Chinese New Year mark making- an envelope activity
Chinese New Year is coming up soon and we thought we’d start exploring this topic with a mark making activity. The custom for new year is to collect red envelopes from family members which are filled with money for the kids! This concept led me to the idea of creating an invitation to create with red envelopes and black and gold paint, with some lettering of ‘Happy New Year’ in Chinese characters on the laptop screen for inspiration and as a guide to follow.
We had some friends round to play to do this activity and it was interesting to see how the children approached it differently, depending on their ages and stages of development. The older ones used the lettering on the laptop to copy ‘Happy New Year’. They first used some plain paper to practice, before then writing on the red envelopes themselves.
The youngest one enjoyed mixing the gold and black paint together and using the paintbrushes for some free mark making on the paper and envelopes. He was keen to put his money in, so we had to go searching for some copper pennies to add to his envelope! We also talked about the dragon and some of the kids added drawings of them to their envelopes- breathing out gold fire!
One of the children struggled with this idea at first- he wanted to do the lettering but felt that it didn’t look ‘right’ and was getting quite frustrated. Modelling how to do each character at a time, and giving him space to copy each one in between worked for him, and he felt more confident to join in after that, with his own designs.
This activity was a great introduction to the Chinese New Year topic. I’m looking forward to looking more closely at this with Little, once school is back on for Big and his friends, and we can focus on some Preschool Geography activities more aimed at his level. Having said that, this kind of open invitation to create worked well with different aged children as they could each access it at their own level, too.
Have you got any plans for Chinese New Year? Check out the Seasonal Activities board on Pinterest for some more ideas!
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