Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam
Mid-autumn Festival Play-Dough+Loose Parts Mooncakes
The Mid-autumn festival is observed in China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. All over the world to worship the moon, celebrate the harvest season, and most importantly, to eat mooncake. Giving mooncakes filled with lotus paste and a salted egg yolk to acquaintances and friends because it is round like the moon and symbolize family and harmony.
The book A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin is a great way to invite children to learn about the significance of mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival. The story is about a girl Little Star gradually eating the mooncake that her mother has baked.
To extend and integrate the literacy experience you can invite the child to create their very own mooncake with play dough, wooden rollers, mooncake molds, and loose parts (ice rocks, transulcent shapes, rainbow wooden parts, wood bits).
Play-dough is a staple in early childhood. It is a powerful way to let a child use their imagination, strengthen the small muscles in their fingers, and encourage a chil's language +literacy, science, math and sensory skills. It is quite possibly one of most powerful props for learning. Pairing loose parts with play dough provides another layer of creativity. Loose parts are dynamic in nature, which brings about authenticity of ideas. The more variables an object offers the more possibilities and creativity the object will have. Invitations with open ended materials enhance a child's free creative play, exposure to sensory elements, requires concentration, and is truly relaxing + stimulating.