This is my second post about preparing your kids for Chinese New Year. Click here for the first one.
I usually post learning ideas after we do them at home, but it won’t be of too much help if I did that today since Chinese New Year is already on Friday… though the festival lasts 15 days. So, please, forgive the lack of “real-life pictures” as we are still about to do some of the following activities too in addition to exploring China. Consider it a peek at my lesson plan for the week. You can pick and tweak any of the ideas below, depending on your child’s age. Oh, and remember to read books set in China; my booklist can be found on this link.
Make simple crafts
I don’t hope for perfection and beauty in my kids’ art work (because I’m really baaad at it haha), so craft time for us is really just the usual paper, crayons, colored paper, glue, and scissors. Here are some of the simple craft ideas that I have in mind for Chinese New Year.
- Make red envelopes for angpao – click here for template and instructions from Activity Village
- Make fireworks with crayons and paper – Fireworks are usually scary for kids. Make it fun by asking them to draw fireworks on paper. You can ask them to follow your cue: make dots when you’re saying “boom boom boom” and dashes when you’re singing gently. We do a version of this in Kindermusik.
- Make Chinese paper lanterns – I’m excited to try this out. I hope we can follow the directions properly! Click here.
Do your own dragon dance
My kids hid under the table when they saw the dragon dance at Timberland Heights last year. They found it too loud and scary. To make it less threatening for them, we are going to do our own dragon dance using scarves, sticks, and drums. The kids and I actually tried it earlier, but we need my husband to make the dragon really dance!
Learn about horses
The animal sign for the Chinese New Year is the horse, so why not get friendly with the animal? For Little Sir (and other kids ages 3 and below), a coloring page of a horse will do just fine. For older kids, you can read fiction and non-fiction books about horses. I still have to gather our books on this topic, but I’m sure we will read Patricia Polacco’s Mrs. Mack.
Learn about the lunar cycle
The Chinese calendar follows the lunar calendar and starts on the first New Moon. Re-acquaint yourselves with the phases of the moon and look at it every night. And while you’re at it, you can even sing “Skinnamarink-a-dink-a-dink, skinnamarink-ee-doo, I love you!”
Attend Spring Festival events
There are bound to be activities around the city for the Chinese New Year. Sanne sent me this poster for the free Chinese Painting and Crafts Workshops and Chinese Painting Exhibit at Shangrila Mall. We will definitely visit the painting exhibit!