Monday, January 31, 2011

Chinese New Year Crafts

Just in case you are looking for some crafts to do with your children this week in celebration of Chinese New Year I thought I would post four activities that I did with my students at school.

1. Bowl of little oranges
Trace around a glass onto different types of orange paper or fabric and cut out the circles. We used cardboard, crepe paper, felt, etc. Cut out a red bowl and paste them all down onto paper. You can decorate the bowl and draw green stems on your oranges to give more details.

Tangerines and oranges are given as gifts, during CNY as their Chinese names sound like "gold" and "wealth".

2. Blossom branch
We made this branch by dipping string in black paint and pulling it out of our folded paper. You can also do this activity by blowing ink through a straw. The blossoms are actually pieces of pink popcorn. We sprayed some cooked popcorn with a fine mist of pink food colouring. Edible and fun!

Pink blossomed trees such as cherry, peach or plum trees stand for courage and hope.

3. Fireworks
I drew some lines with white pencil onto black paper and the students used fine motor control to squeeze glue along the lines. Then they shook glitter onto the paper.

Fireworks are another traditional celebration that the Chinese people take part in for the purpose of welcoming the New Year.

4. Dumplings
Trace a circle onto a scrap of brown or white felt and cut it out. Use excess bits of felt to stuff the dumpling and glue it closed. A hot glue gun works best if you have one. Decorate a red paper box or plate and your dumplings are ready to serve with chopstick straws.

Dumplings are a savoury start to the New Year.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Multiplying like rabbits

"The Year of the Rabbit” is just around the corner. All the shops in Hong Kong are decorating appropriately with the theme. It feels a bit like Easter actually, with all the "Easter Bunnies" everywhere!


From the herds of hares, rabbles of rabbits, and bands of bunnies on display, I guess one could assume that the Great Wall of China was quite unsuccessful in its endeavour to keep the rabbits out.

(For those  unenlightened American readers, this is a reference to an Australian TV commercial from 2006 that has now cemented itself into Aussie culture.)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Op shop hop

Purely as a noble self-sacrifice for the benefit of my local readers I spent the afternoon visiting six op shops in order to provide their locations. I won't rate them as good or bad because as any expert op-shopper will know, one week you may find nothing but junky McDonalds' toys and on the next visit you'll score the mother lode of Lego or Barbies. In my opinion they are all worth visiting because you never know what you may find and the joy is in the looking.

Today I explored the Salvation Army stores on the MTR Island Line.

1. Chai Wan
Take exit D at Chai Wan station, turn right and walk along the overpass and through Chai Wan park to Yue Wan Estate. You can see the shop from Chai Wan Road near the post office.

2. Shau Kei Wan
Take Exit B1 from Shau Kei Wan station and turn right onto Shau Kei Wan Main Street East. The shop is number 139.

3. North Point
Take the B1 exit from North Point station and look for 379 King's Road.

4. Causeway Bay
This is a short walk from the North Point store along Kings Road and at about four streets past Fortress Hill station turn right onto Wing Hing Street.

5. Wan Chai, Wood Road
At Wan Chai station take the A3 exit to Johnston Road. Turn left and walk along to Wan Chai Road, then turn left onto Wood Road. The store is next to a green Jockey Club school.

5. Wan Chai, Hennessey Road
Take exit A2 from Wan Chai MTR and walk along  Hennessy Road until you reach number 337. Opening hours are 10:30 am - 7:30 pm.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

You know you've been in Hong Kong for a while when...

...a class excursion to the local dairy factory pales in comparison with a field trip to ...DISNEYLAND!

Yes, that's right. Keegan's Grade One class had an excursion to Hong Kong Disneyland today. They spent several hours learning about art and animation and the history of Disney, so it wasn't just a free-for-all roller coaster extravaganza all day. It was also a wonderful integration opportunity, so I brought three of my Bridges students on the excursion. When they were safely delivered to their carers at the end of the day, Keegan and I were able to enjoy some rides and shows together.

Here are Keegan and classmate Cyrus in front of the Sleeping Beauty castle.

Did anyone notice the number five on the castle photos above? This year marks the 5th anniversary of Hong Kong Disneyland, and the park has eight new Disney character figurines with the following corresponding "lucky" symbols:



Five Fortunes

Love / Romance

Family / Harmony


Success in Studies

and Happiness

Bowen and Flynn will completely understand that the Buzz Lightyear Asto Blasters ride remains Keegan's favourite thing to do at Disneyland.

I agreed to doing the Buzz ride three times if we could at least see the Golden Mickeys show.

Did you hear about the pirate who went to an Apple store? He wanted an aye pad.

It's a Small World

Jungle River Cruise

We stayed until the 4:00 parade because this "Flights of Fantasy" one was different from the previous parades we saw in May and June last year.