How to Make a Brain Hat

Completed Brain Hat

This is probably the most popular post to date!  Get crafty and make a brain hat.  Your students will love it.

The brain likes novelty.  Using different hats to get kids’ attention is a handy strategy.  We decided to all make brain hats after our PreK-3 teacher had such success with her hat.  So gather some friends, put on gloves and an apron and let’s get to work!  Here is what you will need:

Aluminum Foil

You could also use a bowl to make the brain form, but we opted for aluminum foil since we had quite a few people making hats and not enough bowls.

Foam Sealant

We used “Great Stuff” for our foam sealant but probably any brand will do.

Rubber Bands

Some rubber bands.  These are optional.


The toothpicks are to attach the rubber bands to the hat.

Making the mold

Get a big sheet of foil and mold it to your head.  We quickly figured out, this is much easier with a little help from your friends.

Paige and Anne help Karen

Cristina helps her pal Elizabeth

Lori applies the foam.

Once you have your mold, start applying the foam.  Make it look like the folds found on the cerebral cortex.

Cortex folds

Get a friend to help you hold it up so you can get the foam all around the mold.


Take some rubber bands of varying lengths and insert them onto your “brain” with toothpicks.

Attach rubber bands with toothpicks

You may be wondering about the purpose of the rubber bands.  We learned about using rubber bands to teach kids about their brains from JoAnn Deak, JoAnn talks about everyone having different sizes of “rubber bands” in different sectors of their brains; the bigger the rubber band (natural aptitude) the easier the task.  If a particular subject or task is difficult, stick with it, because the wonderful news is that we can stretch our rubber bands with practice – also known as neuroplasticity.  The rubber bands are a concrete visual for kids to refer to when faced with persisting on a difficult task.  A source for colored rubber bands of different sizes can be found here

Drying Time

Let your hats dry over night and Ta Dah!  You have a brain hat.

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