On Friday we had a very busy New Year Activity Day. We had a wet morning which didn’t deter our children and families from doing lots of exploring outside and the sun came out this afternoon for lots more outdoor fun. We had a fantastic time and welcomed lots of parents and carers, grandparents and siblings, to take part in our New Year activities in nursery and the nursery garden.
At nursery we’ve been doing lots of playing and learning about how Chinese people around the world get ready to celebrate Chinese New Year and this was one of the main themes that ran through our day.
We learned that Chinese New Year is an important festival in the Chinese calendar, sometimes called Spring Festival and that this year in the year of the Dog. We watched a program about some Chinese children, who were celebrating Chinese New Year and learned about the lucky red envelopes that they receive and a celebratory dance that they do called the Dragon Dance.
It is very important for our young children to learn, understand and respect the different ways in which other people and other cultures celebrate. Learning such as this raises the children's awareness and acceptance of what, how and why other people celebrate. It puts our own cultural identity and celebrations into context and increases the children's knowledge about other cultures. This forms an integral part of our learning on British Values.
During the activity day, our children and families enjoyed lots of exciting activities both indoors and outside in the nursery garden. We looked at some of the characters used in mandarin (Chinese) writing and had a go at copying some of them using feathers and ink. The characters of written mandarin are very beautiful but quite difficult to copy!
In the sensory room we listened to some Chinese music and watched the traditional Dragon Dance as we danced with lights and streamers. We experienced malleable activities with beautiful gold and red colours, traditional for Chinese New Year, hunting for coins in the red slime and making patterns and textures in the bright red dough with gold ‘bits and bobs’. We made dragon masks, balanced our bodies and built lots of houses in the construction area.
In the nursery garden we were getting ready for the RSPB Big Bird Watch Weekend. We made bird feeders from apples and seeds to hand in our gardens at home. I wonder what birds our feeders will attract? Also in the nursery garden we unveiled our brand new climbing frame to the parents and carers. The children have been using our new feature now for a few days and were really excited to share it with our families. Everyone loved it and our grown ups were really impressed with how challenging it is for our children and how well they were using it.
As we continue our learning about Chinese New Year, in the next couple of weeks we will also be looking at the traditional clothes worn in China and listening to some Chinese music. In our home corner we will be pretending to use chopsticks to eat from special Chinese bowls and even trying some real Chinese food at the snack table.
Activity days are always lots of fun and a really good opportunity to share our learning with our families at nursery. Many thanks to all who came to join us on this enjoyable day.
We hope you enjoy looking at the photos of all the things that we have done during the day.