In the days leading up to Chinese New Year, studios across Aurora Rowville and Aurora Doncaster have been focused on exploring the Year of the Ox and the significance behind the celebrations.

We deeply value art and story-telling at Aurora Early Education as we evidence and research suggest they both have the potential to provoke thoughts, discussions and a deeper understanding of culture.

Here’s a look at some of the activities we’ve enjoyed!

Decorating the center

Our children take great pride in their spaces and our Kinder children at Doncaster suggested that we put some decorations around the center. So, they helped paste decals and decorations on doors and windows around the center.

Arts and crafts

The Seamist Studio at Aurora Rowville set up a paper fan arts table where children got the opportunity to decorate, building on their fine motor skills and creating some great decorations at the same time!

Meanwhile, in our other rooms, children were busily engaged with making paper lanterns which symbolise and promote peace, reconciliation and forgiveness.

To mark the fact that we are approaching the Year of the Ox, some children also tried their hand at drawing and tracing oxen. We also did a handprint activity in the Seamist Studio at Aurora Doncaster where the children transformed their handprints into Southern Lions from the traditional lion dance.

Mandarin Lessons

We had a Mandarin Specialist Session which included an exploration of the 12 different zodiac animals in the Chinese calendar. We talked about traditions on Chinese New Year such as a family dinner and made ‘dumplings’ using organic playdough. Our Mandarin teacher gave some red envelopes to our children, talking about what the red envelopes symbolise and how they are connected with luck and prosperity.

On Chinese New Year, and in the days of celebration which follow, we will continue to explore the significance behind and practice customs that will build on our children’s understanding of culture.

What are you and your family doing in preparation for the New Year celebrations?