If you are a coffee drinker you might use lots of little k-cups. Instead of throwing the cups out after brewing your coffee, you can make little k-cup pilgrim hats with them. The hats are not only cute, but can be used for a variety of learning activities with your kids. I will show you how I made k-cup pilgrim hats, and will give you many activity ideas….perfect for Thanksgiving.
To start, I cleaned out a bunch of little k-cups. Yes, it is a little bit of a pain to clean them out and pull out the filter, but I love the idea of using supplies that I have on hand.
Once I cleaned the cups, I brushed them with a quick coat of primer and a coat of black craft paint. I did not use chalkboard paint or anything fancy. I just used the inexpensive acrylic paint from a squeeze bottle that I bought at the craft store.
I found that craft foam worked nicely as a brim. I happened to have a sheet of adhesive-backed craft foam at home, but the adhesive back was not necessary. If you don’t have craft foam, you can also use black construction paper or black card stock. I cut a circle (about 2-5/8″ in diameter) from the foam. Then I cut a smaller circle (slightly smaller than the edge of the k-cup) in the center of the first circle.
When I slipped these donut shapes onto the painted k-cups, they hugged the cups and formed nice hat brims. Because the foam that I used had an adhesive back, I applied some black construction paper to the bottom of the brim to cover up the adhesive.
Once the brims were in place, I used glue dots to hold white ribbon bands in place. If you don’t have ribbon, a strip of paper would work too.
I finished off my k-cup pilgrim hats with square buckles that I cut from a sheet of gold self-adhesive foam.
Once complete, the little pilgrim hats can be used to practice a variety of concepts with kids in your Thanksgiving themed learning centers.
Most of the activity ideas below involve hiding something under a hat. I think that kids would love it if you used a small turkey. If you don’t have a small turkey, you can use a small plastic pumpkin, an acorn, a cranberry, a kernel of corn, a piece of candy corn or any other Thanksgiving-y item.
Use a hat and a small item to practice positional words and following directions. Ask your child to place the pumpkin on top of the hat, beside the hat, under the hat, etc.
Children can practice the concept of one-to-one correspondence by placing or hiding one item under each hat.
Numeral Recognition and Greater Than/Less Than
If you use chalk or a chalk marker to write numbers, letters, words, etc. on top of the hats, you can use the hats to practice many different concepts with kids. To practice numeral recognition, write numbers on the top of the hats. When your child isn’t looking, hide an item under one of the hats. Ask your child to name the number of the hat as he or she guesses where the item is hidden. If you child makes an incorrect guess, give a greater than or less than clue to help him or her select the correct hat.
Turn the hats upside down and you can use them as counting cups. You can write numbers on the bottom of the hat brim or on the side of the hat. For counters, you can use cranberries, corn kernels, or pieces of candy corn.
Alphabet Recognition and Letter Sounds
If you write letters on the top of each hat, you can practice letter names or letter sounds. Ask your child to hide an item under a particular letter or under the letter that makes a particular sound.
Sight words, colors, shapes, etc….you can really practice almost any concept by hiding items under k-cup pilgrim hats.
Interested in more Thanksgiving themed learning activities? Check out these activities from my store: