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Chinese New Year: horse pictures

As 2014 is the year of the horse, today we did some horse pictures.

I am rubbish at drawing (even my stick men look a little odd!) and I don’t have a printer to print off a template but luckily we have a play dough cutter in the shape of a horse which we used as a template.

Instead of just getting the kids to paint the horse, we did some bubble wrap printing. I’d seen this on various websites and sounded much more fun and a great way of adding texture to a picture, especially as they both love playing with the rolling pins when we are baking or playing with dough.

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I taped some bubble wrap onto rolling pins and rollers and gave them a paper plate with some brown and white paint on, and some pieces of red paper. We rolled the pins and rollers into the paint lightly – just enough to cover the wrap otherwise just saturates paper – and rolled them over the paper. Because our horses were going to be quite small, I thought it easier for them to roll on bigger paper and then cut the horses out afterwards. They had great fun doing this!

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Once they had dried we drew round the cookie cutter and cut them out, and then backed them onto white paper to make them stand out, and then Harrison stuck them onto red card. We made a mane and tail for them out of black wool.

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Whenever we get paint out, the kids inevitably end up painting their hands – we are all a bit obsessed with handprints – and today was no exception. Turns out that brown handprints make excellent horses, with the help of a blob of brown paint for a head and a googly eye. I was going to try and write their names in Chinese on their pictures (aided by Google translate!) but the writing was way too intricate and artistic for me to attempt!

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For the Kids Fridays at SunScholars.com

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Chinese New Year: sensory play

Today we did something we haven’t done for a while – a sensory box! I tried to link it to our Chinese New Year theme as much as possible.

We used the Rainbow Rice we made back way before Christmas. Because it was red and yellow it was vaguely Chinese coloured. I added in some bits of black and red wool, red and black pom poms of various sizes, red and black feathers. I chose red and black as these colours suggest China to me. I also found some laminated red fish from the days when I was a teacher that had basic sight words on. Harrison and Alex are too young to read them but fish ate symbolic in Chinese culture so it just added to it. They also have paper clips attached to make them magnetic to play magnetic fishing games with.

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I gave them the tub inside another, larger tub to try and contain the mess (still ended up everywhere!). The large tub is an underbed storage box – a smaller and cheaper alternative to a tuff spot. They had all the usual equipment that we use for activities like this – accessories from the play kitchen , cardboard tubes and bowls. I also gave them some chopsticks which our local Chinese takeaway kindly gave us for free!

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Their imagination soon went wild. They had great fun trying to pick things up with the chopsticks and stirring the rice. The bits of wool soon became noodles and then we ended up bringing the play kitchen into the lounge so they could ‘cook’ the noodles and rice. (Excuse the fact Harrison yet again has no trousers on, we are potty training!)
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This activity led to some maths investigation. We counted how many cups of rice it took to fill a bowl, talked about which bowl had more rice in and started to look at ‘more’ and ‘less’.

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