August 15 is the traditional time for the August Moon Festival. It a holiday marked by family reunions, moon gazing, the eating of moon cakes (round pastries stuffed with red bean paste and egg yolk, or fruit and preserves).
Large black paper
Large white paint paper
White and black paint
Preparing for your activity:
Ask your child/children to describe the moon. Record what they say about the moon on paper.
Explain that in China people have parties to celebrate the moon. This celebration is called the Moon Festival and it takes place in the middle of August. Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is a good book to read that will give some details about the Moon Festival.
Ask your child/children if they would like to have their own Moon Festival.
Cut large black paper to fit the easel. Let your child paint a nighttime sky on the paper using white paint. When this picture is dry display it on the fridge or wall post your childs comments about the moon with their artwork.
Put large white paint paper (Melissa & Doug Easel Paper Pad) on the easel and encourage them to paint another nighttime picture leaving a circle of white paper showing to represent the moon.
Another activity is to make a Moon Mobile. Use the paper punch to punch holes around the edges of a paper plate and tie white string through the holes. Make moon and star shapes and tie them to the paper plate so they float freely below the plate. Use four of the white string pieces to tie together at the top of the plate so the plate hangs level with the floor and then hang it so the moon and stars flutter in the breeze.
At night be sure to go outside to look at the moon.
Find pictures of the moon in books to show and discuss the different phases of the moon
Take a pretend trip to the moon. Start like this and go through the motions of counting down the blast off, walking on the moon with gravity boots to combat the zero gravity, looking up at the stars, gathering some moon rocks...
Were going on a trip to the moon. Everyone get on your spacesuits (pretend to put on spacesuits). Dont forget your helmets (pull helmet over your head)
Make pretend telescopes from paper towel tubes. Decorate them with stars, stickers, or markers. Pretend to gaze at the moon.
For snacking you can make your own moon cakes. Bake a cake mix in a sheet cake pan (adjust cooking times). This makes a rather flat cake. Let your children use a round cookie cutter to cut the cake into moon pieces. Each child should get two pieces. They can spread red jam or jelly on one moon piece and put the other moon piece on top- this makes a moon cake. Enjoy with milk or juice.
Other good books about the Moon Festival are Mooncakes and Moon Festival, available on Amazon.