Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam
Playdough Latkes with Loose Parts
One of the most amazing things about the Holidays is to see how so many cultures celebrate in different ways. Potato pancakes called latkes are symbolize the miracle of Hanukkah, when the oil of the menorah was able to stay aflame for eight days even though there was only enough oil for one day. The symbolism of Latkes comes in the form of the oil in which latkes are fried.
After reading the story Meet the Latkes by Alan Silberberg book to integrate the literacy experience you can either make some latkes or invite the children to create some of the latkes families with loose parts and play dough. To set this invitation you will need loose parts (acrylic ice rocks, tooth picks, coconut shells, googly eyes, metal bolts, wooden geo shapes) play dough, Textured Rolling Pins, and Wooden Sculpting Tools.
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 child's language + literacy, science, math and sensory skills. It is quite possibly one of most powerful props for learning. Adding loose parts to decorate the latkes play dough molds inspires the children to think more creativevly while providing endless opportunities to continuously stimulate their curiosity. Since loose parts are dynamic in nature, it brings about authenticity of formulating ideas and you can see a child's creativity shine in their creations.
Since children learn and retain information through their senses integrating a sensory materials and loose parts to represent part of the book will deepen their comprehension and connection to the concepts of the story.
Here are some other fun ways to explore the holiday Hanukkah: Spin-Art Dreidel , Invitation to Create a Dreidel and Menorah, and Hanukkah Loose Parts Play