Happy Chinese New Year Gong Xi Fa Cai! - Part B - Celebrating Chinese New Year Celebrate the Year of the Pig in 2019 - Consilium Education

Happy Chinese New Year
         Gong Xi Fa Cai!
    Celebrate the Year of the Pig in 2019

Part B – Celebrating Chinese New Year

                             Jan Homden
                             Consilium Education
                             January 2019
Abbie and her brother invite us into their home in
     Liverpool to share in their preparation for and
       celebration of Chinese New Year. A lovely
       introduction for children to the culture and
                 traditions encompassing
                            Chinese New Year

                                    CBeebies: Preparing For Chinese New
                                    Year - Let's Celebrate

                                    Click on Abbie to watch the video

    Role Play in the Early Years - Introduce Chinese New Year
              through Role Play. Open a Chinese Restaurant!
Click on the images to follow the links.

      The image above was posted by Renee Lea on Pinterest

Set up a Chinese Restaurant
                                             outdoors. I love this idea uploaded
                                             on Pinterest by Carley Wheeler

These children from Carleton Green Community Primary School in Lancashire,
UK are having fun in their Role Play Corner as they celebrate Chinese New Year.

                                                Set the table with melamine
                                                rice bowls, side plates, tea
                                                cups, soup spoons and wooden
                                                chop sticks.

                         Click on the images above to follow the link to Amazon

Multicultural food sets available from

         Early Years Resources - Chinese Play
         Food Set
         Click on the image to follow the link.

Dressing up!
If you are fortunate to live in a city where there is a Chinatown, visit the
market and invest in a couple of jackets, dresses or red T-Shirts to add to the
Role Play Corner so the children can dress-up.

These children in Kennet Valley
Pre-School in Reading enjoyed dressing up and making lanterns and fans to
celebrate Chinese New Year. Click on the photograph to follow the link.

For lots of information about Chinese New Year go to:

                        Click on the logo to follow the link

   Look at Chinese New Year Customs & Traditions, watch related
            videos and try Chinese New Year Activities.

Enchanted Learning
                    Also have a look at Enchanted Learning (although the
                    material is more suitable for Year 1 and above) for crafts,
                    information, quizzes and printouts on their China/Chinese
                    Theme Page.

Click on the Great Wall of China to follow the link

                                                               Zoom School
Click on the Zoom School and then just click on any of the pictures to go to a
related topic

                                 Fortune Tales | The Story of Chinese
                                 New Year

                                 Published on 6 Jan 2016

‘In this video, learn all about the traditions and legends that make Chinese New
Year the most exciting time of the year in Chinese culture. This video is part of
the Learn With Me program from Panda Express – a series of videos and
educational activities dedicated to sharing Chinese culture and values with

Fun with noodles and rice!
Click on the images to follow the links             Rice in the sand tray

                                                Children use spoons and
                                                tweezers to fill the bowls &
                                                ‘lai see’ packets with rice.
 Noodles in the water tray – to stir,
 squish, stretch & let slip through

                                              Oodles of fun with noodles!

      Woolly noodles anyone? Use chop-sticks or tweezers to lift – good
      for developing those fine motor skills.

Activities for the Tuff Spot

                                               Develop those fine motor
                                               skills and revise counting.
                                               Use the cards to
                                               differentiate. 1-10 / 10-20

                                               Children count the pom-
                                               poms as they lift them
                                               with chop-sticks into their
                                               Click on the pom-poms to follow
                                               the link

Children to have a go at
writing Chinese numerals.
Put coloured sand and
mark making tools in the
tuff spot.
Click on the sand to follow
the link

Click on the number cards to download this free resource

Or use individual trays for younger children
                               Chinese Characters Number Poster available to
                                       download from Activity Village.

                                   Click on the characters to follow the link

Add coloured sand to individual trays and using their finger or a stick children
have a go at writing Chinese characters. Leave laminated posters or individual
laminated number cards on the table for the children to use.

A threading activity for PreK - Click on the picture to follow the link

                                         Download an image of a dragon’s head.
                                         Click on the on below to follow the link.

                                         Decorate the heads
                                         with marker pens and
                                         laminate. Attach a
                                         lace to the back of
                                          each head and leave
out a selection of beads. Children thread beads on to the lace to create the
dragon’s fiery breath. A lovely activity to develop those fine motor skills.

To extend this activity the children could count the number of beads they have
used and find a matching number card.

Click on the cards to download these digit cards for free
from the TES

Useful resources
There are lots of Chinese New Year resources on the market available to
download for free. Add; banners, photographs, page borders, topic words,
menus, takeaway orders, etc. to your classroom or role play area. Here are a few
to access.

Click on the logos to follow the links.

                       Search for Chinese New Year, log in
                       or join & choose from lots of lots of

                                   Lots of resources including
                                   menus for a Chinese
                                   Restaurant/Take Away

                        Their resources includes a topic plan for
                        Chinese New Year

                                For Chinese New Year Crafts

                            For Chinese New Year resources
                            that include little books to make,
                            crafts, and information about

The Colour Red

In China, red is considered to be a lucky colour. ‘Red represents fire and is the
most popular colour in China. It is also the national colour representing
happiness, beauty, vitality, good luck, success and good fortune. Red is famously
                                       popular in relation to anything Chinese and
                                       is widely used during festivals and
                                       important events like weddings.’

                                      Red envelopes (and unusual yellow envelopes) for
                                      lucky money
                                      Click on the envelopes to follow the link

                                    Play ‘I spy’ – ‘I spy with my little eye
something that’s red beginning with __.’

Have a Red Day in School – everyone wears
something red – collect donations for a
favourite charity or cause.

Head outside for a RED WALK in your local
environment. How many red things can the
children spot? Make a list!

Have a go at red ribbon dancing

                           In China young and old alike take part in Ribbon
                           Dancing. It is a popular form of dance combined with

                          You can purchase these hand held ribbons from
                          Amazon (Click on the image to follow the links) or just
                          attach a red ribbon 2”x 4’ to a chopstick. Can the
                          children move their ribbon up and
                          down, around? Can they make zig-
                          zags/waves/circles? Choreograph
a simple dance to music which the children could perform at
a special Chinese New Year Assembly.

Watch NYCCC students perform the Red Ribbon Dance in the
Donghwa 2011 Asian Traditional Performing Arts Competition (11/05/2011).

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Craft Activities for Chinese New Year

        Make a lantern for Chinese New Year from Enchanted Learning

   You will need:

        Coloured paper (construction paper)
        Scissors
        Glue, tape, or a stapler

 Option: add an inner tube in a contrasting colour

                    Fold a rectangular piece of paper in half, making a
                    long, thin rectangle. Draw a line to mark where to
                    cut to.

                     Make a series of cuts (about a dozen or more) along
                     the fold line being careful not to cut all the way to
                     the edge of the paper.

               Unfold the paper. Glue or staple the short edges of the
               paper together.

               Cut a strip of paper 6 inches (15.24cm) long and 1/2 inch
               (1.27cm) wide. Glue or staple this strip of paper across
               one end of the lantern - this will be the handle of the

                                         Display the lanterns across your

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‘Papercutting is an art form that involves cutting (usually red) paper. The most
popular subjects are animals, humans, flowers, or the character of "Xi", which
means happiness. During Chinese New Year, most papercutting pieces are pasted
on windows and some are placed on the wall and front door.’

        Click on the papercuts to follow the link to Chinese New Year crafts

For young children who love using scissors, provide them with special paper
cutting scissors that give a zig-zag, curvy or wavy edge and lots of red paper to
cut. When they have finished cutting out ask them glue their own pieces onto an
A3 sheet of gold/yellow coloured paper.

Or show the children how to fold a square or circle of red paper in half and
along the fold to cut out a shape (taking care not to cut into all of the fold)

        Open out the paper and mount their creations on gold/yellow paper.

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A mini theme of Dragons and more dragons!
                                         For instructions on how to make this
                                         fabulous dragon puppet just click on the

A great idea to brighten up your corridor
from Linda Hartley

Click on the dragon to follow the link

                                            Paper Chain Dragon

                                            Children enjoy making paper chains
                                            and this paper chain dragon from
                                            Scholastic has bags of appeal. Click on
                                            the paper chain to follow the link.

Paper Plate Dragons
                                            Click on the dragons to follow the link
                                            and find out how to make these
                                            wonderful paper plate dragons.
                                            Visit; Angie Hickson who is an artist
                                            and designer that loves creating art
                                            and mess with her kids.
                                            Feathers and mini pompoms add that
                                            decorative touch.

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Chinese Dragon Game from Topmarks – great for using on the
‘Our Chinese Dragon Game is designed to fit
into a Chinese New Year topic. It is an
ordering and sequencing numbers game based
on the Chinese New Year dragon theme.
Suitable for 5 to 11 year olds, this maths game
has different levels which can be matched to a
child's mathematical ability level.’
                                              Click on the image to follow the link

                                      Get them moving
                                      The Kiboomers!

                                      Chinese New Year song for kids.

                                      Chinese Dragon Dance for Children.

Sing a song as you move to:
Dragon, Dragon to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Dragon, dragon, dance around,

Dragon, dragon, touch the ground.

Dragon, dragon, shake your head,

Dragon, dragon, tongue so red.

Dragon, dragon, stamp your feet,

Dragon, dragon, running down the street! By Heather McPhail

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Blossom Tree Painting

‘Blossom trees are symbolic of Chinese New Year, celebrated
in Japan, and welcomed in Spring in much of the world.’

                                       Click on the blossom to follow the link to
                                       Activity Village

                                       You will need:

                                       Pink acrylic paint, Black
                                       pen & Paintbrush

                                       Print with a bubble wrap
                                       mitt (click opposite)


                                      Mix the paint with a little water.
                                      Paint your paper all over with water. Use
                                      the paintbrush to paint pink paint on the
                                      bubble wrap mitt and press the mitt on to
                                      the paper. Watch the dots spread. When
you are happy you have enough blossom leave the picture to dry. When the paint
is dry use the black pen to draw on the branches of the tree.

Or try a variation on the theme and glue
scrunched up balls of pink tissue paper on to
painted branches.

Click on the trees to follow the link to
Tippytoe Crafts.

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Beautifully illustrated books to share with your class.
Learn more about Chinese New Year Customs and Traditions
                                 Reviewed by Amazon.

Click on the books to follow the link to Amazon

                              Bringing In the New Year (Read to a
                              Child!) Paperback – by Grace Lin (Author)

                              ‘This story follows a Chinese American family as they
                              prepare for the Lunar New Year. Each member of the
                              family lends a hand as they sweep out the dust of the old
                              year, hang decorations, and make dumplings. The dragon
                              parade in our book is extra-long on a surprise fold-out
page at the end of the story. Grace Lin’s artwork is a bright and gloriously patterned
celebration in itself! And her story is tailor-made for reading aloud.’

                           Great Race Paperback – by Dawn Casey (Author)

                           ‘And they're off! Thirteen creatures in China have come to
                           the river to join in the Emperor's race. Who will win the
                           ultimate honour of naming the first year of the new
                           calendar? And what will happen to the thirteenth animal?
                           Join Rat, Monkey, Dragon and all the others in this exciting
                           race to the finish.’

                             Dragon Dance: a Chinese New Year LTF: A Chinese
                             New Year Lift-the-Flap Book - by Joan
                             Holub (Author), Benrei Huang (Illustrator)

                             ‘It's Chinese New Year and there are so many fun things
                             to do! Shopping at the outdoor market for fresh flowers,
                             eating New Year's dinner with the whole family, receiving
                             red envelopes from Grandma and Grandpa, and best of all-
                             watching the spectacular Chinese New Year's parade!
Introduce the customs of Chinese New Year to even the youngest readers with this
festive new lift-the-flap book.’

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My First Chinese New Year (My First Holiday) Paperback –
                        by Karen Katz (Author, Illustrator)

                        ‘Chinese New Year is a time of new beginnings. Follow one little
                        girl as she learns how to welcome the coming year and
                        experience all the festivities surrounding it. Karen Katz's warm
                        and lively introduction to a special holiday will make even the
                        youngest child want to start a Chinese New Year tradition!’

                        Dim Sum for Everyone! Paperback – by Grace Lin (Author,

                        ‘In English, dim sum means “little hearts,” or “touches the
                        heart,” but to this young girl, dim sum means delicious. On a
                         visit to a bustling dim sum restaurant, a family picks their
favourite little dishes from the steaming trolleys filled with dumplings, cakes, buns, and
tarts. Just right for young children, ‘Dim Sum for Everyone!’ celebrates a cultural
custom and a universal favourite activity – eating!’

                         A New Year's Reunion: A Chinese Story Paperback –
                         by Yu Li-Qiong (Author), Zhu Cheng Liang (Illustrator)

                         "Celebrations and traditions might differ, but the story of
                         missing distant family is universal." — School Library
                         Journal (starred review)
                         ‘This poignant, vibrantly illustrated tale, which won the
                         prestigious Feng Zikai Chinese Children’s Picture Book Award
                         in 2009, is sure to resonate with every child who misses
relatives when they are away — and shows how a family’s love is strong enough to
endure over time and distance.’

                            The Seven Chinese Sisters Paperback – by Kathy
                            Tucker (Author), Grace Lin (Illustrator)

                            ‘Once there were seven Chinese sisters who lived together
                            and took care of each other. Each one had a special talent.
                            When baby Seventh Sister is snatched by a hungry dragon,
                            her loving sisters race to save her.’

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Rhymes to recite & songs to sing
Chinese New Year
                        Dragons, Lions,
                        Red and gold,
                        In with the New Year,
                        Out with the old.

                        Banner flying,
                        Bands playing,
                        Lion prancing,
                        Dragon swaying.

Chinese Hello Song

(To the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell")

Let's wave and say "Ni hao (nee how),"
Let's wave and say "Ni hao."
Let's say "hello" to all our friends,
Let's wave and say "Ni hao."

Lion Dance Song or Action Rhyme

                           (To the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb")

                           See the lion dance and prance,
                           Dance and prance, dance and prance.
                           See the lion dance and prance
                           On Chinese New Year's Day.

                           Hear the firecrackers pop,
                           Pop,pop,pop; pop,pop,pop
                           Hear the firecrackers pop
                           On Chinese New Year's Day

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Developing Intercultural Understanding - click on the images
to follow the link

                                      The Story of Nian - A Chinese New Year

                                      Simple drawings accompany the narrative–
                                      very suitable for Early Years

                                     Acrobatic lion dance (Múa Lân) by Khuan
                                     Loke - Chinese New Year Celebration @
                                     Tropicana City Mall in Malaysia. Fascinating to
                                     watch although the clip is quite long (16.10) so
                                     you may just want to dip into it. Love the guy
                                     at the beginning busy on his phone, totally
                                     oblivious to the action in the background!

                                      Chinese New Year Story
                                      CBeebies | Chinese New Year (Lunar New
                                      Year) | Zodiac Story
                                      Shadow Puppets tell the story of the great
                                      race which determined the order in which the
                                      animal years began.

                                     The Story About Ping: The Classic
                                     Children's Book - Shannon R. Linville
                                     A dramatized reading of "The Story About
                                     Ping" by Marjorie Flack, illustrated by Kurt
                                     Weise. Ping is a young duck who lives with
                                     his family on a Wise Eyed boat on the
                                     Yang-Tze River. One day, Ping is late to
board his boat and spends an adventure filled day by himself. Will he find his
family again?

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Gung Hay Fat Choy (Cantonese) – Chinese New Year Song
(wishing you good fortune and happiness)
                          Chinese New Year is a spring festival, celebrated by Chinese
                         people all over the world. It follows the Chinese Lunar calendar,
                         and falls between mid-January and mid-February. The
                         celebrations typically last for 15 days and there are many
                         different ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year. This
                         children song is written and sung by Nancy Stewart. Click on
                         the image to follow the link.

(keep a rhythm patting hands together one hand up, then the other)
Gung Hay Fat Choy, Gung Hay Fat Choy
Sing Happy New Year, Gung Hay Fat Choy

1. The new moon tells us, exactly when, (hold up one hand in C shape for
crescent moon)
To celebrate with family and friends. (clap hands in rhythm)

2. Clean up the house and get out the broom, (pretend
to sweep)
Sweep out the old year, bring in the new.

                 3. Bring out the apples, the oranges
                 too, (hold out one fist, then the other)
                 Their colours bring us joy and good luck too.

4. The dragon dances, the lanterns light, (place
hands together, and snake around)
The firecrackers light up the night. (alternate right
and left fist, with fingers opening quickly to mimic
shooting fireworks).

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Gong Xi Fa Cai

                    With all best wishes for 2019


               Jan Homden, Consilium Education

               An early years teaching specialist and designer, Jan has taught in international
               schools around the world and is now responsible for design and research at
               Consilium Education.

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