This week we have celebrated the Chinese New Year and focused on some of the traditions observed. The children have had a go at making Chinese lanterns; these are often hung in the street during New Year celebrations. We also made our own money and put this into red envelopes; this is a way to share your blessings, with the red being an auspicious colour that signifies good luck. We’ve also listened to Chinese music and tried to create our own dragon dance! In addition, we’ve been looking at Chinese numerals and have had a go at recreating these using a sand tray, and tracing paper. We’ve also made our own fire breathing dragons! We made our dragons, and then added bicarbonate of soda, red food colouring, and vinegar, and watched as the ‘fire’ burst from the dragon’s mouth!
Ensuring that children are introduced to different festivals, cultures and celebrations is important to us; we feel that children should learn both about their similarities and differences with others. By sharing in different traditions, children learn about the world around them with respect for all.
As well as celebrating the Chinese New Year, we’ve also enjoyed our usual range of play ideas! The craft table got very messy mid-week when we simply offered children the paint still in its powder form, alongside water spray bottles! Some choose to mix these in pots to create paint; others sprinkled the powder onto their paper and then added the water. Some even did all of their mixing on the table and then put their paper on top and made ‘prints’. Despite the inevitable mess – this is a great way for children to develop their own ideas and encourages creative thinking!
We also explored colour mixing in a different way. We had trays of various liquid (milk, water and oil) and used giant pipettes to then add food colouring. The colours reacted differently depending on the liquid; with the colours making a range of swirls and combining in different ways.
Ideas to continue this week’s fun at home: We would love to know about celebrations that are important to our families and welcome you to share any stories or photos you may have. Involve your child; can they remember what happens and why certain events take place? Do they wear any special clothes? Do you visit special people or places? We would love to hear about it, so please share with us via blue books, or talking to your child’s key person.