This month we are celebrating Chinese New Year and to let my children learn more about about this important Chinese festival and its traditions, I set up a Chinese New Year theme Learning Shelf filled with many hands on fun learning activities. Here’s a summary post of all the activities we have done for this theme. To learn about how we do home learning at home with our shelf, I encourage you to read our How HTS Works page first.
Chinese New Year Theme Learning Shelf
- Pinterest Idea Board: [theme] CHINESE NEW YEAR
- Unique Hashtag on Instagram: #cnyhts
- Focus Book: The Great Race by Dawn Casey, Dragon Dance: A Chinese New Year Lift-the-Flap Book by Joan Holub
This learning shelf and the activities are created for children of ages 1.5 years old to 6 years old. My son was 4 years 10 months old and my little girl was 2 year 7 months old when I made this learning shelf for them. All the activities have been categorized into the six main learning areas (language, numeracy, motor skills, discovery of the world, arts & creative expression, social & emotional development) that I am focusing on for my children.
LEARNING ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS (1.5 TO 3 YEARS OLD)
- Match the colors of the dot stickers to that on the cardboard Chinese dragon and stick the dot stickers on the dragon as the scales. Dragon printable from Red Ted Art. (numeracy, motor skills)
- Insert the Chinese Zodiac animals puppets into the egg carton puppet stage and pull them out to work on fine motor skills. Pretend play with the puppets and learn the names of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac Sign at the same time. (language, motor skills, discovery of the world)
- String the Chinese coins through pipe cleaners (motor skills)
- Drop Chinese coins into a coin bank (motor skills)
- It’s the year of the dog so our focus letter this month is uppercase letter D and lowercase letter d. In this activity, the toddler finds a dog with D/d and give it a ‘bone’. Printable available on our printable page. (language)
- Match the numbers on the notes with those on the red packets to practice number recognition and insert into the red packets. (numeracy, motor skills)
All of the above activities for toddlers are suitable for preschoolers as well.
LEARNING ACTIVITIES FOR PRESCHOOLERS (3 TO 6 YEARS OLD)
- Using the same Chinese Zodiac Signs Popsicle Sticks Puppets and egg carton puppet stage, ask your preschooler to match the Chinese names of the 12 animals and arrange them according to their race positions. Read The Great Race story and pretend play with the puppets. Practice counting at the same time. (language, numeracy, motor skills, discovery of the world)
- Do sight words matching with the DIY egg carton mandarin oranges and applesauce pouch caps as leaves. (language(
- Count the stripes on the fire crackers and find the matching number on the sparks. For older preschoolers, use these fire crackers to practice simple addition and writing number sentences. (numeracy)
- Play with our DIY red packets puzzle. To make these puzzles, cut the front cover of any red packets and stick it on a piece of cardboard. Cut the cardboard into 4 to 8 pieces. The more pieces you cut, the challenging the puzzle. (motor skills, numeracy)
- Count Chinese coins and put them into red packets according to the number on the red packets. For older preschoolers, use these red packets for practicing basic addition too. Ask them to pick out two red packets and count the total number of coins in both packets. (motor skills, numeracy)
- Use orange cut outs (I cut circles from orange cardstock paper) and sort them in groups of two. The Chinese believes that 好事成双 which means all good things come in pairs. Learn about the Chinese tradition and simple division at the same time with this simple sorting activity. (numeracy, discovery of the world)
- For the year of the Pig, check out this Pig Chinese Learning Printable Pack (language)
- For the year of the Dog this year, we are learning the focus Chinese word 狗 (dog) with this ‘狗’ Chinese Word Learning Pack with these three activities: 1) dot the word 狗, 2) find the word 狗 maze activity and 3) feed the dogs with the word 狗. (language, motor skills)
- Since the focus word is dog, we are also learning the -OG word family this month. Here’s a simple DIY word family cardboard toy. Keep this DIY toy for learning other word families too.
CRAFT PROJECTS, EXPERIMENTS & SENSORY PLAY
- Make an accordion Chinese Dragon (motor skills, discovery of the world, arts and creative expression)
- Play with a Chinese New Year theme rice sensory bin and learn about the Chinese tradition of keeping the rice bucket full or ‘满’ during Chinese New Year. It signifies that the rice bucket will remain full throughout the year and the family will never be hungry. (motor skills, discovery of the world, arts and creative expression)
Do you celebrate Chinese New Year? I hope you try some of these activities with your children too! Here’s wishing all my friends the most Happy and Prosperous New Year! 新年快乐，万事如意！