Chinese New Year Around the Classroom

Every year I spend two full weeks inside the mood and inspiration of China.  Over the last ten years, I have collected many wonderful items for this exploration.   My daughter went to China at 13 years old as an exchange student and brought back many things for my classroom.  My family has hosted two Chinese students in our home.

Transforming your housekeeping to a Chinese Restaurant or home can be simple.  The two best resources for materials are your local Asian market and the fabric store.  Here are a few photos from around the classroom:

One year I wrote a grant and ordered these wonderful Evi dollhouse dolls  for my dollhouse.  I purchased several sets to fit the different fairy tales we move through during the year.
I always put out fabric in the block area.  During the Chinese New Year unit I place Asian inspired fabrics, strips of the colors seen in the Asian palette, and even place mats. This student took the Asian inspired fabric and covered the dollhouse.  I think it was quite a lovely touch!
She took some of the blocks and build a ladder to the upper level.  It is so cool when materials find new uses.  I value creativity thinking so much!! It is such a delight!
In Chinatown, I found so many traditional costume dress for children.  My local Asian market sells these as well.  I have a basket full for the children to dress-up in.
I have a nice assortment of fabric fans.  Paper fans usually do not withstand the play!
The housekeeping area is filled to the brim with assorted items that bring the mood of China.  I used two calendars from a local restaurant for a “screen” effect on my playstand.
My local Asian market sells Chinese restaurant dishes.  They are perfect for housekeeping.
I save Chinese tins, containers and any photos I might find in magazines and journals.

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  1. Kit says:

    This is such a fantastic blog, I have been reading it all evening and finding so many great ideas. Thank you so much for sharing them. (UK teacher)

  2. Lisa says:

    Sally, this is lovely! Thank you for sharing these glimpses into your work.

  3. Yay! I get so excited when I see teachers from other countries visiting my blog! It is a dream of mine to visit schools around the world and post what they are doing!!

    Thank you Lisa – I so appreciate you!

  4. Hi Sally, you just started following me on Twitter so I came to take a look as soon as I saw Chinese New Year. I’ve been working on my own post which is about kite-flying this year. I too have a fascination for things Chinese. We taught there for 6 months, and my favourite market was the market of small things – heaven for a “child” like me!

    I love these charming ways to have kids explore Chinese culture!

    (Susan, in Australia)

  5. Beautiful photographs, beautiful environment! What a pleasure to see such an extraordinary play space. Thank you so much for sharing.

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