As part of our project on the Chinese New Year celebrations we have been looking at the history and meaning of the willow pattern plate. Willow pattern is actually English in origin, designed by a man called Thomas Minton in the late 18th century, although it was based on traditional Chinese one colour pottery. The original design shows three men crossing a bridge outside a temple, surrounded by trees. There is also a boat on the river with two birds overhead. Each plate tells a story and we have been decorating our own plates to illustrate our own stories. This links into Communication, Literacy and Imaginative play as well as being a focal point for looking at other cultures.
On Friday the children made a lovely dragons head. Traditionally the head for this Chinese dance is a lion but the colours and spectacular movements of the dance are sometimes celebrated as a dragon. The children had a wonderful time dancing behind the brightly coloured head and enjoyed their first experience of Chinese music.
On Friday we tried an experiment to see if we could make a fire breathing dragon. Vinegar and bicarbonate of soda and some colour created an explosive display and provided the children with an opportunity to see how chemistry can be used to create effects. Other Chinese activities included tracing Chinese letters, making paper lanterns and fans. Each day for snack we tried noodles and rice and the children were given the opportunity to use chop sticks.
The theme has been so popular that we will be continuing celebrating The year of the Rooster for a further week.
Words we learned this week:
Ideas to continue this weeks fun at home
Try folding paper to make a fan shape. Take a sheet of A4 paper and fold about a centimetre all the way along the full edge of the paper. Then fold the same amount but in the opposite direction. Repeat until you have created a fan shape. This help aid a child’s hand eye co-ordination and physical development