats to fit a certain adjective.

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