At nursery we had a great time and did lots of new learning about Chinese New Year.
We learned about how Chinese New Year is an important festival in China and for Chinese people all over the world and how it is celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar. We talked about how it is also sometimes called Spring Festival and that this year it is the year of the sheep.
Learning such as this raises the children's awareness and acceptance of what, how and why other people celebrate. It puts our own celebrations into context and increases the children's knowledge about other cultures.
In nursery we looked at some of the characters used in Chinese writing and had a go at copying some of them on the mark making table. The characters of written Chinese are very beautiful but quite difficult to copy! We looked at some numbers written in Chinese. These were kindly written by one of the parents of two children who came to nursery in the last few years (thank you Mr Lin.)
We looked at the traditional clothes worn in China, listened to Chinese music, played and listened to different Chinese instruments, made our home corner into a Chinese restaurant and tried some Chinese food. Some of the children even tried to use chop sticks to eat with, instead of a knife and fork! We also learned how to say Happy New Year in the Chinese language of Mandarin, 'Kung hei fat choy.'
We watched a story all about The Chinese zodiac and talked about how the twelve different animals all raced over a river to try to be the first to get to the other side. We also 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. We made our own dragon in nursery by painting and decorating a large box and then at the end of the day we did our very own Dragon Dance to the special Dragon Dance music. All the children waved streamers that we had made and played instruments, as the Dragon danced through nursery...Wow! What a spectacle!