At Dee’s Childcare we go big on Chinese New Year.
For two weeks (end of January- beginning of February) we focused our activities on the Chinese New Year and included the school children who come in the afternoon alongside the younger children who are here the whole day.
Here are some of the most enjoyed activities:
Trip to the farm
2017 is the Year of the Rooster. And to start off, we visited the farm to see some roosters and introduce the Chinese New Year story to the children.
First, we read the Chinese New Year story and then we did an arts & crafts activity and painted a rooster. We’ve simplified the story for the younger children and used puppets, also the globe to locate China to give the children an idea of its location and size.
The painting was great as a sensory experience as we encouraged finger painting but also a mark making opportunity for the younger children.
The pre-schoolers showed control in painting inside the lines and technique when changing colours, using the water pots appropriately and not soaking their sheets with the water.
Shopping at the Chinese Supermarket
We took the after-schoolers to the local Chinese Supermarket in preparation for our Chinese New Year celebrations.One of the store staff gave a talk to the children about the traditional foods and customs, showed us around the store and presented us with a gift of a Chinese calendar for the setting.
This was a messy one. Be prepared for the mess because we were not. However, it was worth it, having seen the children so invested in the activity: filling and emptying cups and bowls, imaginative play, using mathematical language when talking about quantities, comparing and making predictions of who has more/less.
Lunch at the Chinese restaurant
To further enhance the children’s understanding of the differences and similarities between cultures, traditions, foods, we took them to the Chinese restaurant for lunch. One of the children said “Oooh spaghetti” when the food came and it was the best time to talk to them about how noodles are similar to spaghetti but at the same time a bit different in shape and taste. Having tried the chopsticks and the fork, most of them finished their food using…fingers. And the prawn crackers were by far the most enjoyed.
Chinese New Year Party
To finish the two weeks of learning about Chinese New Year, we organised a party. The school children prepared a little performance, dressing up in Chinese clothes and dancing to Chinese music. I would say that was the highlight of the party but the children might think different when presented to an array of Chinese foods and sweets. When they left, they received a fortune cookie and a selection of Chinese sweets in a money envelope which I’m sure they appreciated more than they would have if they were to get money.
We did lots more but these were the most enjoyed activities. Hope this post inspires you and gives you some ideas to build on for next year’s Chinese New Year Celebrations.