I think every home with preschoolers should have a box of hats. Hats just seem to inspire imagination. Last year, I began collecting all sorts of hats for my three-year-old. I found a fire hat, hard hat, pirate hat, and a few others in the dollar section at Target. I added a REAL hard hat I had left over from my working days (that I very much treasure actually) and the coolest leprechan hat I've ever seen that I found on super-clearance at BabiesRUs. Someday I plan to add capes and masks and other exciting props and put everything into a wooden toy box painted with stars all over it.
I had planned to give this hat collection to my boys for Christmas, but at the time, my son was very adamant about a few other things he wanted and I do believe that children should get at least the reasonable things they ask for for Christmas. So, I pulled the hats out of the closet on a day when the kids needed a distraction. It took them awhile to catch on, but now the hats are played with daily and our oldest often insists on us calling him a fireman and referring to our home as a fire station.
Not only do the kids love the hats, but they make for great photo-ops. Today, St. Patrick's Day, I decided to spend some time playing with the green hat and the camera. Here are the results: