Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Art and Science of Making Hats

My kids are big fans of visiting museums and science centers and cultural exhibits.  They love to learn and explore and it makes me proud to be their mom.  But far and away their favorite things are always hands-on experiences.  They will be polite about looking at art or historic displays, but after a while they want to actively create something.  Our favorite places give them a chance to do that.

Our local science center here in Milwaukee is called Discovery World.  It's a wonderful building right on the lake with an aquarium and a schooner and an area on the second floor where you can make things.  The last time we visited you could sign up to make hats.

We were there at the tail end of the day and possibly even the last day of that particular project, so the fabric choices were limited, but it all worked out.  Mona, Quinn, my niece Ellora, and my cousin Mary all made fuzzy bear hats.  Aden went her own way and made a bunny hat with a fabric that at first was not what she would have chosen, but that grew on us, and now we're glad that's what she used.

There were several assistants at the work stations.  They measured the kids' heads and showed them how to use that information to create a pattern out of paper, pin that to material, and cut out the necessary pieces.

Then they got to use sewing machines.  I stepped in to help Mona so that she could do more of it on her own, because the inclination of the assistants was to let the kids run the pedal but not move the fabric under the needle.  I knew the kids were capable of that, and that they wanted to try, so my only regret was that I didn't step in soon enough to make sure Quinn and Ellora got that same chance.  (But we can always sew at home if they are inspired, so no big deal.)

How cute are these hats?  I love them!  And the kids were so pleased to have made them themselves.  They wear them regularly, and it makes me smile seeing their bear and bunny ears heading off into the school in the mornings.

So, I wouldn't have pegged the science center as a place to learn about sewing, but who cares?  Because hats!


  1. Oh, what adorable hats! Now *I* want to make one! :o)

  2. Those are very cute! What a fun idea to have at a museum.