– 1 gallon-sized Ziploc bag
– 2 circle adhesive labels, or make them from paper and glue on
– 1 sheet of manila paper
– 1 sheet of colored card stock
– 2 pieces of foot-long string or yarn
– do-a dot-stampers, or markers for drawing circles
– 1 balloon
– hole punch
– glue stick
Draw 7 vertical lines on your manila paper to create 8 tentacles. Stamp dots all over both sides of this manila paper as well as one dot stamp inside each circle eye sticker or paper circle eyes.
Use scissors to cut along the lines of the tentacle sheet.
With or without cutting mistakes, the goal is to end up with 8 tentacles and to practice correct scissor usage. Utilize verbal cueing to prompt children to actively use their helper hand to turn the paper so that their cutting hand can remain more stable. Check in to make sure that children are wearing the scissors in the “thumbs up” position.
Trace an upturned cereal bowl to create a circle that will become the cardstock base of the hat.
Encourage children to cut the circle out by turning the cardstock with their helper hand.
Write your name in the center of the cardstock circular base and then flip it face down. Run a glue stick along the edge of the circle and attach the fat sides of the tentacles to the glue. Punch two opposing holes in the circular base and tie the strings in place.
Indentify “front” on your hat by relating to the strings that will tuck behind your ears and tie under your chin in a bow.
You are not done yet but it’s fun to try your hat on at this point in the process—go ahead Tentacle Head!
Fold the edges of your Ziploc bag under a bit like a hem and staple only one portion of this bag to the circular base. Now blow up a balloon no larger than a cantaloupe and tie it off with a standard knot. Gently insert the balloon into the Ziploc bag and finish stapling the edges of the bag to the circular base.
Re-identify front on your octopus hat and stick the eyes on as you wish. Voila!
Enjoy your sea creature headwear and replace only the balloon when it shrinks over time.
For another variation, sew buttons as eyes on your Ziploc bag, stuff with multiple balloons and try a loose weave-fabric like burlap instead of manila paper and card stock.