We feel it is important for the children to understand and celebrate different cultures in order to have a growing understanding of the diverse world that we live in. This week was the Chinese New Year so we decided to look at Chinese culture and to use different activities to help our understanding. Each day we have been cooking rice and noodles and trying to eat them with chopsticks. Although this may see a bit of a cliché it encourages children to consider ways of life that differ from their own. We have made Chinese lanterns and hats and looked at Chinese writing which the children have tried to replicate.
To support literacy and communication, we have looked at the story of willow pattern plates which have been popular in China for centuries. Each marking of the pattern tells part of the story, and the children enjoyed looking out for the two birds that represent the two lovers flying away. Some of the children made their own willow pattern plates using paper plates and painting them in blue. We then got them to re-tell their own story which we wrote out for them. Some of these stories are on display in the Squirrels room.
Some children have been making valentines cards this week for a person of their choice (usually mum). These have been made from printing heart shapes from toilet rolls and producing cut out hearts using a special cutting machine.
It was Pancake Day on Tuesday and the children helped us to mix batter so that we could make our own pancakes which they had for snack with lemon and sugar. The children were then each able to flip their own pancake in a frying pan. This proved to be an excellent way to use their hand eye co-ordination to varying degrees of success.
To complete our Chinese New Year celebrations the children created a dragon head with a cardboard box, red and yellow paint and lots of flowing tissue paper. We then had our own dragon dance each day and the children took it in turns to be the dragons head, followed by the other children swaying and swirling around the room to Chinese music.
Other fun activities and have been playing “Pie face” with the staff getting splattered in shaving foam, playing with Happy land, remote control cars and Lego. We played with egg and spoons, chasing a rugby ball and crawling under a beam with Jolly Jo.
Words we have learned this week:
Ideas to continue this weeks’ fun at home:
Make pancakes together and practice tossing one (just one that is not to be eaten in case if goes on floor!!)
Cut out Chinese lanterns. Fold paper in half and make small cuts into the middle. Turn it the other way and secure.