If you're a China adoptive parent like me (or someone who enjoys celebrating other cultures), you're like, "Huh, what?! It's Chinese New Year again! What are we going to do?!?!"
As a bi-racial family, we desire to celebrate our son's (and soon-to-be sons'!) birth culture. We actually lived in China and have so many wonderful memories celebrating with friends, so you think this wouldn't so hard...but it is! It's hard to remember when we've just finished Christmas and they aren't exactly decorating at Walmart for Chinese New Year (or often called Lunar New Year). It's hard when there feels like a million other more important things on your to-do list and this can be just one. more. thing.
I'm not going to lie, last year we threw some crafts together last minute with my VIPKID homeschooling friends and ate dinner at a restaurant with some China adoptive friends. This year, I'm trying to be a tiny bit more purposefully and forward thinking, so we actually get to enjoy the holiday and hopefully enrich our children's lives by welcoming in another country's culture. But let's be honest, with a three and a four year old, we have to be realistic too!
My goal every year is to add one new book to our Chinese children's book collection and do at least one new craft/activity with the kids to expand their learning of Chinese New Year. Inspired by my awesome company, VIPKID, we learned about "Fu" signs this year and made our own! The character represents good luck or happiness and is usually hung on a family's door (sometimes upside down!).
We got our "Fu" character from my company, but you can search the internet or find a great one here . We colored our "Fu" character first (gold is the traditional color for the character, but try telling my kids that!) and anything else we wanted to add to our signs. We chose to add "lucky fish" and mandarin oranges (popular to eat and give for good luck), along with some fake pink blossoms, representing prosperity and growth. We took our inspiration off a couplet scroll (or banner) that a friend gave us last year, but you can add (or not add!) whatever you want! You'll need a red (color for good luck) square paper to put these all on. And try not to have a lot of white on it...it's regarded as the color for death!
Then comes the fun part...all that cutting and gluing, which is a circus with two littles! I am very proud to say that my four-year old did all the cutting and gluing on her own! The three year old just pointed and I glued the pretties in place...for all our safety! I think they came out pretty well, don't you?!
I was thankful for this relatively easy project as a way to introduce our children to a small part of Chinese culture! Stay tuned next week for some more Chinese New Year fun! These two are pretty proud of their hard work and can't wait to hang them up on our door!