Let’s make “moon mud”!

“Teacher, why does the moon look different throughout the month? It gets big, and then it gets smaller again, why?”; “Why does the moon look the brightest on the fifteenth day of the 8th lunar month?”, etc. To answer questions such as these, the kids in Class Pooh 3, Vinschool Royal City Kindergarten - R1, discovered some of the moon’s features through a Scientific Discovery called “Moon mud”.

To begin the lesson, the teacher and the kids talked about the moon’s surface and its different appearances (phases) throughout the lunar month using pictures and videos. From this, the kids learned that there are also soils, stones, etc. on the moon and that, to become full, the moon goes through different phases including the new moon, the waxing crescent, the first quarter, the waxing gibbous, and finally the full moon. The kids confidently shared their thoughts. Thuc Anh said: “To me, the waxing crescent looks like a smile or a banana”.

To remember the lesson better, the kids played a game on a SMART board. They each found the picture of one of the phases of the moon when requested. In doing so, they also practiced standing in front of an audience and sharing confidently what they had learned.

As part of this activity, parents were also invited to discover the moon with their children at home through using pictures or the internet. Not only did the activity provide the children with additional knowledge, but it also improved their imagination, curiosity, and love for discoveries.

After learning all about the moon, the kids and the teacher made “Moon mud” from familiar materials like corn starch, colored sand, and water. The whole class excitedly held, touched, smelled, observed, and named the materials. This was a great way to help develop the children’s senses.
The teacher encouraged the kids to explore different ways to make moon mud. She respected their choices and allowed them to follow their instincts and draw their own conclusions. Different ways led to different results, and the whole class was able to draw lessons from that.
The class combined the materials, which included corn starch, sand, and water, one by one into a tray. To make the mud fine, the materials should be mixed well, and the mud should sparkle. In this activity, the kids practiced and refined their skills in every step: adding the sand, pouring the water and kneading the mud.
While the kids were doing their work, the teacher came and asked how they thought they were doing, and together with the teacher, the children predicted the results, imagining how their products would turn out, or giving names to their products. Most of the children found that the powder was fragrant, soft, and smooth. One child, Gia Bao, imagined that the thing in his team’s tray looked like a volcano with sparkling lava. Another, Anh Quan, exclaimed: “Teacher, look at my sparkling hands! I’m so happy to see how beautiful my hands are! I am kneading the mud to make moon mud!” An Nhien said: “The powder comes down like rain, so I will call it sparkling rain”.
At the end of the activity, the teams concluded: “The mud from the teams that added too much water is sloppy; when we hold it in our hands and press, the liquid runs down our hands or gets too sticky. Meanwhile, the mud from the teams that added too little water is too dry”.

The lesson ended with happy smiles and discussions all round. Thanks to this activity, these kids figured out the answers to their questions and learned about the different phases of the moon and how things are on the moon. Moreover, the kids exercised their guessing and imagination skills. They were able to confidently show their curiosity and share their love of discovery. The kids also trained their fine motor skill through activities such as cutting the bags, pouring the powder, squeezing the bottle caps, pouring the water skillfully, kneading the mud, and giving a name to their experience. Throughout the whole activity, they needed to work together, share, and support one another within their teams.