Clean and Decorate for the New Year!

A New Year's Reunion Book Cover

In A New Year’s Reunion, we learn about how a family celebrates the Chinese New Year. One of the traditions is to thoroughly clean house and then decorate with lanterns, flowers, and images that represent good luck and good fortune.

The activities suggested below can take place over the course of a few days.

Recommended Ages:  Preschool/Kindergarten

Domains or Early Learning Standards: Social and Emotional Development; Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development

Materials Needed:

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Red construction paper

  • Colorful collage materials

Class Discussion: In the story, A New Year’s Reunion, we saw some of the ways that people celebrate the Chinese New Year. Lots of times people prepare for a holiday celebration by cleaning and preparing their homes. We see Papa fixing and painting  to brighten the house for the holiday.  We’re going to celebrate the Chinese New Year in our classroom so we need to clean too! What do we use to clean? What areas should we clean?  
Once our classroom is clean and shiny, we can begin to decorate for the New Year!

​Preparation: Collect tubs for soapy water, rags, sponges and other safe cleaning supplies for children to use. If you’d prefer to do “dry” cleaning – use hand dusters and microfiber cloths.

Activity:  Assign children to different areas of the classroom and be very specific about how to use the cleaning tools and which items can be cleaned.

​Activity:  When the room is shiny and bright, start the decorating project! Red and gold symbolize happiness and prosperity in the Chinese culture. People that celebrate the Chinese New Year often use these and other bright colors to make decorations.  
Set out a variety of colored papers, gold-colored decorations and gold paint for the children to create art that can be hung around the classroom. Look carefully at some of the images in the book to be inspired. See the Paperstrip Dragon activity for instructions on how to make colorful dragons.

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