Wednesday, July 5, 2017

New Year's Day Preschool Lesson Plans


New Year's Day themed preschool lesson plans. Arts and crafts, games, math, science, group time activities, songs and snack ideas.


Art: 

Paper Party Hats: 
You will need colored construction paper, a stapler or tape, a hole punch and yarn at the minimum. You may choose to have the children decorate the paper with markers, paint, crayons, string, glitter, the year, or however they wish. After the paper has dried, form a cone shape to fit the child's head. Then staple or tape the shape securely. The cone shape is formed by rolling up the paper so the longer sides of the paper forms the top and bottom of the cone. After you have secured the shape with tape or staples, cut the bottom of the cone so it is even all the way around. Punch two holes in the hat near the bottom to attach a string that will secure the hat on the child's head. Tie on the string. 

Bells: 
You will need yarn, a pencil, craft bells, Styrofoam cups and decorating materials. Have the children decorate their cup. Cut a piece of yarn, no longer than the height of the cup. Tie the yarn to the bell. Then poke a small hole on the bottom of the cup. Thread the yarn through the hole so the bell is inside the cup. Tie the yarn in a knot (or a couple of knots) so it will not come loose. Now you have a bell. 

Bell Rings: 
You will need to make these for the children. Older children can do the threading. Simply thread craft bells onto a small piece of elastic, long enough to fit around your children's ankle or wrist. Then sew the two ends together. These can be used for group time dancing, songs and games below. 

New Year Art 
Write the number of the new year on a piece of paper and have the children decorate it with paint, markers, crayons, string, lace, glitter, or whatever. 

Chinese Good Luck Letters: 
Invite the children to write good luck letters to each other using square red paper. Fold in the four corners to the center of the paper to make it an "envelope" for itself. Have the child write their friends name on the outside. 

Chinese New Year dragons: 
Have the children make dragons out of lunch size paper bags and decorations like googly eyes, and paper scraps. Have a New Year's Parade and walk through the school and have the children place the dragons on their hands and wave them up and down. 

Red Ribbons to scare Nian 
The tradition of Nian is explained in Dramatic Play. Supply each child with red ribbon and a dowel or unsharpened pencil. Have the children tape the ribbon to the dowel. This is used to scare Nian. 

Chinese Lanterns: 
Have each child fold a piece of paper (red is best) in half so that the two longest sides are together. Then have the children cut one strip of paper off. Then have the children cut slits in the paper starting at the fold and going almost to the edges. Have the children make four or five slits. Then roll up the paper connecting the two shorter sides with tape or glue. Then the children may glue the first piece they cut off to the top of the lantern for the handle. 

Math and Science: 

Bell balancing: 3+ 
Supply the children with bells and a balance. Show the children how to make the balance even. Count the bells on each side. 

Bell ringing: 3+ 
Supply the children with many different bells. What different sounds do they make. How are the sounds different. 

Bell ringing 2: 3+ 
Supply the children with pairs of bells. Mix them up. See if they can find their matches by the sound. 

Bell Sort: 3+
Provide the children with many different kinds of bells to sort by size or color.

What is a year: 
Discuss with the children what a year is. Have one child stand in one place. They will be the sun. You can even give them a yellow plate with the word sun on it. Ask another child to be the earth. They can have a blue or green plate. Make the floor with masking tape where the child will start and stop. Have the earth child walk around the sun while spinning. Have them stop on the masking tape. Tell the children it takes 365 days for the earth to go all the way around the sun. Let other children have a chance to be the sun and earth. You can explain a day by having the sun child hold a flashlight. Turn out the lights, and have the earth child turn around in the same spot. 

Group Time and Songs: 

Bell Ring Song: 
Supply each child with a bell ring. (Instructions on how to make bell rings in art section.) Sing this song and follow the directions: Sung to Frere Jacques 
Ring your bells, 
Ring your bells, 
Shake them left and right, 
Shake them hard and light, 
Ring them loud, 
Ring them soft. 

Ring your bells, 
Ring your bells, 
Shake them up and down, 
Shake them all around, 
Ring them loud, 
Ring them soft. 

Happy Birthday: 
Happy Birthday new year, 
Happy Birthday new year, 
Happy Birthday (say year), 
Happy Birthday new year. 

New Years Resolutions: 4+ 
Discuss with your children about the tradition of making resolutions on New Years. Ask each child what New Year's Resolution they would like to make. Write them down on a big piece of paper to post in the class. Or for older children have them write them down themselves. 

Vasilopita 
Greek New Year's cake. A coin is baked in the cake and the person who finds the coin in their slice is has good luck for the year. 
Ingredients: 
1 cup butter or margarine, softened 
1 3/4 cups + 1 tablespoon white sugar 
5 eggs 
2 tablespoons water 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
3 cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 cup slivered almonds 
2 tablespoons sesame seeds 
Directions: 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 
In a large bowl, blend together the butter and sugar. Separate 3 of the eggs; add the yolks and the 2 remaining whole eggs to the butter mixture. Stir in the vanilla and water. 
In another bowl, sift together the baking powder and flour. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. 
Whip the egg whites until they are foamy. Add 1 tablespoon sugar. Continue to whip the whites until they are stiff, but not dry. 
Pour the batter into a greased 10 x 4 inch tube pan. Wrap a large coin in foil, and place the coin in the batter. Press the coin down; it should be completely hidden. Sprinkle the nuts and seeds on top of the batter. 
Bake the cake for about 70 minutes, or until done. Cool on a wire rack. 

Games: 

Bells on Shoes: 
Younger children will enjoy this activity. You can thread craft bell onto the shoelaces of your children. Then have your children walk around, dance, or stomp. 

Bell Ring Game: 
Instructions on how to make bell rings in art section. Played like Doggie Doggie Where's your Bone? With a twist. Older children will have a hard time keeping the bells quiet, and it will give younger children the advantage of hearing the bells. This is how the game is played. The teacher picks one child to sit in the middle and be the Doggie. Then the other children sit in a circle around the Doggie. The teacher picks one child to hold the bells (bone) behind their back, and all the children sit with their hands behind their back. Say the Chant: 
Doggie, Doggie, 
Where's your bone? 
Somebody took it from it's home, 
Upstairs, downstairs, by the telephone, 
Wake up doggie, Find your bone. 
The Doggie picks up to three people that he/she believes has the bells. One at a time, as picked, the children show their hands. If they pick the right child they "win". Regardless the child with the "bone" become the next Doggie, and the old Doggie pick who will get the bells next. 

Another Bell Game: 
Bell relay race. Have a relay race where the first player had a bell ring on each wrist and ankle (four total). They run to the next person, and they have to take off all the bells and put them on the next person. (variation: only one person of the two may touch the bells). 

Dramatic Play: 

Countdown to the New Year: 
Supply the children with party hats and noise makers. Pretend to countdown to the new year. Did you know a lot of noise is made to scare the old year away and welcome the new year? 

Chinese Nian Fun: 
Read this story: 
Long ago, in Han times, there was a monster whose name was "Nian". This monster came once each year to a little village and scared everyone! One day, just by luck, the villagers discovered that "Nian" had a couple fears of his own. He was afraid of the color red and even more afraid of scary loud noises! The villagers prepared. When "Nian" appeared, everyone in the village ran for the red banners and noise makers they had made. They waved their banners and rattled their noise makers, which scared "Nian" so much that "Nian" ran away and was never heard from again! Which explains why people in China believe the color red signifies joy and luck, and why noise makers are rattled on Chinese New Year. At midnight, firecrackers, paper dragons, noise makers, the waving of red ribbons and banners all help to drive away any lingering evil spirits from the old year. (In case "Nian" is still lurking about somewhere!) Let one child be Nian, and the others be the villagers. Ask the children to find something red to scare Nian. Read the story again and let the children act it out.

Noisemakers 1
Cut a piece of construction paper that will fit around a Pringles container. Have the child decorate the paper however they choose. You can glue other paper onto it, decorate it with crayons, markers, etc. Tape or glue the construction paper over a Pringles container. Fill the container with beans, rice or corn kernels.  Place the lid on the container and have the children shake their noisemakers. 

Noisemakers 2
Take two sturdy paper plates. (The stronger the better)Place some beans on one of the plates and place the other plate on top of the first so that both eating surface areas are facing each other. Use masking tape to seal the plates together. Have your child decorate with markers, glitter, construction paper, or ribbons. When dry, shake. Shake to music, shake it each time you take a step. Shake, Shake Shake!!!

Happy New Year
Teach the children to say Happy New Year in other languages.
Danish - Godt Nytår
French - Bonne année
German - Gutes Neues Jahr
Hebrew - Shanah tovah
Russian - S Novym Godom
Spanish - Feliz Año Nuevo

Bell Estimation Jar:
Fill a jar with bells. Have the children take turns estimating how many bells are in the jar. To help with their estimation, have them pull out 10 bells and look at them, they may hold them in their hands or spread them out, whatever helps with their estimation. Then return the 10 bells to the jar. After everyone has estimated count the bells in the jar together.

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

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