Caps for Sale is an adorable children’s book, first published in 1938, and written by Esphyr Slobodkina. The story is about a peddler who sells caps. He carries the entire stack of caps on his head, and when he hasn’t had any luck selling his caps one day, he takes a nap under a tree. When he wakes up, he discovers every cap except his own is missing. Then, he glances up at the tree he is sitting under and sees that it’s full of monkeys, and each monkey is wearing a cap. Humor ensues as the peddler tries to get his caps back.
Most kids will love simply reading this story (over and over again!), but you can use this book as a spring board for many other activities.
Build Your Own Stack of Hats Craft
This craft requires just a bit of parent preparation. You’ll need:
- Various colored pieces of paper (cut 5 large ovals to make the hats and 5 half-moon shapes to make the bills of the hats)
- 5 buttons
- A large sheet of construction paper (11 x 17 inches)
Have children first glue the bill of the hat to the oval and then glue the button on the oval just above the bill.
Next, let children organize how they’d like the hats to appear and then glue them on to place on the construction paper. Now your child has his own momento of Caps for Sale.
Gather all the hats that you have in the house, and let your toddler try to put them all on her head. Let her try to walk around this way and also look in the mirror to see how silly she looks. You can talk about how skilled and experienced the man is to hold that many hats on his head.
Your child will probably also enjoy seeing you stack all of the hats on your head and try to walk with them. You could carry this further by trying to sit down against a wall like the peddler did against the tree while trying to keep the caps upright and in place.
Watch Curious George
Most kids love monkeys. Carry the monkey/hat theme further by watching the Curious George episode, “The Fully Automatic Monkey Fun Hat.” This is episode 11 on season 2.
Play an Imitation Game
Part of the fun of Caps for Sale is that the monkeys imitate everything that the man does. You and your child can take turns doing silly actions and imitating one another.
If your child is older and you have more than three players, you can try to play Monkey See, Monkey Do. One person leaves the room, and the rest of the people decide who will be the monkey. Then, when the other person returns to the room, the monkey discreetly does actions that the others copy. The idea is not to get caught as the person who is the monkey. Again, this is more for older siblings or children who read this book as toddlers and continue to love it in elementary school.
One of the best ways to bring literature to life for children is to engage all of their senses with fun activities and crafts. Luckily, Caps for Sale is the perfect book to do just that.
Have you read Caps for Sale? What are some of your favorite activities and crafts to go along with the book?