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Chinese New Year Rice Sensory Play


Chinese New Year Sensory Play #chinesenewyear #CNYsensoryplay #sensoryplay #preschool #earlyyears #learningthroughplay


Did you see our recent Chinese New Year inspired Sensory Play we shared last week? If you follow us on Instagram you would have seen the activity coming together on my Instastories. I love sharing celebrations and culture with the children! Chinese New Year is always quite a refreshing celebration to cover. It's after Christmas, we've said goodbye to the January blues and bam the Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year/ Spring Festival brings joy to the classroom. As part of this topic we have also shared Symmetrical Dragon PaintingsChinese Lanterns using old art work, China Tuff Tray and Paper Roll Dragons!

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Chinese New Year Sensory Play #chinesenewyear #CNYsensoryplay #sensoryplay #preschool #earlyyears #learningthroughplay


Todays sensory play was linked to what we have been learning about Chinese New Year. We have a local Chinese who we have been using since we were children ourselves so we are very familiar with the staff there. On a cheeky midweek take away pick up my partner asked them if they had anything to help when teaching the children about this celebration. They kindly gave us a calendar which showed all the different animals, chop sticks, fortune cookies and money wallets. 

Money wallets are given during this celebration to the children. The children put the unopened wallets under their pillows for 7 nights before opening them - to bring them luck. I added chocolate golden coins to the set up. They were thicker to pick up with the chop sticks and much more hygienic too. I didn't feel comfortable using real money knowing my children. However we spoke about the wallets given and how real money is given in this instance.


Chinese New Year Sensory Play #chinesenewyear #CNYsensoryplay #sensoryplay #preschool #earlyyears #learningthroughplay


It was no suprize that the fortune cookies were a hit! It's quite a skill opening the packet and cracking them open. The children were overjoyed to discover messages in the cookies and enjoyed tasting them too! They have requested to make some of their own cookies.

Fortune Cookies - UK/US

The tray is lined with rice that I have dyed red using Wiltons Food colouring. I popped half a bag of rice at a time in a bowl, added the gel colouring and stirred well until the colour had completely covered the rice. I then lay it out on a tray to dry before adding it to this container. 
As a side note - I am so glad that I brought the Wiltons food colouring. So many people over the years have told me how great it is but I still stuck to supermarket brands. I honestly can't believe how little you need to achieve vibrant results. 

Wiltons Food Colouring - UK/US


Chinese New Year Sensory Play #chinesenewyear #CNYsensoryplay #sensoryplay #preschool #earlyyears #learningthroughplay


I love play set ups that offer books as part of the learning experience. I am trying to add them to as many of our set ups as possible moving forward. Especially seeing as the children I share these experiences with are always busy looking at books.

Lanterns and Fire Crackers - UK/US
Chinese New Year - UK/US


Chinese New Year Sensory Play #chinesenewyear #CNYsensoryplay #sensoryplay #preschool #earlyyears #learningthroughplay


There was lots of fabulous filling and emptying going on. Again as I was with the Chinese New Year Spaghetti Sensory Play - I was taken back at how well the chop sticks were being used!

The red streamers you can see in the tray are from a red foil curtain that I used as part of our room decoration for Chinese New Year. The children loved the curtain and it really did offer something different. I have a couple of boys who are very heavy handed right now so a few strands were pulled down. I decided to cut off all the strands and use them in our play/crafts. 

Red Foil Curtain - UK/US


Chinese New Year Sensory Play #chinesenewyear #CNYsensoryplay #sensoryplay #preschool #earlyyears #learningthroughplay


I purchased some bowls and soup spoons for the set up too. They were great to support the filling and emptying early learning goal but also they aided lots of imaginative play. Although this was Chinese New Year inspired sensory tray - the children enjoyed adding their ingredients to the bowls to make Pankcakes

The beads were what I use on my Christmas Tree. They were new this year and I brought a super long set. I hung them on the Tree this year thinking they were a much better length (saved me having several sets) and they amount fitted out tree perfectly. For the love of play I only cut them down today - eeek!! I will regret that come December this year I think! 

Chinese Bowls - UK/US
Chinese Soup Spoons - UK/US


Lets take a took at this activity in action:


Want to see the end result too?

Chinese New Year Sensory Play #chinesenewyear #CNYsensoryplay #sensoryplay #preschool #earlyyears #learningthroughplay


This has been so much fun! We love introducing culture to the children and sharing with them what is important to other people in the world. Even the youngest of children can begin to learn little things about the beliefs and celebrations of others. 

If you are looking for some more sensory play linked to this theme here is another one we shared last week: 




Chinese New Year Sensory Play #chinesenewyear #CNYsensoryplay #sensoryplay #preschool #earlyyears #learningthroughplay


Have you joined our Learning Through Play GROUP yet? Its the place you can be inspired by other like minded people and share your photos to inspire too! We have everything being shared from Outdoor Areas, Tuff Trays, Dens, Literacy set ups, Funky Fingers and endless crafts!

You can request to join our GROUP here - Learning and Exploring Through Play GROUP

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Other posts to check out on Learning and Exploring Through Play:


I love you to pieces Suncatcher Card    Melted Snowman Family    Rainbow Streamer Craft



Recycled Valentines Crafts for Preschoolers    Recycled Valentines Crafts for Preschoolers    Sensory Winter Play for Preschoolers




Mark Making with Kinetic Sand    Plastic Easter Egg Art Ideas    Space Themed Sensory Play Small World

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Amy Louise
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