Developed by:Bento Box Interactive, LLC
I love Mama Mae: Mookey for several reasons: 1) it’s a great story with an even greater message (acceptance); 2) the high-quality animation; 3) it’s full of diverse characters; 4) the integration of music; and 5) Alicia Keys is supporting literacy with this app series!
Prepare to use the app by introducing one of these activities:
- It’s Raining Idioms!“It cost an arm and a leg.” “It’s a piece of cake.” Idioms such as these can be confusing to 7-8-year-old children because kids tend to be quite literal at this age. Explain to your child that an idiom is an exaggerated expression used to convey a particular message. In this app Mama Mae says, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This idiom is important to highlight because it relates to the central message of the story. Kids find idioms quite funny, so share some common idioms with your child. Here are a few to get your started:
- A penny for your thoughts = A way of asking what someone is thinking
- Actions speak louder than words = People's intentions can be judged better by what they do than what they say
- Bite off more than you can chew = Take on a task that is way too big
- Every cloud has a silver lining = There is always something good to be found, even in bad situations
- Feel a bit under the weather = Feeling a little sick
- Hit the nail on the head = Do or say something exactly right
- Once in a blue moon = Does not happen very often
- Click here for more kid-friendly idioms.
- Holi – the Festival of Colors:Holi is a major festival also known as the Festival of Colors. It celebrates the transition from the darker winter months to the lighter atmosphere of a warmer spring. Holi celebrates the Hindu story of Prahlada. Prahlada was a prince dedicated to the worship of Vishnu, a major Hindu god. Prahlada's father and aunt opposed his religious faith, and as punishment made him sit in the middle of a raging bonfire. Vishnu protected Prahlada, and the prince did not burn. (Adapted from National Geographic.)
Even though Holi originates from India, many people around the world celebrate Holi. There are even annual Holi festivals held in cities across the United States, including New York City, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles! At Holi festivals, people of all ages dance, sing, and throw colored powders at each other in celebration. To get in the Holi spirit, have your child create a colorful work of art using tissue paper, card stock, a spray bottle, and water.
- Rip the colored tissue paper into small pieces and place them all over the card stock. It’s okay if the tissue paper overlaps.
- Once the entire card stock is covered, spray it with water. Make sure that all of the tissue paper is wet and touching the card stock underneath it.
- Let it dry. As the tissue dries, the color will bleed onto the card stock below.
- After it is completely dry, remove the tissue. Stand back to enjoy your Holi art piece.
Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities:
- Folktales:Fiction stories encompass different genres, including folktales. Explain to your child that a folktale is a story that is generally passed down from one generation to the next. Folktales have a specific moral, or lesson, for readers and usually center upon a young hero/heroine. They are often embedded within the history of a particular culture. As your child reads Mama Mae: Mookey and hears the story of Bali, have him/her point out some of the folktale elements. For instance, your child may note that Bali’s story takes place a long time ago, which is an element of a folktale. In addition, your child may point out that the moral of Bali’s story focuses on acceptance, forgiveness, and/or courage. Being able to identify genres leads children to have a better understanding of what to expect from a text in order to learn from it.
- Having Courage:Bystanders are one of largest groups who could make an impact on bullying. Anti-bullying experts urge individuals to have the courage to stand up to bullies and/or defend people who are being bullied. Talk to your child about how LeeLee and Bali showed courage in the story, leading into a discussion about what may be difficult or scary about standing up for someone. (For example, LeeLee is afraid that the bullies would start to pick on her if she stood up for her classmate.) Then share ideas about the positive outcomes of being courageous in that type of situation. For more information on bystanders, click here.
Extend the app experience with these real life activities:
- Learn More About India:Bali’s story takes place in the great country of India. Take a virtual field trip to India with your child by visiting one of these kid-friendly websites and learning more about this dynamic culture:
- National Geographic for Kids – Fast facts on India, geographical information, history, photos
- Fact Monster – General information about Indian climate, pastimes, animals, and holidays
- Bhangra/Bollywood Dance – Six-step video guide to learn a contemporary Indian dance
- Kids for Tigers – Video from National Geographic about protecting the habitats of Indian tigers
- Anti-Bullying Books:Mama Mae: Mookey deals with a very timely topic: bullying. We are huge believers in the power of books to strengthen values, start discussions, and change the world. It’s never too early to talk to your child about empathy and bullying. Visit your local library or bookstore to check out other books that send a message of acceptance and inclusion:
- Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
- Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
- Stop Picking on Me (A First Look at Bullying) by Pat Thomas
- The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
- Weird! A Story About Dealing with Bullying in School by Erin Frankel