It was a wonderful day! The children (especially Andy) were so thrilled to celebrate Chinese New Year. 🧧 Upon arrival everyone explored the 'goody bags.' Each child got a paper lantern, a red envelope with chocolate coins, a wall decoration and stickers.
In the studio, children added watercolor paint to decorate the fans that Nan provided.
Both Pods joined for a Zoom call with Nan. Her presentation about Chinese New Year was very engaging and the children loved it! Thank you Nan for helping us learn about this holiday.
Here is some of the information she touched on:
This is the Year of the Ox. In China there is an animal that symbolizes that year.
Upon hearing this Aida commented, "My dad was the Year of the Rabbit."
The children that are 4 years old are the Year of the Monkey. Traits of people born that year are: smart, skillful and charming. The children that are 5 years old are the Year of the Sheep. Traits of people born that year are: creative, friendly and compassionate.
Chinese New Year is an awesome holiday: there is no school or work for 15 days! There are decorations (like red lanterns) everywhere. There are also many parades and street celebrations. Each evening at dark there are firecrackers. Two weeks before the start of Chinese New Year families prepare by cleaning and decorating their homes. The cleaning is important because everyone wants a fresh, clean start in the new year. Nan said they, "sweep off old dirt and habits."
There is an important meal associated with the holiday: the Family Reunion Dinner. During this meal extended families get together and eat specific foods:
dumplings - are for wealth (sometimes they even put coins inside so you have to be careful when you bite!)
spring rolls - symbolize a fresh start
rice cakes - are for earning more money
rice dumplings - symbolize the importance of family
noodles - each bowl has 1 SUPER long noodle in it to represent living a long life
fish - is for abundance
Red is a very important color for Chinese New Year. Traditionally people wear new, red clothes to help bring good fortune. Nan was wearing red today for that very reason! We also learned that a traditional Chinese wedding dress is red. Adults give children red envelopes with money inside. Children save that money over the years and then use it to buy things they want. Instead of giving money, the red envelopes the children got today had chocolate money.
At the end, Nan read a Peppa Pig book about Chinese New Year.
Our favorite part was seeing photos of Andy from previous years! Another important tradition in China is celebrating a baby's 100th day of life. It is done in hopes that the child will live for 100 years. Babies are usually dressed in red for this special day. Andy's outfit also had a monkey, to represent his year.
During snack, Pod A watched some videos of the dragon dance, firecrackers and fireworks.
Coincidentally we had goldfish crackers and red apples for snack.... fish being an important food for CNY and red, the lucky color.
Pod B reflected on Chinese New Year:
Lane - My favorite part of Chinese New year is the Dragon Dance.
Cannon - Me too!
Palmer - I really enjoyed the chocolate penny!
Cannon - This is the best day ever, right Palmer. It’s the goodest day because we got chocolate.
After snack Oliver and Fletcher used the digital projection to inspire their construction project. Eventually they tried to do their own version of the dance!
Pod B made their valentine bags today. As they worked, children incorporated many of the principles that they learned during collage. For example, Gigi arranged some of her pieces on the bag before gluing them down. Children also incorporated the technique of layering.
Palmer - I did some layering.
Lane - I’m doing layering when I don’t have enough room.
Gigi - I’m making me and my mom on hearts.
Lane - This is a mega heart. (A heart with stars drawn on it)
In the slideshow below, you will get a glimpse of the rest of the day:
- It was a little wet and dreary for our backwards day, but we made the best of it!
- Children used cuisenaire rods to explore patterns today. Lane created “a pattern with all kinds of patterns connected. Palmer thought about the elements of pattern and eventually came up with a “three triangle pyramid pattern.”
- Cannon drew his self-portrait today. He will add watercolors tomorrow!
- In honor of both Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day, there was a red village in our construction area. It was visited by Nora’s dinosaurs, Lane’s ocelot, and Gigi’s fox and tiger.