Playgroup has just resumed after a long summer break. As a Chinese New Year activity I bought some white mini paper lanterns for the children to decorate, thinking some of our Chinese members could tell us a bit about the significance of the Spring Festival. But it just so happened that all the Chinese mums had changed to a different day's playgroup session - and in that session everyone had helped make the most stunning dragon, which had been left on display in the playgroup room.
They had made it out of cardboard boxes and decorated it with an assortment of red, orange, gold and silver papers, cellophane and foils. It had scales, flames issuing from its mouth and some rather wonderful and dinosaur-like spikes on its back. Above the dragon they had written Chinese New Year greetings on red paper squares.
After much admiring (and photographing) of the dragon, I set out the materials for the lantern decorating. I had brought along some tissue-paper shreds (left over from my Mexican flowers - you'll be seeing these again, because I still have loads left!) to decorate the lanterns with:
In the end only a few children decorated them, but those who did enjoyed gluing the colourful paper strips and zig-zag bits onto the lanterns, and seeing how beautiful they looked when finished. These would be stunning hung in a child's room, perhaps with a little fairy light inside. And they also go well with Chinese dragons, if you happen to have one handy...
After decorating her lantern, R made herself this mask. When we got home she asked me to stick it up in the hallway so it would scare her - and I have to admit, it is kind of spooky.
Kung Hei Fat Choi, everyone!