Theme for the Week  - Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year!  On January 28th, the Chinese new year begins as the year of the Rooster. The Chinese decorate  their homes with gold for power and red for happiness. This week, we'll learn some more about tigers and a few new foods as well as make a great Chun Lian craft. Enjoy!

Here is a whole bunch of fun new year activities from Activity Village. The Chinese believe you should clean your house before the new year but not for a few days after the new year so you don't sweep away the good luck.  Also, you are supposed to wear red underwear for good luck. Does Elmo on a diaper count? Click this link if you would like to find out what animal sign you were born under; remember, if your birthday is in January or early February, you might be the prior year's sign. Have a great week!

Letter of the WeekR  - for rooster. Point out things that start with "R" -  red, ring, rain, rest. Show your toddler a picture of both a capital R and a lower case r. Draw an R on paper, or use your child's finger to draw it in the sandbox or dirt. Use bath tub or refrigerator letters to show him/her this letter as well. 

Number of the Week: 4  - When you show your child anything say "4 roosters" (or whatever you are counting). Count to 4. Write the number 4 on paper or show your toddler a flash card. Show your child 4 things at a time and count them - "one, two, three..."  - so your child gets used to the pattern. 

Songs of the Week:  Songs About Roosters, Hens and Chicks - This is a link to some really old song samples all about roosters, chicks and hens. They all date back to early last century and your kids might like them.   

Story of the WeekThe Little Rooster and the Heavenly Dragon
This is a scan of an old book, based on a Chinese story. There are interesting New Year resources at the back you might like. Recently, I searched my local library on-line and placed holds on all the books I wanted and in a couple of days, they were ready to pick up.  Instead of trying to browse the shelves with a busy toddler, I picked them up, checked them out and was on my way.  Here's a link to public libraries in the United States if you'd like to see if your local branch is here. 

Snack of the Week:  Noodles - Make some noodles for your toddler but DON'T cut them - the Chinese believe it takes the luck away if you cut them. Here are some additional traditional new year foods to check out. 

Spanish Words of the Week: Year - el año, Rooster - el gallo (guy-o), Gold - el oro, Red - rojo. Also check out the BBC's Muzzy from Early Advantage for teaching Spanish (or many other languages) to your child. They are fabulous!

Do It Myself: Identify red and gold or yellow. Show your toddler things that are red and yellow and tell them what color it is.  If you do this enough this week, your child should start identifying the color. I have found by showing my toddler the sign for the color, it helps him remember what each color looks like. See below for the signs for Red and Yellow. 

Activity of the Week: Chun Lian - This is a decoration the Chinese put on their doors for good luck in the new year. This link shows the Chun Lian craft and this link shows the Chinese sign for "luck" called Fu. The link for Fu shows exactly how to draw it so you can trace it on the paper for your toddler and then he/she can fill it in with glitter, crayon, or whatever you are having him/her use. 

Yoga PoseWheel Pose - This pose is basically a back bend. We chose the Wheel Pose since the wheel sometimes symbolizes the year. Thanks to Yoga Journal for this link.  PS - Our kids always liked the Yoga Kids series if you'd like more ideas for doing yoga with your toddler. 

Sign Language Sign of the WeekRoosterRedYellowCoin.   If your toddler is still learning how to talk, sign language can be a great way for them to communicate.  And as they get older, they'll pick up signs faster and it can be more of a fun thing versus a way to communicate.  

Hope you have a wonderful week!   Take this week's survey here.

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