Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy New Year!

I would start this post with a "better late than never" caveat...but then Leslie told me that Chinese New Year can last up to fifteen days!

On the first day of the new year, we celebrated with activities and food but the best part of all was when I was in the kitchen and overheard the children eating their longevity noodle snack and telling each other "These are for the Chinese New Year".  I just love hearing them reference holidays now that they sort of have a better understanding of them.

Before I even realized that it was Chinese New Year, Be suggested that we paint the big red hearts at our makeshift table easels with gold paint.  He was right on the money because when we looked it up, red and gold are very popular to decorate with on Chinese New Year!

 For this project, we mixed white glue, shaving cream, and gold liquid water colors.  The final result was not as golden as we were hoping, but turned out nice and puffy and silky smooth!  By the way, those five-minute makeshift table easels were made with folded cardboard taped to the table and clothespins taped to the cardboard.  A perfect way to bring a different dimension (vertical-ness) to a standard painting activity!  The shaving cream paint was the perfect drip-less formula for this upright art project.

We also decorated the classroom with red ornaments made from red circle-shaped paper that the kids punched holes in and hung with paper clips. 

 They liked this activity so much that it took them a long time before even noticing that there were other kids using drills in the classroom!

 Be walks off to hang an ornament..that blurry yellow thing is a paperclip!  Le concentrates in the background...her idea was also to put masking tape on the ornaments (of course this is no surprise...she likes to decorate everything with masking tape!)

 Since there is a shortage of places to hang ornaments in the classroom, the kids had to create little clotheslines from black yarn to have a place to hang the ornaments.  It was fun to watch where they hung them (on the front door, of course).  We also ended up with super long pieces of black yarn everywhere because that's part of the fun in using yarn to begin with : )

Outside, the kids made paper lanterns to hang out of red paper.  In the usual Beansprouts fashion, the kids' art was all very unique and wonderful and watching how engaged they were in their process was great. 
 I remember the days when staplers and hold punchers (even scissors) were much too dangerous for these they use them so well!

And since it is the Year of the Rabbit, Leslie pointed out the appropriateness of visiting Carrot, who always appreciates the attention he gets from the children.  He used to come and look for food, but now he comes looking for love!

In the afternoon, Leslie made longevity noodles for the kids.  These are a traditional food served for festive occasions in China.  The recipe was something like this one and we all enjoyed it!  By the way, we made ours vegan style with veggie broth and omitted the eggs.  We also used udon noodles instead of rice noodles.

It was fun to hear about the kids experiences with Chinese New Year.  Since we have Chinese ethnicity represented in two of our families it was that much more important to honor the holiday.

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