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  • Writer's pictureMarijo Tinlin

Theme For The Week - Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year!  In 2020, the Chinese new year begins as the year of the Rat on January 25th. The Chinese decorate  their homes with gold for power and red for happiness. This week, we'll learn some more about this holiday and a few new foods as well as make a great Chun Lian craft. The podcast was recorded in 2019 which celebrated the year of the Pig so here are some pig-related activities.  Enjoy!

Here is a whole bunch of fun with this Family Friendly Guide to Chinese New Year. 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 Week: P  - for pig. Point out things that start with "P" -  pen, pencil, pacifier. Show your toddler a picture of both a capital P and a lower case p. Draw an P 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: 5  - When you show your child anything say "5 pigs" (or whatever you are counting). Count to 5. Write the number 5 on paper or show your toddler a flash card. Show your child 5 things at a time and count them - "one, two, three..."  - so your child gets used to the pattern. 

Songs of the Week:  Songs About Pigs - This is a link to some really fun songs about pigs to tunes you probably already know.  

Story of the Week: The Pig Ate A Watermelon

This is an old Chinese story with some of the Chinese words to learn along with it. Also, if you're at the library, look for the book The Little Pigs And The Sweet Rice Cake: A Story Told In English And Chinese - a story that teaches about honesty. 

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, Pig - el cerdo (ser-doh), Gold - el oro, Red - rojo. The word for pig in Chinese is written 猪 (Zhu). 

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. Also, you could hand out red envelopes for good luck. Here's more information on that.

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 a very simple craft to make the symbol for good luck - 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 Pose: Wheel 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 Week: PigRedYellowCoin - new for 2020 Rat   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.  

Remember to give your toddler/preschooler a hug and tell him/her you love them. Hope you have a wonderful week!   


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