Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tutorial: How to Set up a Chinese New Year Dramatic Play Centre

I know a number of early childhood educators read my blog and they are interested in including a CNY unit in their classrooms.  I asked my sister to prepare a post on how she sets up her Chinese New Year Dramatic Play Centre.  This centre is designed for children aged 4-5.
Play defined "one of the richest and most natural ways forchildren to learn. Play encourages children to develop their oral language and listening skills, to take risks with something new, to practice problem solving skills, and to develop a sense of community, of friendship."
Suggested list of materials

1. Dolls

2. Paper lanterns

3. Good luck decorations

4. Broom (to sweep out bad luck, sorry no photo)

5. Oranges

6. Chinese Food Take-Out boxes

7. Chopsticks

8. Play food consisting of rice, noodles and bok choy, you may wish to make an assortment of felt play food like KJ posted about yesterday

9. Wok

10. Dress up clothes

11. An assortment of books about Chinese New Year celebrations

In the Chinese Food boxes I have cut up yarn to act as noodles.

Other suggestions:

A lucky bamboo counting exercise, for instance:
3 for Happiness
5 for Health
2 for Love & Marriage
8 for Wealth and Abundance
9 for Good Fortune.

Red money envelopes strung together like a bunting

I am a "map person" (the navigator in the relations) so I love maps, so you may want to include a map of China. I save maps from National Geographic and you can find some great ones to use as a backdrop. 

In closing, I thought I would share a photo of Miss Lily enjoying the Chinese New Year drama centre at her nursery school (pictured about 18 months old, she absolutely loved that drama centre).

This post is linked t0
Everyday Dramatic Play

I hope you are having a great week - it warmed up to +1 C today, I am kicking my heels,

{If you need CNY crafting ideas, I have posted about the following projects(kumquat thumprint art, Koi Kites, Glass Lanterns, and Paper Tube Fire Crackers}



  1. What a wonderful experience for their senses...see and touch, just add some cool music and something to taste and it's all there. What fun.

  2. Oh I would love to see this with my own eyes!

    Love everything about the centre and the planned activities, toys and decorations!!

  3. I just love everything in this center. Can I link to this later this week? I'm going to be sharing some of our favorite Chinese recipes and I'd love to link to your felt food and this post too.

  4. You've been featured on Life with the Lebedas for Craftify It Thursday! Hope you'll swing by and grab the feature button. We also have a linky if you'd like to link other crafts off! :D


    Have a great day!

  5. I just have one woerd/expression: WOW!!!

    thanks for stopping at my little corner! and for the compliment!

  6. Wow! You put some detail into this! Great job! Thanks for linking!

  7. What a wonderful learning experience! Amazing!

  8. You are so adorable and creative. I love everything about this and can't wait to have kids so I can use all these ideas.

    Thanks so much!


  9. This is wonderful! I am planning a Chinese New Year week for my toddler and I pinned some of your ideas. So creative!

  10. Thank you so much for linking up this very original idea for celebrating dramatic play and cultural diversity to Every Day Dramatic Play! This is wonderful!

  11. This is an awesome unit. I am going to used many of your ideas during my church's missions conference this weekend.


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