We did a couple of things today for our Chinese new year wall today, mostly involving lots of red, yellow and orange paint!
First of all we did some lovely Chinese dragons using our handprints. We painted our hands red and did some sidewards handprints on white paper and did the same over the top with orange and yellow paint. Once they had dried we cut it out and stuck it to red paper, adding legs and head made out of paper.
To save on washing up paint trays, (yes I’m lazy!) we used paper plates for the paint. The paint had all swirled together and looked really pretty – far too pretty to throw away – so we turned the plates into fans! We spread the paint over the entire plate and then pressed the plate to a sheet of paper. This left a lovely print on the paper (which we used in our next activity!) and left a marbly type effect on the plate. We left the plates to dry and cut them in half and then the kids decorated them with black felt tips.
Using the print off the plate, we made a lantern. Once the print had dried we cut it out and stuck it to red paper, adding detail to the top and bottom with black felt tip.
Our Chinese wall is looking great!
Today, to kick off our week of Chinese New Year themed activities, we made some Chinese lanterns. These were really easy to make and so pretty.
I had set all the things last night, including a tray with some sparkly pom poms, feathers, red and gold sequins and glitter. As soon as Harrison saw these (at 6.45am!!!) he wanted to get stuck in!
I had done the cutting of the lanterns already for Alex, and for Harrison I had folded and drew lines on it as a cutting guide, as we are working on scissor control and this was a perfect activity for doing this.
Start off by folding a piece of A4 paper or card in half to make along thin rectangle shape (heard this being called ‘hot dog fold’ – the opposite way is ‘hamburger’!).
Make a series of cuts along the fold line (we did about ten cuts) but don’t cut all the way to the edge of the paper.
Open up the paper (this is the stage when we decorated it) and then using either tape or glue stick the two short ends of the paper together.
Attach a strip of paper as a handle and there is your lantern!
Traditionally they should be red and gold, as these are the colours of wealth, luck and prosperity but we made a few in different colours as well. We used all sorts of bits from our craft cupboard to decorate it but could be as simple as drawing or painting on them. You can make them as table centrepieces, or string a few of them together to make a garland of them.
If you spot the mistake on the letter sheet – well done! My excuse it was 10pm and I’d had a glass of wine before making it! Made a new one now!
It’s taken a while to collect resources needed for this but worth it as we have had so much fun and it is such a flexible resource that it can be used over and over again!
Just before Christmas we bought some number and letter paint sponges from Morrison’s for about £2. They’ve been brilliant. One night I sat and sponged numbers 1-10, all the letters of the alphabet and the kids name on paper and laminated it. We have also been collecting the plastic lids of milk cartons (or similar sized lids). I’ve now had enough to write the alphabet on twice – one per letter. I’ve used a permanent marker to write on the lids. I will be doing another couple of sets of letters, and will also do numbers 0-9 and a set of uppercase letters when I’ve collected more lids.
We had a good hour of fun matching the lids to the letters on the laminated sheet, and Harrison was so pleased that he could do it. Alex just had plenty of fun putting them in a jar and tipping them back out again, but you know, its fine motor skills and all that 🙂 . It could also give opportunities for talking about colour as the lids are all different colours.
What I love about this is that it something that can be used again and again. It is great for toddlers of Harrison’s age (2.5y) for simple letter and name recognition, for preschoolers to learn CVC words, and for key stage one and two aged children for spelling practise and games.
Get collecting bottle lids!!
As well as our handprint caterpillars today, we made toe print ones!!! We painted our toes green, forgetting at first that the Very Hungry Caterpillar has a red head (hence why some are red!). This was fun because the paint was cold and slimy on toes, and tickled!!
Then we printed lots of them onto a sheet of white paper.
When they were dry we cut ten of them out and stuck them down to make a page of ten very hungry caterpillars!
I love handprints! You can make just about anything out of a handprint or footprint, it makes a lovely memento and is an excellent tactile and sensory thing to do. When Harrison was little he really hated getting his hands dirty and touch anything messy but now loves painting his hands! When we were decorating our living room before Christmas we gave him a little paintbrush and some paint to ‘help’. He immediately painted his hands and proceeded to help decorate with handprints! Alex has always loved having his hands painted, obviously not as sensitive!
To carry on with our Very Hungry Caterpillar theme, we made caterpillar handprints. I saw this idea on Pinterest somewhere so can’t take credit for the idea!
All you need is blue, green and red paint, white paper and a black pen
I painted the palms of their hands green and their fingers blue
and then repeatedly printed them in a row on the paper. We did three or four prints. When we had done this (and washed the paint off!), we painted a bright red head for the caterpillar and left the pictures to dry. Once they had dried we drew on antenna and eyes and mouth with black pen.
What do you think?
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