As I'm sure all of our Burrower parents are aware, last week the Burrow turned into a festival of celebration for Chinese New Year. We thought it would be lovely to expose the children to Chinese New Year and what a success it was; the children beamed from the experience!
What is Chinese New Year? It's a traditional and national holiday that is highly regarded in China, but also further afield in Indonesia and the Phillipenes. It’s also known as the Spring Festival, which is the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Traditionally, Chinese New Year would begin on the last day of the month in the Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year’s Eve, and would end on the fifteenth day of the first month – the Lantern Festival.
Why is it important to expose our Burrowers to such a wonderful culture and celebration and how does this connect into the EYFS? It is important that children feel equal and included in all cultural experiences (equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice: ensuring that every child is included and supported.) The Chinese new year activities we brought to the Burrow can be connected to many of our areas of the EYFS:
Understanding the world – People and Communities - culture, and understanding what others religions and cultures do and how they celebrate, exploring Chinese resources and media
Physical Development – Health and self-care - trying new foods, tastes and textures)
Expressive Arts and Design – Beginning to move rhythmically, imitates movement in response to music - exposing the children to Chinese music - some of the children enjoyed dancing in groups with their fellow peers some just wanted to dance and sing along :)
Expressive Arts and Design – Engages in imaginative role play based on own first-hand experiences - trying on some lovely Chinese clothes
As adults, it's paramount we understand and value cultural diversity and bring this into our practice with the children. Bringing these values to the Burrow was great fun and we conjured up imaginative ideas to explore through our children's play. We added a splash of creative colour crafting some Chinese lanterns and talking to the children about why they're used. With the aid of Val, we prepared some Chinese tasting platters for a snack, including spring rolls, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. Soraya borrowed some Chinese resources from a friend who had been to China including a beautiful silk jacket, toys, instruments, chopsticks, rice spoons and a gorgeous embroidered throw. The children also went on a "Monkey Hunt" on forest school, where they had to find the Chinese monkey by following arrows around the paddock. We also added noodles, rice and chopsticks into our tough tray to explore and we even had a go at Chinese writing :)
The list goes on! You will see what fun was had in our lovely pictures.
Happy Chinese New Year Everyone! Thanks for Reading,