Chinese New Year and Year of the Horse Montessori Activities


Chinese New Year starts on January 31st and the celebrations last two weeks and end with the Lantern Festival. The Lunar New Year will also start on January 31st. It is the Year of the Horse. The Year of the Horse lasts until February 18, 2015. The horse symbolizes intelligence, a warm heart, and lots of energy. Babies born in the Year of the Horse will be kind to others and enjoy being in the spotlight.
Marie, Samuel, and Avalyn chose to celebrate the Chinese New Year with some art projects and stories. Lisa chose to share books and a Montessori lesson for three-part horse cards. Hope you enjoy!

Chinese New Year and Year of the Horse Montessori Activities

Our local library always has a wonderful story time. This Monday the librarian read the book My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz. It was a perfect introduction to the Chinese New Year and really added to the puppet show she performed! The kids love visiting the library and I hope there are local events near you that will also celebrate Chinese New Years!

~Marie

Photo by Marie Mack
The first art project we did this week was making Chinese dragons. Montessori Services has a ton of wonderful art supplies for these projects and many others. Here is the list of our materials: recycled toilet paper rolls (I cut triangles from both sides of the toilet paper rolls to make the dragon's mouth), paper for the teeth and tail (you could also use tissue paper), markers, pom-poms, and eyes. I added the kids' names to the dragons later with the glitter markers. We used red and green for our dragons. Red is a lucky color for the Chinese.

Photo by Marie Mack
The kids started their project by coloring the dragons green.
Photo by Marie Mack
Then we glued on the teeth, eyes, and tail. I cut out the teeth and tail for the kids. Samuel (3.5 years old) could have completed this task by himself if I would have set up the project a little differently Avalyn (21 months) was very intent on fine motor work!

Photo by Marie Mack
Samuel was very excite to show off his dragon!

Photo by Marie Mack
Here are the finished products! The kids loved these and played with them all day.

Photo by Marie Mack
To celebrate 2014, the Year of the Horse, we decided to decorate pre cut horses for our second art project this week. Here is the list of materials: pre cut wooden horses (local craft stores should have these), glue, markers, sequins, and craft sticks. The kids also requested to add stickers to their decorations.  

Photo by Marie Mack
Sam and Ava decided to add their sequins first with glue. Glue is a special item in our house so both children are taking this special glue very seriously. 

Photo by Marie Mack
Next, the kids chose to use the markers to decorate. I should have guided them to use the markers first to decorate, but they were so excited and intent I let them choose their decorating order.

Photo by Marie Mack
After the horses were all decorated, I added craft sticks to the horses. I saw other descriptions which added magnets to the back, but I wanted the kids to be able to gallop with their horses. Galloping is a difficult task to master so any reason to practice is great with me!

We had a lot of fun with our art and hope you can use these ideas along with Lisa's book review and suggestions below to celebrate Chinese New Year with your children.

~Marie

Chinese New Year by David F. Marx, is a Rookie Read-About Holidays series book for early readers. If you have an early reader, this lovely book with beautiful photographs is an ideal little book for reading about the Chinese New Year.


http://shrsl.com/?~528h

In the small, 30-page book are colorful photos of flowers in bloom, dragons, and fireworks. The text is big and bold and simple and is ideal for a first-grader reader and up. Older siblings can read it to younger siblings!

A great feature is a list in the back of the book called "Words You Know": small photos with captions with words like dragon and lantern. Use these words to make labels or flashcards. (Learn more about this book here at Montessori Services Item No. C563.) Consider other books in this holiday and celebrations early reader series by Rookie including Valentine's Day, President's Day, and Earth Day. (Each book is sold individually here at Montessori Services.)

~Lisa Nolan

Another product of interest for Chinese New Year and cultural studies is My Little Book of Chinese Words filled with 100 Chinese words.
Chinese New Year and Year of the Horse Montessori Activities

Chinese New Year and Year of the Horse Montessori Activities

"Each two-page spread features an evocative wood-block image of an object, the ancient Chinese character, the modern Chinese calligraphy, the pronunciation of the Chinese word, and the word in English." (Learn more about this book here at Montessori Services.)

~Lisa Nolan

Chinese New Year and Year of the Horse Montessori Activities

Since 2014 is the Year of the Horse, it is a perfect time to introduce, or reintroduce, the Montessori Three-Part Horse Cards (also called Mammal Nomenclature Cards; and Classified Cards). If you are not able to make you own, you can purchase a set here from Montessori Services. To see more card materials at Montessori Services, go here.

The purpose of these cards is to teach the child the language to describe each part of the animal. There is one set without the name to familiarize the child with the animal during the prereading stage. There is another set with the name, and a set of separate name cards for the reading stage.

How to introduce the Montessori three-part cards from my Montessori training manual (to see this lesson using fish cards, go here to my picture gallery):

Presentation 1.

1. Bring out one set of Classified Cards. Start with a picture of a whole animal, for instance a horse.
2. Then bring out a card with only one part of the horse (typically indicated in red).
3. Continue through the remainder of the cards belonging to the horse. Ask the child, “Would you like to learn the names of the parts of the horse (indicated in red)?” Use the Three Period Lesson to
teach language (the parts of the horse).

Presentation 2.

1. Bring out the first set of cards again and bring out also the set of cards with the names attached.
2. Match the pictures with names of the pictures without names. Place matched pairs in vertical lines.

Presentation 3.

1. When the child brings out both sets of cards on his own, which were used in presentation 2, bring out the separate name cards. He should match these name cards to the cards with names and
the cards without names.

Presentation 4.

1. Bring out the cards without names and the name cards.
2. Have the child match these, using the cards with names as control of error.

Indirect Aim: Knowledge of animals and their parts.
Direct Aim: Developing interest in reading.

To see this lesson using fish cards, go here to my picture gallery.

~Lisa Nolan

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 To learn more about the Year of the Horse go here.

Are you looking for affordable Montessori lessons and activities! I highly recommend Lisa Nolan's affordable online programs! Her 0-24 program is here, her 2-3 program is hereand her 4-5 program is here

If you click on any of the Montessori programs (and make a purchase) I get a small commission. This helps fund Montessori materials, activities, and books I can get for my family. A big THANK YOU from my family to yours in advance of any purchases you make!

~Marie Mack