Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chinese New Year (part 2)

Last year, Tonito's first Lunar New Year home, another adoptive mom did some fabulous activities with the kid's preschool class: eating popcorn with chopstick helpers, read some great books, and decorated dragons. At our new school, there are not adoptive families that I know of, and I wasn't sure if anyone was planning anything for Lunar New Year. I did a litle more research, and came up with a one day lesson plan for the 4 year olds. First, I made a rice dough that is very similar to play dough (except the dough/art making has been around for thousands of years in China and has some rice flour in it). I got the recipe from the Asian coordinator at an Art Museum. Tonio and I were up until 2 am trying to figure out how to make the dough, and made about 7 batches before we figured it out (we ended up NOT boiling it was they said). We were so slap-happy by batch #5, and Tonio was asking me "Remind me why we are doing this?" Me: "So our children will appreciate Chinese arts and culture and have pride in the traditions..."
Tonio: "So aren't the kids in Tonito's class like 3 and 4 years old?"
Me: "Yes."
Tonio: "And they're going to make a tiger out of the black and orange dough?"
Me: "Yeah- it's the Year of the Tiger!"
Tonio: "Aren't they still in pull-ups?"
Yes, when I tried myself to make a tiger out of the dough I failed miserable and ended up with an orange ball with black stripes. I realize it was out of their age range. I realize I overestimate how easy something is going to be, but when I try to do the task myself I fail to see how a 3 year old would handle it. I know, I know. But it always sounds like such a great idea!! And I always have such high hopes.
After not getting any sleep, the dough was almost worth it (here are Tonito and Vivi;s attempts:)

Next we painted quince blossoms (brown stick, pink flower puffs). This was much more a 3-4 year old activity!

Next we read some books about traditions at CNY, and finally we had our lunch of panda bear cookies from China, eaten with chopsticks (with the chopstick helpers!) Tonito and Vivi were both really proud in the China clothes- I'm not sure how long that will last so I am taking full advantage of it! I wonder when kids start to get embarrassed by things like that? Hopefully not for a while! The kids were all interested in the acitivites and I was amazed how adept they were at the chopsticks (with the helpers of course!)..

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