As well as reading brilliant picture books to your children all about Chinese New Year (see previous post) you could also complete some crafts, some of which are connected to a picture book.
As its the Year of Dog you could see what picture books you have at home featuring main characters who are dogs. The character Spot is well loved in our home and we have some of his books.
Spot Bakes a Cake is a lovely story where Spot helps his mother bake a cake for his dad’s birthday. You could always do some baking after.
You could also make some origami dogs, perhaps make Spot?
Making origami dogs are super easy. You will need a piece of paper in a square shape to start. Here are the instructions:
We made our origami dog resemble Spot.
Dragons also feature in Chinese New Year celebrations and can often be seen performing a dance during a Chinese New Year parade. Perhaps you could make one with your little one? We made one using an empty egg box and both my girls joined in (1 year old and 3 year old).
We began with tearing off the egg box compartment of the box and cutting it in half to make two rows.
Both of my girls then painted each row red.
Once dry we then used pipe cleaners and glitter to resemble a dragon. We also cut some orange and yellow tissue papers in strips to make fiery flames!
A story all about dragons which my eldest daughter particularly enjoys is Zog.
Zog is written by the talented Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The story is all about Zog, a dragon who is learning to be a dragon but is also rather accident prone. Will he be able to fulfill all his dragon duties? It is a funny, entertaining read filled with brilliant illustrations and opens your eyes to all things dragon.
Role play is also another super activity you could complete. In the bowl below I have used wool for noddles and paired it with some chopsticks which would perhaps encourage restaurant role play. You could make menus, table decorations and take each others orders.
Connected to this you could also complete some sensory play by using cooked spaghetti or noodles. This would be a great activity to complete, particularly with the youngest in your household as it doesn’t matter too much if they are tempted to eat any.
You could also hide objects amongst the noodles, for example plastic play food as well as some plastic letters or numbers..
Finally, another lovely activity to complete would be to make outfits for the Chinese New Year celebrations. These could be drawn on to paper or perhaps a teddy could have a new outfit made for them? You could also make accessories such as fans using the beautiful red and gold colours which are believed to be positive colours in the Chinese culture. The Chinese Emperors New Clothes would be a great book to share when completing this activity as part of the story is about the making the outfits for the Chinese New Year celebrations. You can read the full review of the book here.
There is so much fun to be had completing these activities while embracing another culture. If you do happen to try any of these activities, I would love to see. Do tag me in any photos. You can find me on Instagram (@mamma_filz), Twitter and Facebook (@mammafilz).