Hats and Handbags!

Preparation time: Once you've prepared a hats and handbags basket (or other storage area), you will need but a moment to pull it out!

Clean-up time: A few minutes to gather the items. You can make a game of it!

Game Duration: As long as you want, but generally between 5 and 15 minutes.

What you will need: Lots of bags and hats, of course! Think 'variety'! Great bag ideas include shoulder bags, clutches, cloth shopping bags, a satchel, back packs or a briefcase. Hat ideas include knit hats with and without ear flaps, berets, sunhats, straw hats, baseball caps or sleeping caps. There are so many choices; have fun with it!

How to Play:

There comes a time when every toddler is interested in hats and handbags. Boys and girls alike will spend time trying on hat after hat and stuffing their favorite things into a bag and pulling them all out again. (Warning: When your toddler reaches this stage we recommend you keep your own bags and briefcases out of reach; unless you are prepared to have their contents emptied, played with and strewn about the house!)

If you already have a dress-up toy box or area, you can add your growing collection to it! If you have a large collection of items you may want to consider having a separate box or basket just for the props for this activity. If you've ended up with WAY more items than you had bargained for, (this can happen!) consider rotating some of them to keep things fresh and interesting for your toddler!

To begin the activity, you can ask your little one to help set up by going to get the hats and handbags box or basket. She will probably already be playing before you are done getting ready! :)

Remember, you can play too! Your toddler loves it when you join in. Delight her by wearing your own hat and handbag combo! Put a hat on your head and start making funny faces, or speaking in a funny voice. This will show your child how you can become a character when you wear a certain hat! You may find that she will bring them all to you, one at the time, for you to try on and parade about!


  • Your local thrift stores are treasure troves of inexpensive dress up materials! Don't forget to raid grandparents' closets; you'll often find outrageous items they'll be pleased to give you.
  • Want to add an element to spice things up? Try glasses! Sunglasses are best, although ski goggles, security glasses and those funny glasses that keep your eyes from tearing up when you're chopping onions in the kitchen will do as well. Once your little one gets the hang of putting them on, get ready for a lot of giggling!

  • Remember to have a mirror handy, so your child can see themselves trying on different hats and characters!

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