Chinese New Year Shelf

Chinese New Year is not a holiday I ever grew up celebrating, obviously. But Michael's family does celebrate and I want Ella to have that experience as well. I know very little about the day, so I did a bit of reading to educate myself a little. The holiday actually lasts 16 full days, although we are only celebrating this week/weekend. From my understanding, it is a way to celebrate late ancestors, as well as the fresh start of the new year/the beginning of Spring. I love love celebrating holidays and a reason to decorate, dress up or get together for a big meal is a win in my book. *This post contains a few affiliate links.

Ella enjoying her new shelf.

I also ordered some toddler reading material so Ella could learn a bit about this special holiday, which is celebrated by many Asian countries, not just China and is also known as Lunar New Year.

Here are the books we ordered.

My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz (we love her books!) 

Ella has really enjoyed reading her new books this week. She loves getting new books!  Here is how we prepared Ella's shelf for this week... 

Pom Pom Transfer-

This first activity is similar to other activities we have had on Ella's shelf, that she seems to really enjoy. We added the extra challenge of using training chopsticks to transfer the pom poms from a bowl into a small tin bucket. I tried to stick to reds and 'golds' for the colors of her shelf activities this week.

Stickers on the Dragon-

This is a a great sensorial activity that assists with color recognition, but also works on fine motor skills. I made this dragon using cardboard and some prints from Google images for the head and tail.. I colored a small dot in each circle so Ella knew which color sticker was supposed to go where. She has enjoyed just playing with the dragon, but at first thought he was 'scary!' 

Sensory Bin-

This was easy to throw together using a small plastic container, black beans, red and gold craft materials, and some faux leaves and flowers. Ella has been using her coffee cups from her kitchen to scoop the beans. It's so pretty, and so far, no messes- win! 

Spring Floral Sticker Tray-

The celebration of Chinese New Year is the celebration of a fresh start and the start of Spring. We have these beautiful floral stickers in our craft bin, so I placed them on a tray with some 'golden' yellow paper for Ella to decorate.

Sweeping Tray-

Cleaning and 'sweeping out the bad' is a tradition before the start of Chinese New Year. I thought this little sweeping activity would be fun for Ella's shelf. She practices sweeping the red beans into the dustpan and pouring them in the bowl. Her little dustpan and hand broom is from The Dollar Tree and we've had it for years.

Zodiac Animal Matching-

I found this little Chinese animal zodiac chart with a quick google search. I printed and laminated it. Luckily, we have figurines for almost every single animal (except the rat!) Ella works on matching the animals to the corresponding image on the chart. Most of our little figurines are from The Dollar Tree or a the safari ltd toobs.

On top of Ella's shelf, we have a few decorative items.

On the top of her shelf is the traditional chinese money plant. We saw this at Costco and I knew we had to grab one. They represent good luck and fortune (I sure hope so!) Ella can help me water this plant too, which she will just love. Along with our plant is this paper cut print that Michael's parents gave to us a long time ago. I was happy to finally have a time and place to display it. 

We displayed two of her new books, so she has easy access to them. Normally for holidays or seasons I like to do her entire book shelf a particular theme, but right now we are still enjoying the Valentine's Day/Love books!  We kept out Ella's music box, because she loves it so much. And I just changed the quote on my quote board to reflect this new celebration. 

I can't wait to share Ella's Chinese New Year outfit with you all! It's not a super traditional dress, but it is red, and will look super cute on her. We will likely just eat a big meal with Michael's parents to celebrate on the actual holiday and Ella and I can spend the weekend doing more crafts related to this special day.

Thanks for checking out our shelf! All of our other themed shelves can be found on our Instagram

-Ashley & Ella

No comments

I appreciate and love all questions and comments!