Chinese New Year Party

We are having a Chinese New Year Party for Kindergarteners. In Chinese culture, every year is represented by a different animal for a 12 year period and then the cycle starts again. Example: Someone born under the year of the Dog is very passionate about what they love, extremely wise, and very cunning.

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After introducing the topic, we will read and discuss several books over the week prior to Chinese New Year. The book titles are as follows:
  1. Happy New Year! Kung-Hsi Fa-Ts'ai! by Demi
  2. Lion Dancer: Ernie Wan's Chinese New Year by Kate Waters
  3. Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn
  4. The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop
  5. Moonbeams, Dumplings, and dragon boats by Nina Simonds

We will construct paper lanterns, a dragon to use in the dragon dance, paper fans, panda bears (China's national animal) and other decorations. Mainly using red, black, and gold. Inform child that the dragon in Chinese
Culture represents strength and courage; that gold represents prosperity, and that the noodles represent longevity.

We will make a feast for the new year including rice, egg drop soup, noodles, and almond cookies. There will be a traditional money envelope that is given to children by elders in China. Also, we will practice saying Happy New Year in Chinese - phonetically Gung Hay Fat Choy.

We will talk about how the Chinese invented fireworks and kites. This lesson encourages cultural awareness and helps someone to also be familiar with others holidays and rituals.
Submitted by: Michelle Norris - Virginia Beach, VA

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