I can’t believe that January’s coming to an end! With the Lunar New Year barely a week away, here are some last-minute crafts and books that you can share with your little ones.
1. 年 by 海天 (a Cengage Learning reading resource)
年 talks about the legend of the monster, “Nian” that attacks villages after every winter. The villagers somehow discovered that “Nian” was afraid of fire, loud noise and the color red. Henceforth, the villagers would hang bright red lanterns and set fire crackers to keep “Nian” away.
2. Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn
It was the first year that Sam could do whatever he likes with his lucky money. The little boy was so excited, he wasn’t sure what he should do. Then he realized his money weren’t enough to get him a toy he liked. Feeling disappointed, he started to complain that his lucky money was too little. Then, everything changed when he met an old man with no shoes…
Beyond its colorful paintings, this story is about counting one’s blessings and having a heart of gratitude. Personally, I think I enjoyed reading this book more than Hannah. LOL! Hannah loved the pictures! She spent most time flipping through the pages on her own, admiring its watercolor paintings.
3. Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin
We follow a family as they prepare their Lunar New Year. Everyone in the family has a part to play – from sweeping the dust out, putting up couplets to awaking the dragon!
Hannah enjoyed reading the story with Daddy the most. This was her story with Daddy. Following the children in the story, she took out her bunny lantern from last year’s Mid-Autumn festival and played with it.
All three books can be found in the public libraries.
1. DIY Mandarin Oranges
A photo of the DIY oranges is shown above. I learned this from an ex-colleague. It’s really easy. All you need are orange nettings (can be found in craft shops, provision shops especially during this season) and green floral tape. Roll the orange nettings (somewhat similar to rolling a sock), then tape the top of the netting with the floral tape. Easy-peasy!
I found a Youtube video that shows a demonstration. This video shows taping the head of the netting first then the rolling.
2. Origami Goldfish
I stumbled upon an Origami book that I had when I was a child. There was a page that showed children how to fold a goldfish. The word 鱼 (that means “fish”) sounds like 余 (meaning “abundance”, “surplus”). Hence, the fish became an auspicious symbol for the Chinese.
3. “Hong Pao” Firecrackers
Using some of last year’s red packets (they were light pink to be exact), and a pack that were in fuchsia, we made mini firecrackers. We rolled the packets and stapled them. Then, stapled them on a yarn. Hannah enjoyed rolling some of the packets (with some help from me), but she enjoyed stapling the packets more. Then, we hung our firecrackers at our door.
4. Crepe Paper Trimmings
I didn’t manage to take a photo of this. Put it simply, think paper people chain with crepe paper. I cut out a shape of fish as best I could (crepe paper are really thin and flimsy) with red crepe paper then hung them at our door. Using tissue paper or colored paper might have been better.
To prep Hannah for the Lunar New Year visits, we learned several new year wishes or greetings.
新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè) – Happy Lunar New Year.
恭喜发财 (gōng xǐ fā cái) – Wishing you prosperity.
岁岁平安 (suì suì ping ān) – May you have peace all year round.
年年有馀 (nián nián yǒu yú) – Wishing you abundance year after year.
万事如意 (Wàn shì rú yì) – May everything go well for you.
Happy Lunar New Year!
May there be joy in your family all year round!