Tag Archive | Bringing in the New Year

Chinese New Year, Year of the Goat/Sheep

 We really do enjoy celebrating Chinese New Year and this year was no exception. This is our first big unit in months as our work on Thanksgiving and Christmas was much more worksheets and stories than actual research. This is also our first unit trying a more Notebooking sort of theme. Though after working with the twins I definitely want to try and put more lapbook aspects into our notebooks – the folded little booklets and the like – to add to the look and the ease of use.

So in 2015 I am trying to over view a month which was working with the blog when I got behind instead of daily reflection. But with big units I still want to make these individual blog entries to share our resources and the like. Bear with me we LOVE covering China and Chinese New Year so there is a lot to share!!!IMAG1500


IMAG1508Links of Specific Interest:

  • We had Zander choose two famous Chinese people and write a few sentences… he used a general list HERE thanks to Buzzle, and then to further our knowledge about the more contemporary individual used Wiki to learn more about basketball player Yao Ming HERE.
  • 10 Good Luck Foods thanks to Chow HERE. I admit it, we did do some Wiki peeking when we found things we were not totally familiar with but I am sure you can figure that out!IMAG1510
  • Something on the more traditional side I was assured by my experts… The Kitchen God HERE thanks to about.com. For a picture to include in our notebook we used Activity Village’s picture HERE.
  • Learn more about the Lion Dance (sometimes mistakenly… ok OFTEN… called the dragon dance) with HelloKids.com HERE, and on Wiki HERE.
  • We learned all about the meaning and history of the Chinese flag on the site A China Family Adventure HERE. With a little additional information HERE thanks to Facts.co.
  • We get TONS of information from Activity Village. Their printables are amazing… HERE.
  • For interesting landmarks we used the top 10 attractions listed on ChinaHighlights.com HERE.
  • China’s phyisical geography thanks to About.com HERE.
  • General country facts on Science Kids HERE.
  • An excellent map on iLibrarion HERE.
  • When you think of animals you inevitably come to the Giant Panda. Science Kids has a fact page HERE.
  • We discussed tea and China… totally Gavin’s idea on that one! You can find 10 interesting facts about tea at the Food Network HERE. For its history and cultural connotations in regards to China you can read China Highlights HERE.
  • Zander researched the couplets you put around doors during Chinese New Year. There is a great example (that we copied into our notebook) HERE thanks to China Page. And a bit more of a description and a way to purchase some for yourself HERE thanks to China Sprout.
  • Of course we did a page on goats… I basically looked up goat facts and let the twins at it. You can read up on what we found HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. Thanks to Lively Run Goat Dairy, Edelweiss Acres, One Kind and Animals by Pawnation.
  • Of course we had to cover some animals found in China. Each child chose an animal and wrote a few facts for us to include along with an illustration. Trinity chose the Chinese Pink Dolphin. We used the WWF page HERE for hers. Gavin chose the Golden Monkey (Golden Snub-Nosed  Monkey) and while he just sort of wandered the zoo and such sites this is the one I found that I liked thanks to Konica Minolta HERE.
  • While watching Wild China I heard mention of an amazing bridge… so of course I had to find the way to spell it and look up some OTHER bridges. Check out 4 HERE on Vision Times.
  • Introduction to Buddhism for kids thanks to World Religions HERE.
  • A good topography map thanks to Ilibrarian.net HERE.

Craft Ideas:

  • Dragon Parade Puppet thanks to Crayola HERE.
  • New Year’s Dragon paperbag puppet thanks to TeacherVision HERE.

Resources to Purchase:

  • Teachers Pay Teachers has a great mini unit for K-3 gr. You can find that HERE. Super thanks to creator Emily Nutt Bynum for an amazing file that both Trinity and Emanuel enjoyed and learned from.


Animal Books (We did not use many and was mostly online with our looking but here are the ones we used):

We covered Origami this year. While commonly known as a Japanese art, it originated in China! You can check out our informational links HERE and HERE thanks to Origami with Rachel Katz and About.com and also check out the books we got to play around with:

Movies and TV Shows:

  • Celebrate with Kai-Lan! a Nickelodeon Show
  • Wild China Mini Series. We watched this series on Netflix. There are listings where you can purchase it. Though not new it is AMAZING in images and cultural history. A must watch if not for anything but the imagery.

Not so much because the kids needed it, but I decided to make dividers for each of the sections of sheets we had to go with our notebook project. I have confirmed these are the correct words… enjoy

  • China HERE thanks to NamesOnline.org
  • Book HERE thanks to a dictionary site
  • Schoolwork HERE thanks to the same dictionary site
  • Drawing or picture HERE thanks to above dictionary site

IMAG1512IMAG1514Hopefully I have included most of the resources we used. It was a lot of fun to take our usual China and Chinese New Year study a little further than we have in the past! Here are some pictures of our Notebook! Enjoy!







Chinese New Year Resources

So I figured I would make a companion post of links and such for our poster and its contents. I mainly took from Activity Village and Education.com. These are amazing sources that I would recommend every time.

General information about China


Year of the Snake


I got our Happy Chinese New Year Characters from THIS site. I got it verified by Xinny so I was sure it was the correct ones. For all ideas crafty check Activity Village HERE. For our fortune cookie recipe go to the Food Network. The collection I have for Chinese New Year on Education.com is HERE, I will review all the resources and leave comments on some. I plan to every year add to these collections so I will try and link them.

Happy Birthday Darcy!

January 26-28

How to end a week of saying good bye and getting used to a new normal? Well by celebrating Darcy’s birthday with homemade cupcakes and mint icing over at their house. Sadly, big Andy was not there but we made up for it with lots of fun, some good pizza and amazing friends.

Anthony with his Canadian flag. Thank you so much for mailing one down Sharon!

Skylanders in a new location

We were there from noon well on into the evening. The kids had a blast and we 3 adults got to visit and relax.

Sleepy Echo with Andrew… new hair cut and all. Poor thing, he scared her earlier in the day by accident!

There was a new dog to play with (Darcy is looking after her grandmother’s chihuahua for a while) which had Echo in absolute joy. A dog HER size! She was nearly fearless by the end of the night, playing with BOTH dogs and visiting with Snoopy the cat.


The wee dog

I am hopeful that now that Ken’s great job hunt is at an end I can focus on visiting more with the Novaks.

Anthony and Trinity

Supper together

Ken helped Andrew and Anthony out with setting up a new Minecraft account. I think that if Anthony does not get his own before his birthday that will be our gift to him.

The guru and his disciples

I wish I had a better picture of the birthday girl, but we had such a great time relaxing just like this all afternoon!

Darcy and the lap dog

This is definitely a bonus to being close… time with our god-son!


Sunday was an at home day, the cousins were still here until the middle of the day and really we were not motivated to run any errands. So lots of fun kid time and yours truly snuck in a nap!

Relaxing tv time

Monday was back to work and life. But first – 5 kids in the great white outdoors. Ken took a bit of time off his lunch break and took Echo out to join in on the fun. I just love any opportunity to put that teddy bear hat on her. I got the pattern from CrochetSpot of course. Right HERE.

With Daddy

So much gorgeous snow

We started our Chinese New Year Library book marathon with Monday… We read the book together, talk about it and write down some key points and then make a little mini card style thing. Title, picture and of course the points. This is going to be one interesting poster. Our first book – The Runaway Wok. Also one that we read LAST year back in Canada. Something that the kids remembered right off and thought was TERRIFIC that they had this book in BOTH countries. What a memory they have!

Looking through the pictures a second time

Our booklet for our poster

Book #2… Bringing in the New Year. Beautiful illustrations, informative and fun. We really enjoyed this one!

We are alternating illustrators… so here is Gavin

Book #3… yup we were one a roll… Max Celebrates Chinese New Year. This one the BOYS read to us! They did a great job, each reading half of it.

And together with the leveled reader

Of course we had our kiddo tv to watch… I love how much they take away from these Junior shows.


We are working our way through the many worksheets and colouring pages on Activity Village and Education.com (both links to the main sites are on the right). I am hoping that we can continue our basic stuff – math, reading, etc etc as I feel like we are progressing nicely. And now that Ken is working again we can work towards some more pricey learning options in the next year! Whheeeee!

I just LOVE this hat!