Crafty Hats

wallaroo-art-hat.jpgDuring the bitter winter months, even summer-related crafts are welcome (let's all chant the think warm thoughts mantra, shall we?). Today, Sarah reviews Wallaroo’s art hat kit. Read on for Sarah’s review, as well as to learn how to win a Wallaroo Art Hat for your little one:
From Sarah:

Once the fall weather turns on toward winter, it gets harder and harder to convince the kids that playing outside is fun. Even with layers (“this hat is itchy!”) and planned activities (“but I don’t see any nature!”), the day’s fun usually occurs mostly indoors. And a good supply of crafty projects is priceless in passing the endless time between lunch and “Daddy’s home!”

So when offered the opportunity to test a new kid-friendly craft kit, I leapt at the chance. The Wallaroo Hat Company’s Art Hat comes in two size options (2-5 years and 5-7 years) to fit most toddlers and preschoolers. My five-year-old son was excited to make himself a hat, and could hardly wait to get home from walking the dog to get started. Although momentarily disappointed that the hat is a sunhat (“for wearing at the beach,” I told him) and not a warm one (preferably non-itchy) to wear all winter, he hoovered his snack and pulled up his sleeves.

The hat itself is a basic flat-crowned bucket hat with a four-inch brim all around, in a microfiber that promises UPF 50+ sun protection. The kit also comes with six non-toxic fabric paints and two brushes. While the range of colors is bright and zingy (not your run-of-the-mill primary snoozers, these), the brushes are the standard cheap-o black-plastic-bristled blunt-tipped kind that usually accompany Crayola knock-off watercolor kits. The bristles are so stiff and unyielding that it might have been easier to paint with the end of a stick. Also, the teensy paint pots are all attached in a line, with flip-top lids that definitely need an adult’s assistance.

Discounting the equipment quirks (and having dug up a couple of natural-bristle brushes in our craft supplies), Avery was ready to have at it. I helped him flatten the hat so he could paint his design on the front side, but to continue around the back (and not have to wait the three prescribed hours for the paint to dry) I held the hat up for him to decorate all around, including the top. (Another option might be to set the hat on something that can hold the shape and be rotated, e.g., oatmeal canister.)

While the paints definitely lend themselves to more dexterous artists on the higher end of the age range, if your crafters are comfortable with abstract composition, the Art Hat is good for at least thirty minutes of indoor entertainment. Add some of your own fabric markers, glue-on crystals, and a parent-operated hot-glue gun and you could keep going until snack time.

The resulting oeuvre (grass, tree, flower, boy, “m” birds, erupting volcano) made Avery (and, let’s face it, his adoring parents) very happy, and might even encourage him to keep a hat on next summer. And on that note, Wallaroo is committed to the elimination of skin cancer, and donates 1% of their profits to skin cancer research, education, and prevention in the U.S. I’m sure my son will be thrilled to do his part.

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Congrats to winner Faye!
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Now, want to win a Wallaroo Art Hat? Here’s how:

  • Visit the Wallaroo store locator page, then email (with ‘Wallaroo’ in the subject), and name a store that sells Wallaroo products.

  • One entry permitted per person; US residents welcome to enter.

  • Entry period closes at midnight EST, Sunday, December 20, 2009.

    *One lucky winner (drawn using will receive the Wallaroo Art Hat in their choice of color/size (subject to stock availability) ($20 value).