Category: Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year Arts and Crafts

Welcome back!

I’d like to wish you all Gung Hay Fat Choy! A happy Chinese New Year that is!

Chinese New Year is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. In Chinese tradition, each year is named after one of twelve animals, which feature in the Chinese zodiac – Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. The animals have a year dedicated to them once every 12 years, in a cycle.

This year is the year of the Rat, the first of all the zodiac animals. In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus.

The children ( ages 1, 1.5, 2, 5 and 6) have had great fun enjoying all manner of Chinese New Year related crafts the past couple of weeks. They have had fun colouring in and wearing fun Chinese hats, making their own chopstick picture frames, using their Chinese fans, making dragon masks and puppets and snake mobiles all the while learning about Chinese Customs. They have enjoyed dressing up in our Chinese Outfits and twirling Chinese parasols above their heads.

Exploring Chinese New Year is a great way to get the kids interested in the wider world. I recall very vividly being taken to China Town as a young girl and observing in wide eyed fascination all the Chinese New Year customs. I remember dragons dancing through the street and loved getting my name written for me in Chinese. I think it’s lovely that the School the older ones attend are exploring China as a topic too.

As you can imagine we have ticked off many EYFS areas of learning including – Communication & Language, Physical Development (Fine Motor Skills), Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Expressive Arts and Design and Understanding the World.

Happy (Chinese) New Year!

This week I have been loosely following a theme and planning activities around the fact that it is Chinese New Year starting tomorrow (Saturday 28th January). This year, Chinese New Year – The Year of the Rooster – begins on Saturday January 28 and lasts until February 15th, 2018.


Our village pre-school follow themes and last year followed and celebrated the Chinese New Year. They learnt all about how the Chinese celebrate and decorate their homes. They did lots of art and craft and card making. They made a large dragon as a class and did some fantastic dragon dancing. They tried lots of Chinese food and even had a special visitor in to talk about how she celebrates and to share her stories with them. The children all wore red to mark the occasion.

My mindees are much younger however and there will be plenty of time ahead for them to learn, understand and explore this festival further. So with my little ones, (youngest 17 months and eldest 2 ½ years) I used the theme to help inspire me to plan activities for them. Themes can sometimes help to have something to scaffold the day and activities around. They love painting so we used red and yellow paint and they love glitter so we used red and gold glitter. Their favourite activity was definitely the dressing up in the Chinese clothes from the dressing up box and the Chinese fan and parasol.Finally, we read and enjoyed our ‘Lanterns and Firecrackers’ book.

Areas of Learning Covered: Understanding the World, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication & Language, Literacy, Physical Development and Expressive Arts and Design

Chinese New Year

Happy New Year! Chinese New Year that is!

Each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of 12 animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac.  This year is the year of the monkey.

My 4 year old mindee was already enjoying lots of activities at pre-school to celebrate the Chinese New Year, they wore red for the day, they had a Chinese visitor, enjoyed Chinese food, made a large dragon as a class and lanterns too.

I decided that pre-school had this one sewn up(!) so I opted for a very simple activity of drawing monkeys to mark the year of the monkey instead! They impressively chose to draw their monkeys on blossom trees. Blossom trees are much prized in both China and Japan and linked closely with spring festivals. Chinese New Year, for example, celebrates blossom in all its forms. They completed their pictures with some bananas…