Chinese New Year crafts, activities, games, emergent readers for preschool and kindergarten.
Chinese New Year: February 8th 2016. Chinese New Year 2016 will be the year of the Monkey. For people born in the year of the monkey (1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 ), 2016 is considered an auspicious year. "Monkeys" are witty, intelligent, and have a magnetic personality.
For many people, Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration of the year. It is a time of celebration, dancing dragons, eating special foods, cleaning and decorating the house and streets with Chinese lanterns, giving gifts, fireworks, and getting ready for the coming year. It's a very colorful and joyous event. The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar year, so the date of the Chinese New Year changes every year. With your children, ring in the New Year with the following fun Chinese New Year Activities!
The Chinese Calendar Explain to children that the Chinese Lunar Calendar is based on the cycles of the moon. Each year in a cycle is named after an animal. Legend says that Buddha invited all the animals to join him for a New Year's celebration but only 12 showed up. The animals argued about who was to head the cycle of years, so Buddha held a race--whoever first reached the opposite bank of the river would be first, and the rest of the animals would receive their years according to their finish. The race began, but unknown to the ox, the rat had jumped upon his back. As the ox was about to jump ashore, the rat jumped off the ox's back, and won the race. The pig, who was very lazy, finished last. That is why the rat is the first year of the animal cycle and the pig is the last. The Chinese believe the animal ruling the year in which a person is born has a strong influence on that person's personality.
Have children make their own Chinese calendar by using our patterns. Let them find their zodiac sign and see if the characteristics match their personality.
Make the sounds of the Chinese calendar animals. Ask children: "Can you guess the animal?"
2010 Year of the Tiger Coloring
|2012 Year of the Dragon Coloring||2013 Year of the Snake Coloring||2014 Year of the Horse Coloring||2015 Year of the Sheep Coloring|
The New Year marks the birthday of every family member. During the Chinese New Year celebrations, people wear red clothes. Red symbolizes fire, which the Chinese believe drives away bad luck. Children receive good luck money in small red envelopes and everybody wears their newest clothes. In Chinese the word "fu," means "good luck.
Feast of the Lantern
On the third day of the New Year, the Feast of the Lantern is celebrated. Lanterns of all shapes, sizes, and colors decorate the streets and inside the homes.
Many cities hold parades which are led by a huge dragon or lion. The Chinese have a great belief and respect toward dragons and believe that the dragon is the symbol for good luck. In the Chinese legend, the dragon is not a monster but a protector against evil spirits. He is the symbol of luck, goodness, and strength. The lion is the symbol for protection and is thought to guard against danger. Children love to watch and join in with the dragon parade and take part in the great Dragon Dance.
Activity Chinese Ribbon Dance:
Attach a crepe paper streamer to a chopstick or pencil. Play Chinese inspired music and have children dance around. Show a movement with the ribbon and have children copy it.