To highlight Tove Jansson’s centenary, one kindergarten in Espoo, Finland have decided to use Moomin as a theme in both education and play for their youngest children. Kindergarten teacher Saana Alanko thinks that Moomin fits well with their education plans:
– Most of the children already know Moomin in some way and although they don’t have to participate in the activities if they don’t want to, everyone has been really enthusiastic. We started out with some small initial ideas of what we could do and now we just keep on coming up with more says Saana.
The education plans include a lot of different areas such as counting, drawing and singing, and Moomin as a theme works well with all of them. It all started with Moomintroll coming to visit the children one day (he popped out of a bag and introduced himself) and the Moomin theme will end with a party where the parents are invited to see what the children have created, all while snacking on delicious Moomin biscuits.
– That way the children get a clear beginning and an end of this theme Saana explains.
Saana’s suggestions for using Moomin with kindergarteners:
- Painting with Moomin – creating recognisable shapes with paint – for example handprints become white Hattifatteners and feet form Grokes.
- The Moomin song bag – each card in a bag has an image and a song that relates to Moomin, the children then get to pick a card from the bag and everyone sings the song together.
- Colouring with Moomin – the children get to fill in the colours on preprinted black and white images or draw the characters themselves.
- Learning about emotions through the characteristics of the different Moomin characters such as Little my being angry or Sniff being afraid.