Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam
Ramen for Everyone Process Art Invitation
We read the story "Ramen for Everyone" by Patricia Tanumihardja(Author), Shiho Pate(Illustrator) that we got from Books Inc. The story is about a boy Hiro who loves to make his dads ramen recipe with his own creativity and uniqueness.
Did you know ramen was born when the Chinese noodle dish came to Japan and fused with Japanese cuisine? Since May is American Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage month this book is great to expose a child to food from asian cultures. Food plays an integral role in our lives. Food is one of the ways we connect to other cultures as well as our own.
The food we eat is intertwined with culture/traditions and many of our favorite memories are associated with gathering during special celebrations to enjoy food. By exploring and learning about different foods from around the world children can learn a lot about a particular culture. The more we are inclusive about celebrating and exposing cultures in classrooms or our homes from a young age, the more understanding, respect, acceptance we provide for everyone within our communities.
After reading the story we invited the children to use chopsticks and yarn to paint with "ramen noodles" on paper. We provided butcher paper, paint, chopsticks + yarn & invited the children to pick up the "ramen noodles" with their chopsticks, dip it in the paint, & create it uniquely just like Hiro did in the story. Using chopsticks can be tricky for children to master, but they often come up with their own creative ways of using them.
Chopsticks can help children to work on hand-dominance, pre-handwriting skills, & improve their grasp in a fun & exciting manner. It is always interesting to see the way each child thinks creatively as they explore the paint & with the tools. They are able to enhance their hand-eye coordination, fine motor development, experimenting & exploring with a new paint tool, sense of achievement and pride, color recognition, sensory experience, & best of all expressing themselves. Part of exploring any art activity is getting a bit messy. Children use their whole body & all their senses to explore new materials, it is how they learn about their world.