Friday, July 02, 2010

Caps For Sale

Last month I asked the question, "What would you do with them?"


I mentioned there that we had a couple hundred of these kid-sized, vinyl belts with which I had no idea what to do. You sent me dozens of brilliant ideas, some of which we've implemented.

This "chain" of belts is used for swinging Tarzan style

We wove an eave for our beach hut.

This belt was made a part of a devious trap.

And some have been used as pure decoration.

As a side note I mentioned that I considered these belts to be the curse that came along with hundreds of hats. I'm very pleased we're putting them to use, feeling virtuous in a hippy-dippy, free-cycle, good-for-the-planet, stick-it-to-the-man kind of way. The hats and belts came to me as the end of a chain of people taking what they needed and passing it along. No one knows where the initial batch of goods came from, but we're guessing it was a party supply store that had either gone belly-up or had overstocked. My friend Robin accepted the "refuse" because it had contained several bolts of interesting fabric that she could use. She passed the dozens of boxes on to my friend Barbara, who wanted the large stash of artificial flowers and strings of shiny beads to use to make head dresses for our winter solstice feast a couple years ago. Barbara then called me, leaving me with those belts (which I'm delighted to not be throwing out) and hundreds of hats.

The hats, I know what to do with. One of our favorite ways to use them is acting out Caps For Sale.


They all know the story, but I start by reading it to them anyway. There is always controversy over the proper pronunciation of the monkey's "Tsz, tsz, tsz," because apparently everyone's parents interpret it differently. I like sounding all three letters because it's not a sound we make in English and it makes your mouth feel all buzzy.

We then break out the hats.

This is only about a quarter of our collection and there are several other
styles, including white cowboy hats and cow-print vests.

I start by playing the peddler, balancing as many hats on my head as possible, "First my own cap, then the white caps, then the blue caps, then the straw caps, and then the red ones on top."

"Caps for sale! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!" When no one buys a cap I decide to take a nap under the blue tree we made for our Pre-K play last year, and the moment I do, the children swarm me, snatching the hats off my head. I usually have to hold on to my own cap (and glasses) or it goes too!

I wake up to find my caps missing, feeling with my hands. I look to the left. I look to the right. I look behind the tree. I look into the tree and on every branch sits a monkey wearing a white or a blue or a straw or a red cap.

I shake one fist, "Give me back my caps!"

And the monkeys shake one fist and answer, "Tsz, tsz, tsz!"

I shake both fists.

"Tsz, tsz, tsz!"

I shake both fists and stamp one foot.

"Tsz, tsz, tsz!"

I shake both fists and stamp both feet.

"Tsz, tsz, tsz!"

When I throw down by own cap in anger, I'm bombarded with hats. We then take turns being the peddler, although most of the kids quickly decide they don't like being bombarded with hats, leaving poor Teacher Tom in a role that goes on and on and on until he can't take it any more.

The hats, I know what to do with.



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6 comments:

Life with Kaishon said...

: ) So fun to read this.
I never read that book.
I think I would sound all three sounds out too : )

Scott said...

Ah, "Caps for Sale."

I don't think I would enjoy being the peddler either.

Ms Tracy said...

Hundreds of hats? I am beyond jealous.

Caps for Sale is one of my all time favorites, and it sounds like your crew is getting full use out of the book and the hats. Have you read Circus Caps for Sale? That one could be fun, too.

Pumpkin Delight said...

Love, love, love this. Caps For Sale is a classic. I remember doing the play when I was in K or 1st grade. So much fun!

Michele said...

I remember this book also from childhood but don't have it on the bookshelf for my two.Hmmm will have to rectify that soon as I remember its a fun book. Will have to check the sibs bookshelves and do a raid or a trade i think, as sure one of us ended up eith it (just not me).
Love the variations in the Tsz. And I think it was always more of a "tsk tsk tsk" from my own mum and dad. What is the country of origin of the book? Makes me think about a great book I once saw with photos of animals and the variants of the noises they make or at least we SAY they make/how we pronounce them from country to country eg in Australia we would saw a kitten says miaow but in other countries it is mee mee, then duck says quack, cow = moo etc I wish I could recall the variations and country to explain better but I found it fascinating. I guess you take it for granted that that is how it IS pronounced and wouldnt stop to think different elsewhere

Eternal Lizdom said...

I love love love love love that book. It's been a favorite for many, many years and I was so excited to buy it for my kids!!

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