Hat Game

By Activity Bank on Jun 12, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Charlotte Cushman and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

This activity covers both social and practical skills. It teaches students to participate in a structured group activity, taking turns and identifying others by name, while also reinforcing dressing and undressing skills. Lessons include Independent Living Skills, Social Skills, and English Language Arts.


A variety of hats, such as a wool cap, a baseball hat, a helmet, and a straw hat


Students sit in a circle and one person puts on a hat. Everyone sings to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”:

                _______has the hat.

                What do you think of that?

                What do you think he’ll do?

                He’ll take it off and give it to ______.

The student with the hat chooses the next person to wear the hat and puts that person’s name in the blank. The game continues until everyone has had a turn wearing the hat. The final verse ends: “He’ll take it off and put it away.”


  • Play the game using a variety of clothes, such as shoes, coats, mittens, shirts, and socks.
  • Reinforce dressing/undressing skills throughout the course of the day: put on a jacket to go outside, apron for cooking, smock for crafts, etc.
  • For younger students, the song could be used as motivation by changing the words to fit the situation. For example:

Philip has the coat.

What do you think of that?

What do you think he’ll do?

He’ll take it off and hang it on his hook.

Hint: Be aware of sanitary issues when sharing clothing. If necessary, each student can have his own hat and set of clothes to use. Be sure to wash the hat and clothes periodically.