We have been celebrating Chinese New Year here at Twinkles and took the opportunity to find out how Chinese New Year is traditionally celebrated. In the days coming up to New Year every family buys presents, decorations, food, new clothes and people have their hair cut. Houses are cleaned from top to bottom. The aim is to sweep out any bad luck from the old year and clear the way for good luck. However, it is bad luck to clean on New Years Day itself! Families put lights up outside their homes, rather like Christmas lights and doors and windows are often newly painted in red. On New Years Eve both narrow strips of red paper and bunches of firecracker decorations are hung on doors to bring good luck. We have made our own decorations to put up at nursery.
We have been looking at the story of the Chinese Zodiac and the animal race and finding out which animal marks the year we were born in. 2016 is the year of the monkey so we have been painting and drawing pictures of monkeys, as well as pretending to be monkeys (not that difficult for some of us!!)
We have turned our home corners into Chinese restaurants and have been writing menus, taking orders and cooking up tasty food for our customers to enjoy. The children at Twinkles White Rose went for a walk to the shopping centre and brought back some chopsticks and takeway boxes to add to the role play area.
We have made lots of different Chinese Dragons, using an assortment of things including paper plates, paint, empty boxes, collage materials and tissue paper. We made small ones to use as puppets , painted ones to display and giant ones so we could dance!!
We have had Chinese for lunch and some of us even tried to master the tricky art of chopsticks. Very good for developing fine motor skills and hand eye co-ordination but not so good for a hungry tummy!! We also tucked into prawn crackers with sweet chilli dip which were a big hit with everyone.
There have been lots of messy activities including noodle sensory trays, red sparkly playdough and textured red and gold finger paint. We used chopsticks as tools for painting, stirring the noodles and cutting and mark making in the playdough.
We have looked in books to find out more about Chinese New Year and used them to help us have a go at some Chinese writing. The boys and girls at Twinkles Leeds were lucky enough to hear all about China from Camille, who previoulsy taught English out there, she brought in lots of lovely photographs for us to look at and some of the beautiful things she bought whilst living there.
Gung Hey Fat Choy!