Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chinese New Year Themed Preschool Activity: Coloring Chinese New Year Decorations

To help the boys learn about the different decorations and symbols used to celebrate Chinese New Year (known here as Spring Festival), I let the boys color some paper decorations of their own. We are talking to our boys about how we don't want to buy or put up a lot of real decorations for this holiday. (Chinese people think their pretty red decorations can keep bad luck away and bring good luck.) But this was a fun activity to help them understand a lot of the decorations going up all over.

Red lanterns, red tassels, and the animal to represent the new year are traditional decorations of this festival. This year is the year of the dragon, so there are dragons everywhere. Since they are everywhere here, we've been talking to the boys about how the stories with dragons in them could have come from people talking about dinosaurs, just using a different name. The boys love dinosaurs.

This activity is pretty simple. I just printed off some coloring sheets and gave the boys a bunch of red and yellow crayons, colored pencils, and markers. Red and yellow are the colors of their traditional decorations here. While we all colored, I talked to them about the decorations and what they mean, as well as the Chinese characters on some of the lanterns we colored and what they mean. I think this activity is a great way to discuss these decorations and the meaning behind them.

In case anyone is curious, the characters on the lanterns we colored mean "love" (ài, ) and "peace" (hépíng, 和平).

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