Monday, February 3, 2014

Lucky Parcels

In the Chinese culture, it is considered lucky to give and receive envelopes that contain a coin. Everyone can do with a bit of luck from time to time, so we decided to make some lucky parcels and place a chocolate coin inside them for our family.

The following photo is of an actual lucky parcel. Neither Bee or I can draw that intricately so we used paint and glitter to make our lucky gifts.

Safety first
Be careful when using scissors. If your child is doing the cutting I recommend investing in a pair of children's round edged safety scissors, with constant supervision.
I used chocolate covered coins in this activity and made sure that Isabella was aware that she could eat the chocolate, but not the foil wrapper.

Who can play?
Children aged 2 years plus, depending on age and stage of development. 

What do you need?
Chocolate coins
Red craft paper
Yellow paint and plate
Bottle top
Cello tape
Glitter and sequins
Felt tip pens
Lollipop sticks

What did we do?
To make our lucky parcels, we first had to cut a piece of red paper into four. Red is considered lucky and prosperous in the Chinese culture. 

We then poured some yellow paint onto a plate and dipped a bottle top into the paint. Pressing it onto the paper we created yellow circles (circles are also considered lucky in the Chinese culture)

The next stage was to add some glue and glitter. As you can see by the expression on Isabella's face, this took a lot of concentration and effort to squeeze out the glue. She also enjoyed shaking a whole tube of glitter onto the glue...which proved quite challenging to clean up, however, she was having a great time and exploring at the same time. 

Once the paint and glue had dried, we applied glue to the two outer sides of the paper and folded in half, to make an envelope. To ensure that this envelope can be closed, a lip was left at the top.

A yummy chocolate coin was added to our envelope and after our Chinese dinner, we exchanged them. Bee gave the one she had made to her Dad and said  "I made you that Dad" After he have her a big squeeze, she looked so pleased and proud of herself. 

What did we learn?
Communication, language and literacy- following and listening to instructions. 
Personal, social and emotional- pride from finished product. 
Creative- making patterns with the paint, glitter and glue on the paper. 
Mathematical- learning about shapes such as a circle. Becoming aware of fraction concepts such as folding a piece of paper in half. 
Knowledge and understanding of the world- learning about the Chinese Cultures and festivals. 
Physical- fine motor skills such as picking up the bottle top lid and printing it onto the paper and shaking the glitter and squeezing the glue.

What could we do next?
We could make some more parcels for our friends and even post them (once they have been placed in an envelope) to our friends. 

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