Celebrating festivals from around the world is a wonderful way to introduce your children to the diversity of other cultures and religions.
As festivals tend to be fun, family-centred events they’re the perfect way to involve your children.
The Chinese New Year is being celebrated on February 14th 2010 and will mark the start of the Year of the Tiger.
Here are some ideas to bring in the New Year at home:
1. As with most celebrations food plays a major part so why not cook up a Chinese meal and try using chopsticks. There are some recipes here that you might like. Or you could even try making your own fortune cookies and let the children write or draw the messages inside.
2. The traditional colour for the Chinese celebration is red so why not have a red day – wearing red clothes, eating red food, having a treasure hunt to find all your red toys and making a collage picture using lots of shades of red?
3. As it’s the year of the Tiger it would be fun to make tiger masks. We’ll be making one this week, so please come back and I’ll share how we made it.
4. In the Chinese culture the number 8 is considered lucky – so how about playing some number games based on 8s? You could draw a hopscotch grid using chalks in the garden working up from 1 to 8. Or write the numbers 1 to 8 on squares of card to make targets, lie them out in a line and see if you can throw beanbags on to the targets. Anyone who lands on the number 8 could win a small prize.
5. Red envelopes containing gifts of money are very often given at New Year. You could use this idea at home by drawing or writing messages on card, putting them into red envelopes and then posting them off to friends and grandparents. My children love getting real letters through the post so your child might like to address an envelope to themselves and wait and see how long it takes the postman to deliver it.
6. Although it’s the year of the tiger, the dragon also makes an appearance at New Year to chase away any evil spirits. You can watch a New Year dragon dance, and your children could even try to do one themselves.
7. You can also introduce the idea that people speak different languages and write in different ways around the world. Can your kids try saying ‘Gung hei fat choi!’ which means Happy New Year!
Download your ready-made Chinese New Year Unit
Download your copy of the Play Academy’s ready-made Chinese New Year Unit and you’ll have everything you need to lead an engaging programme of learning about Chinese New Year.
In this Chinese New Year Unit your children can:
:: learn about Chinese New Year: what it is and how it is celebrated
:: learn about the animals of the Chinese zodiac
:: learn about Chinese dragons and make your own dragon puppet
:: make Chinese-style paper lanterns
:: play lucky 8s, count to ten in Chinese and play red envelope math games
:: explore sensory painting
:: try a mandarin sensory taste test
Bonus Chinese New Year thematic unit printables
The Play Academy’s thematic units come with practical printables that make the lessons more engaging for your children and easier for you to teach.
No need to go searching for printables to accompany your lessons, they’re all included when you download your chosen unit.
In this Chinese New Year Unit you’ll receive these bonus printables:
:: a Red Envelope mat for math activities
:: three-part colour-in Chinese Zodiac Animals matching cards
How to download this Chinese New Year thematic unit
You can download this unit along with over 50 more from NurtureStore’s Play Academy.
If you are already of the Play Academy, you can download this unit straight away from our Library here.
If you are not yet a member, find out more and choose your first unit here. Your teaching is about to get a whole lot easier!