Chinese New Year is a great festival to celebrate with children. Tomorrow marks the first day of the celebrations for 2022, lasting up to 16 days, so there is plenty of time for lots of Chinese New Year themed play.
Here are 5 simple play ideas to celebrate Chinese New Year:
🐲Create a red and yellow sensory tray using everyday household items. Gather objects of different textures and sizes. Red symbolises good fortune and joy in Chinese culture and yellow or gold is considered to be the most beautiful colour. Check out our ready made Sensory Play Kit if you are short of time and resources.
🐲 Ignite the sense of smell by gathering some spices in small containers and allowing your children to smell them. Spices that are frequently used in Chinese cooking are ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, nutmeg and fennel. Top Tip: put cling film over the container, prick the cling film and then allow your child to smell. You don't want any spices going up their nose! Some spice containers have a lid with holes in so you could just use that.
🐲It is tradition to give lucky red envelopes with gifts of money during Chinese New Year. Create your own red envelope using either a blank envelope or folding a piece of paper. Decorate it and fill it with a little surprise (sweets, dried fruit, pennies) and give to someone in your family.
🐲Fill a container with cooked noodles and let your child explore their texture and even their taste. Depending on their age, they could use child safe scissors to cut the noodles. You could cut the noodles up into different lengths, compare their size using language such as long and short, big and small. You may want to add some food colouring or paint to the noodles to create some coloured noodles.
🐲Have a go at replicating some Chinese writing. Younger children could do this using coloured sensory rice or salt in a tray and their finger, older children could use a felt tip or paint.
This year is the year of the Tiger 🐯, It is said that Tigers are courageous and active people who love a good challenge and adventure in life. Do you know what your Chinese zodiac animal is?