Sunday, January 13, 2013

Crafting with my kids: Chinese New Year Longevity Noodles & CNY giveaway


This time of year,  this little space receives quite a bit of blog traffic from teachers and homeschoolers researching Chinese New Year crafting ideas.  I am posting this project early in case you want to incorporate this project into your CNY lesson plan.  This project focuses on one of the most important food symbols in Chinese cuisine.   It would be a very good project with other activities such as a noodle sensory table (include different varieties, Ramon, Udon, Vermicilli / Rice, etc.) or a cooking class. 

When Lily was about 2 1/2 years old she announced at the dinner table that it is good to eat noodles because you will live a long life.  She had heard this Chinese proverb from one of her preschool teachers and ever since we have had a special fondness for noodles (and of course, never cut a noodle).  Noodles are a symbol of longevity.


For this project, you will need some red money envelopes (the ones we used in our project are actually recycled from a friend); yarn; craft glue; scissors; and paper plates (I would have preferred gold paper plates, but I could only find red.  


Cut the red envelope into a little bowl.  Cut the yarn into 6 inch pieces, this will be the noodles (this will be the only time  you should cut a noodle!).  Glue into place on the paper plate. 


You can also add some chopsticks using thin popsicle sticks or brown paper.  Add a message if you wish.


The photos of the girls eating noodles were taken at the Pacific Mall, the largest Chinese indoor mall in North America.   It is two levels of glass stalls full of all sorts of merchants and a very large food court.




As for the giveaway, Lily picked out some CNY decorations  with hopes they could be used in a classroom or homeschool.  If you are planning a CNY unit, mention that in your comment or if you are unable to comment just email me and Lily will draw a name (on January 21) so that you will receive it in time for the lunar new year.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by,


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Three Kings Day: Rosca de Reyes


Happy twelfth night!  To celebrate we sampled Rosca de Reyes. It is the traditional Mexican wreath bread served on Three Kings Day.  I picked up ours in Toronto’s Kensington Market (Pancho Bakery).  There is a little figure of baby Jesus baked in the bread.  On my first cut I found the figurine. The bread is a sweet bread, a little on the dry side.  It reminds me a bit of panettone.

“The bread is cut carefully because hidden inside one piece will be a small baby doll, traditionally made of porcelain but now more commonly of plastic. The hidden doll symbolizes a safe haven where the infant Christ could be born safe from Herod's army. Whoever gets the slice with the baby has to play host to the whole group at the next party, held on Candelaria on February 2nd—exactly 40 days after Christmas.” {source: Experience San Miguel}
We also worked on these three kings collages using salt and water colour, recycled Christmas cards and sandpaper {based on this Crayola project}.  We received a letter from friends in Bethlehem , so Lily added that stamp to her project. I think this is our first stamp from the PA.
School starts tomorrow so back to routines.  I may be a little sleepy -  Downton Abbey returns tonight, yeah!
Have a great week and to my Orthodox friends, best wishes!

Updated: My sister just returned from Barcelona and sent me these photos of the three kings celebration - see how the cakes are presented?