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This year is the year of the Rooster. To get smarties into the mood and understand better what rooster year is all about, we went to the library and borrowed some books about Rooster year (according to the Chinese Zodiac) and about Chinese New Year. We read the book together and even for me, I learned something new!
The book shown on the left was talking about a monster called nián 年. This monster will appear every Spring, during New Year’s Eve, to eat the villagers, destroy their homes and farms. One year, while the villagers were burning bamboo to keep themselves warm. The monster came to the village again but it didn’t disturb the villagers because it was frightened away by the cracking noise of the burning bamboo. The villagers noticed how scared the monster was and so they used the burning bamboo to drive away the monster and keep themselves safe every Spring. As time passed and technology advanced, firecrackers were being invented and replaced the burning of bamboo. Nowadays, lighting firecrackers is a major custom performed to scare off evil spirits and celebrate the coming of the New Year.
Long ago, the Jade Emperor wanted to select 12 animals to be his guards and they have to be able to provide contributions to human beings. As rooster used to always sought to prevail over others and fought all around, it has no chance of getting selected. One day, the rooster found the horse who have been selected by the Jade Emporer and asked what it had done to get chosen. The horse replied that it helped the human beings to plow, do transportation and fighting the war together with them. Hence, human beings love him. Rooster went back and thought about how he could contribute to the human beings. It decided to wake people up with his golden voice. However, it still didn’t get selected. Rooster was really upset and explained to the Jade Emporer that it did make contributions to the people by waking people up. Jade Emporer agreed and allowed the rooster to join the competition which determined the position of the 12 animals which is this year, the year of the Rooster.
After reading, it was time for some craft works. We made used of the recycled materials to create the chicky craft here. Materials required are really simple:
2. toilet rolls
3. egg carton
4. water/poster colors
Smarties couldn’t wait to start working on it. Firstly, we started giving the egg cartons and toilet rolls a beautiful coat of colors.
Look how focused they were during the process.
Next, we had a cardboard cut into a shape of a chicken and coloring is to be done too.
Drawing of the eye and its wing…
followed by sticking on the feathers. Smarties were free to design how their chicken crafts to look like.
Finally, all’s done and here we are with our final product. We called them the chicky family! Simple and it can easily take up some time for the smarties to work on, so mummies are free to do their household chores while they are working on their crafts. How cool is that?