Chinese New Year has been celebrated in many fun ways at Ilham Child Care. Under the charge of our Laoshi, the children have been taking part in all sorts of exciting activities, from setting up decorations to learning more about what Chinese New Year means!
Due to the current circumstances as a result of COVID-19, all of the celebrations had to be carried out under some strict health and safety measures, but this didn’t mean that our kids couldn’t still have plenty of fun!
Getting things organised
A team of teachers was put together to ensure that all the celebrations could go ahead as planned, despite the effects of the pandemic. This really just meant that celebrations had to be contained to each individual classroom, but it had no impact on the excitement of the kids leading up to the big day!
The key parts of the celebrations involved some arts and crafts for the children, with some of the playgroup and nursery kids making beautifully coloured flowers out of various materials, while others made awesome dragons out of paper cups and coloured paper!
Kindergarten classes were using satay sticks to design cool dragon puppets, which was a firm favourite activity! All of these decorations provided a fun way for the children to learn a little bit more about traditional Chinese New Year, while also learning some handy arts and craft skills too!
Fun and games
Arts and crafts weren’t the only fun things on the agenda, as the kids also got to play some exciting games as well. Playgroup had some fun with different ball games, while the nursery group played stick the horn on the ox, keeping with it being the Year of the Ox on the Chinese calendar!
Kindergarten classes had some fun with dodgeball and this all took place after an initial celebration at the start of the day where costumes were shown off at the fashion show, along with plenty of photos being taken too!
Learning more about CNY
After some fun and games, it was time for more arts and crafts, with everything from lantern making to the traditional exchanging of oranges and they even made their own Ang Bao, among other traditional Chinese arts and crafts.
The Laoshi then explained a bit of the history of Chinese New Year to the children through storytelling, and so the children were still learning alongside all of the fun and games!
The children also engaged in some Yusheng tossing, which is the tossing of a traditional Cantonese salad, to really get them into the spirit of Chinese New Year! There was a lot of food for the kids to try as well, with traditional Chinese Kuihs, which were various tarts and snacks which were interesting as the kids hadn’t tried most of these before!
For all of the fun and games to take place, the preparations had to begin 3 weeks before Chinese New Year, with the teachers getting the decorations sorted for the big day. Then, the teachers began introducing the children to various parts of Chinese culture to set the scene for Chinese New Year and get everyone super excited!
The kids enjoyed wearing costumes while also learning a little bit about one of the oldest and most diverse cultures in the world. The celebrations were part of the cultural awareness curriculum and so the children got to learn more about Chinese culture through the games and crafts they were engaging in and also through the interesting stories told by the teachers and other members of the class!
Cultural education is vital
Exposing children to other cultural practices from a young age is important for them to be able to learn to respect other people’s traditions and understand that everybody is different. There’s a lot of diversity in Singapore, so while it’s great for the children to learn more about Chinese New Year and Chinese culture in general from the teacher and various activities, the Chinese students were able to share their own experiences of Chinese New Year as well!
This meant that it wasn’t just a case of the teachers telling the kids what Chinese New Year is all about, as they could also learn about it from their friends too!
A brilliant experience for everyone involved
Overall, the children loved it, as they were able to wear costumes to school which is always exciting! But they also enjoy playing any sort of game, and so being able to combine that with their education was a great way to learn more about Chinese New Year and have a great time engaging with Chinese culture!
Ilham Child Care is very grateful for the parents of the children helping out, from creating amazing costumes to just helping get the kids to enter the spirit of Chinese New Year. The children’s favourite parts of the day were the exchanging of the oranges and the Lion Dance activity, with everyone getting up to dance and move along to the great music!
Overall, it was brilliant for everybody involved, and the children are looking forward to the next Chinese New Year when they’ll get to do it all over again!