‘Happy New year 2019’ celebrations were enjoyed by all today as we entered the year of the ‘pig’. The preschool children at Portland House crafted their own Chinese dragon giant puppet from recycled materials and had tremendous fun helping him move and dance around in the garden. An array of actives took place throughout the day, Poppies created their own fabulous pig pictures and decorative fans using paints and collage materials, Daisies made Chinese lanterns, Buttercups explored noodles in the sensory tray. The Bluebells and Sunflowers children had a go at writing Chinese letters and numbers and even used playdough to model them, they also practised using chopsticks to pick up various resources of different sizes which was quite tricky, these activities were especially good for developing concentration and fine motor skills. The children also enjoyed tasting some delicious noodle broth that was made by Debbie the cook. We had a visit in the morning from Chao one of our parents who very kindly came in to share some group time with the preschool children to talk to them about how her family celebrates Chinese New Year. She showed us her good luck artefacts that her family put up around their home to bring good luck for the year ahead and explained that they give each other red envelopes filled with money as presents to celebrate the New Year. Choa taught us how to count the numbers 1-10 in Chinese, the children were fascinated exploring her magic mat which when they painted on it using a paintbrush with water, black painted numbers magically appeared. She showed us how to make Chinese dumplings using playdough and cut up paper to replicate the meat and vegetables fillings. She brought in some character cards with various pictures on and then told the children what each one was in Chinese and showed us some paper dragons that the children could operate by jiggling and moving the sticks. We would like to express out thanks to Chao for coming into nursery we had a marvellous time learning new things all about the Chinese New Year celebrations was a very educational and interesting circle time for all. We would welcome any parents/carers that would like to come and share a group time with us to show us their special interests/skills and celebrations that are special to their family. If you are interested please speak to your key person or room leader who would be delighted to make the arrangements.