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Hat for Little Ted

Target Audience Key Stage 1 (Yr 1)

Link to the National Curriculum

Sc3 Materials (Yr 1)

  • “Identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials , including wood, plastic, glass, paper and cardboard for particular uses.


  • To relate to the above NC requirement to meaningful situations where children can make a clear understanding of the property relating to waterproof / non- waterproof materials.

Download worksheet

What you need

  • Glass/plastic jam jars
  • Various types of material, both waterproof and non- waterproof
  • Measuring containers marked in mm
  • Pipettes ( medicine droppers easily obtainable from any pharmacy , alternatively from the consortium suppliers to schools)
  • Elastic bands
  • Plastic hand magnifying glasses

What you do

  • Cut a number of pieces of waterproof and non-waterproof material* of equal size to fit comfortably over the jam jars to allow for elastic bands to hold the pieces firmly on place.
  • Place each piece over the open end and fix it in place with an elastic band.
  • Decide, with the children how many mms of water will be poured over each piece of material.( Key Stage 1)
  • Or using the pipettes( medicine droppers) count how many drops of water, one at a time are required before the water passes through the material and wets Ted. (Key Stage 2)
  • How many groups of children take part in this activity simultaneously will depend on the adult supervision. if possible the children themselves should be given the opportunity to use the pipettes.

* Cutting where appropriate under adult supervision

How it works

  • Certain materials are bonded together so that they are completely waterproof, while others are woven loosely together leaving small gaps in the weaving/construction seen through hand magnifying glasses
  • Using the magnifying glasses the children should be able to make this distinction and come up with an appropriate response*

* it is vital however for the children to be given the opportunity to make a prediction about which materials may be waterproof prior to the actual investigation and using the magnifying glasses afterwards will hopefully help to consolidate their understanding.

Preliminary Activity

  • Much work in terms of identification of everyday materials the children come into contact should be undertaken prior to this investigation such as: cotton,paper, plastic,wood, rock metal, wool.
  • These materials should be identified and associated with specific everyday usage. It would be useful to take the children around the school environment inside and outside to identify everyday materials and their usage.

Follow up work

  • Other properties of materials should be investigated giving the children reasonable reasons for investigation e.g. What hat/coat/gloves/scarf would be best to wear in cold weather……. and then discuss best how you could investigate this
  • Further investigations could surround such problems as which material is strongest or does not easily bend or stretch most etc
  • It is vital however that each investigation starts with the children themselves and real situations that they can identify with.

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