Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chinese New Year: Lucky Money and Lanterns

I plan to take the boys to Chinatown for the dragon dance and some other special events for Chinese New Year. So I checked out some great books from the library to get us ready.
BOOKS: Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn is a wonderful story of giving that really captured my son's interest. He was fascinated with the old man who had no shoes. After reading this book he told me he would give his hypothetical money to another kid who needed toys. So it was nice to see he got the message. We also really enjoyed Lion Dancer: Ernie Wan's Chinese New Year by Kate Waters and Madeline Slovenz-Low. This nonfiction book showcases nice photography of this little boy's participation in the traditional dance. It was very interesting to my little fella to see how other children celebrate holidays.ACTIVITIES: Red Envelope -- We decided to make a envelope for lucky money just like Sam had received. I simply took a sheet of red construction paper and cut a large rectangle shape, with three extended tabs on the top side. Then, my son used a glue stick on the two side tabs. I folded the paper in half, and glued the tabs to the paper to create an envelope.
My son then added some gold glitter glue and markers. He told me his creation was of an orange and a fish (because we had read that both of these were symbols of good luck). A few coins went inside, and he was happy with his lucky money.
Paper Lantern: It's customary for the lantern festival to conclude the Chinese New Year celebration. So we made this easy decoration. We took another sheet of construction paper. I folded it in half, and cut several long slits from the folded end. I then unfolded it, and rolled it into a cylinder shape, taping it on the top and bottom ends to hold its form. My son then decorated it with markers and glitter, and then I attached a small strip of paper to the top for a handle. Very easy.
Handprint Ox Painting: We haven't yet tried this one, but it looks really cute so I wanted to include a link. I hope we give it a try sometime this week. Check it out at the UK's Activity Village website...


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  2. That is great! We are doing a Chinese New Year theme unit this week. Hope you have a fun day!