RECIPE: Hat on Head



Hats, enthusiasm, pens, paper, a lot of fun and imagination. It’s great to chose a place where the young people can have a bit of desk space or surface to write on, and also a little bit of room to ‘perform’ if they’d like to read to each other afterwards.


Collect a selection of hats; these can be any size, colour or style, but the more diverse the better. Each young person chooses a hat, and with that an identity. They might choose one for each other. Then they decide the name, age, job and location of the person they have become when they put the hat on. This can be as silly as they like. With the hat on a young person could become Miranda, the 72-year-old lolly pop lady from Swansea, or Mr Bryant, the 32-year-old fire-eater from South Africa, for example. Once everyone has decided on who they are, they become that person and describe what it’s like to be them for a morning. Where they wake up, what their plans are for the day and who their friends are. They might then chose to read out their writing (wearing the hat of course).

This is a great way for young people to come out of themselves, to play at being someone else and to write for fun. I have used this workshop with young people aged 7- 13, both boys and girls and it has always gone down well.

Cooking time

5 minutes to choose the hats, 5- 10 minutes to decide on who the characters are, up to 10 minutes to write and then 5- 10 minutes to share, depending on the number of young people involved.
Have fun- it’s not a test so it doesn’t matter about spelling or punctuation.