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Exposing Your Child to New Customs and Traditions
February 8, 2011
This February we are welcoming the start of the 2011 Chinese New Year.
This is a perfect time to introduce your child to customs and traditions that may be different than your own. If you already celebrate the Chinese New Year, I highly encourage you to seek out another cultures' customs and traditions that are different from your own. This can easily be done by getting on the computer and doing a search for you want to learn about. In addition, a quick trip to the public library can also supply a great deal of information to a curious Kindergartner.
The school I teach at in Houston is about 96% Hispanic and we are always looking for ways to expose our students to new customs and traditions. Exposure to the differences among people will hopefully allow students to be more understanding and accepting of others that are unlike ourselves.
Non-traditional holidays provide a perfect opportunity to teach your little one about the differences among people and how they choose to celebrate important events in their culture. The earlier children learn that every individual is unique and special the easier it will be for children to be more tolerant and less likely to bully others. Exploring our differences is what makes life so interesting.
Here are some activities created by my students while learning about the Chinese New Year:
- After individually exploring books on the Chinese New Year, my students began asking questions about the Chinese Zodiac and the 12 animals that are represented on the calendar. The students had a blast finding out what animal represented them and the animal that represents 2011--it's the Year of the Rabbit, in case you were wondering. In order to display our newfound knowledge of the Chinese Zodiac, the children created animal puppets. With the puppets my students were able to teach other students what characteristics the animal possess according to the Chinese Zodiac--it was like a mini
play. The students had so much fun teaching other students the new things they have learned. All you need to make a puppet is a paper lunch bag, paper, scissors, glue and markers. Take a look at what my students created!
Rooster Monkey Rabbit Tiger
What animal represents your child according to the Chinese Zodiac?
What animal did your child choose form the Chinese Zodiac to make into a puppet?
- Take a look at this Lion Dance. Using the dance as inspiration have your child
createtheir own Lion Dance. Have them listen to the music and see if the can mimic the sounds of the instruments they identify. Use and empty oatmeal canister as a drum, jingle bells, etc. Their interpretation is sure to put a smile on your face!
- Create a Chinese looking fan using
paper, paints, and ribbon.
- Create a Chinese Lantern using construction paper and scissors.
How enthused was your child about learning a new customs holiday?
Do you think their exposure to different customs will make them more accepting of others?
What have you done to expose your children new things, thoughts, or ideas?
Happy Exploring!~Shelby Moore
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