Developed by:MAPP Editions Ltd
A charming story app and adaptation of the book, Clara Button and the Magical Hat Day, we love this app for its animated author-read narration, fanciful interactions such as bursting buttons, trying on hats, and a mixed media appendix that provides more information about artifacts from the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Prepare to use the app by introducing one of these activities.
- Storytime.Read some hat-themed tales with your child, such as The Hatseller and the Monkeys, Jennie’s Hat, and I Want My Hat Back.
- Hobbies.Does your child have a hobby or passion? If they do not yet have one, is there something they would like to adopt as a hobby? Ask them to describe it to you. What is it they love about that particular activity or interest?
Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities:
- Magical Day.What would be a magical day for your child? Ask them what they would like to do for a day, if they could choose anything. Then try to help them plan a day (or chunk of a day!) just for that activity. So, for example, if your child says they would like to go to outer space, plan an outing to a space museum, a visit to a planetarium (there are traveling planetariums—sometimes libraries plan programs with these. Ask your librarian if it might be a possibility!), a time to watch a lunar eclipse, an evening/early morning of watching a meteor shower, etc.
- Siblings.Ask your child why Clara gets annoyed with her brother, Ollie. Why is Ollie not very nice about their grandmother’s hats, Clara’s buttons, or the museum? If your child has a sibling, ask them what things they like that their sibling does not like. What activities does their sibling like that they couldn't care less about? How could both (or all) siblings show more respect or sympathy for each other’s hobbies and interests? Extend this discussion by planning a time when the family will do something all together for each sibling’s respective passions. Maybe this is taking a half hour or hour to read quietly in the living room. Maybe this is watching a skateboarding competition. Maybe this is hunting for bugs. Whatever it is, planning time for each sibling in this way will help teach your children to appreciate each other and their differences.
- Art and History.Explore the museum artifacts from the Victoria & Albert Museum at the end of the story app. Have your child choose one that piques their interest. Then help them research something more about that piece, be it the artist, the time period, an associated country, the mode of art, the process of acquisition and/or installation at the museum, etc. Go online and visit your local library to complete this activity, and have fun.
Extend the app experience with these real life activities:
- Family History.Clara’s grandmother was a milliner, or someone who makes beautiful hats. Help your child learn about their own grandparents or other relatives and their occupations and/or hobbies. If the relative is still living, encourage your child to talk to them and hear their stories, or “oral histories.” Perhaps your child might like to prepare questions ahead of time. Ask your child if they think they would enjoy a similar activity or interest.
- Visit A Museum.Find a museum near you to visit—art, history, science, or something else entirely—and take a field trip! If you have children with different interests, it might be a good idea to map out a plan ahead of time so you will get to spend time at exhibits matching those interests. That way you can avoid frustrating moments at the museum trying to figure out where things are while the kids grow tired or impatient. For the same reason, build in some downtime for snacks, wandering the gift shop, or impulsive exploration of other exhibits!
- Hat Party.Have your own magical hat day by having a magical hat party! Create hats for favorite dolls or stuffed animals, as well as for yourselves. A great way to make a top hat for a stuffed animal is to use a disposable cup and small paper plate (turn the cup upside down on the paper plate). Paint and decorate paper bowls, which make wonderful kid-sized hats when turned upside down, or try your hands at a classic newspaper hat! I love this idea for a felt and paper jester hat, too. Once all your hats are ready, set a date for magical hat party—snacks, special drinks, and dancing all help make a great hat party. Don all your hats and have fun!