My grandson and I did a fun unit on the Chinese New Year. I’m a huge fan of Ying Chang Compestine, so we planned everything around two of her wonderful books:
The Runaway Wok by Ying Chang Compestine
A Chinese New Year Tale
Illustrations by Sebastià Serra
When a boy goes to the market to buy food and comes home with an old wok instead, his parents wonder what they'll eat for dinner. But then the wok rolls out of the poor family's house with a skippity-hoppity-ho! and returns from the rich man's home with a feast in tow!
With spirited text and lively illustrations, this story reminds readers about the importance of generosity.
D IS FOR DRAGON DANCE by Ying Chang Compestine
Illustrations by YongSheng Xuan
A is for Acrobats, B is for Balls, C is for Calligraphy, D is for Dragon Dance. From firecrackers to noodles, from red enveloppes to the zodiac, young readers are introduced to the exciting traditions of the Chinese New Year.
We made a festive shirt to celebrate the occasion:
"Happy New Year!"
Directions: You will need a plain white t-shirt, black fabric for the symbols, and fusible Wonder Under. I found templates for the characters online and then used tracing paper for a sharp outline. If you tackle this project, remember to reverse images onto the backing before tracing!
We found this neat calligraphy craft online but keep in mind that toddlers will need lots of help:
(Click here for the link. The spread is from D IS FOR DRAGON DANCE.)
And here's my favorite activity:
A Chinese Dragon Puppet!
KABOOSE has so many cute crafts for kids. We put our own spin on the design of this puppet, though. It seemed easier for a toddler to handle without the added length of a body.
One last craft:
I can't find the link for this activity, but we made the drums out of paper plates, construction paper, yarn and plastic beads.
Ben loved reading The Runaway Wok and then we watched this cool video before parading through the house with our drums and puppets.
And to top off the day...
We prepared a special lunch:
(Stir-fried rice, pork dumplings, and Kung Pao chicken, etc.)
Lots of goodies mentioned in our picture book, The Runaway Wok.