For a child to be comfortable in themselves, it is important that we encourage a sense of belonging within their learning environment. Ways in which you can foster a sense of belonging range from having regular routines in place, to learning about the wider world.
Last month, our blog discussed the importance of regular routines to encourage responsibility in children. Once you have established those routines, you’ll be pleased to know that they form the basis of a child’s education.
From a healthy routine, children feel safe and secure. Routine encourages a sense of belonging. Once a child is secure in their environment, it is important that they understand that not all cultures are the same. Not only will this strengthen their own sense of belonging within their community, but will also help them form friendships later in life.
Chinese New Year: how learning about other cultures can foster a sense of belonging
Towards the end of January and beginning of February marks Chinese New Year; a celebration of the start of a new lunar calendar, celebrated by nearly a sixth of the world’s population. A significant event to a culture other than your own is a fantastic opportunity to teach life skills.
What is Chinese New Year?
In 2017, Chinese New Year falls on January 28th. It continues for 15 days. The celebration is never on the same day as it revolves around the time it takes for the moon to go around the Earth (the Lunar calendar).
What’s with the animals?
The Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao [pronounced: sheng shy-oh], is based on a 12 year cycle. Each year in that cycle is represented by an animal sign, and 2017 marks the year of the Rooster.
And the colours? How do they help with a sense of belonging?
Red clothing is considered essential around Chinese New Year. The vibrant hue is thought to ward off the mythical monster, Nian. Traditionally, children are given red envelopes with money inside. If they sleep with these under their pillows, it’s said to bring good fortune and happiness.
ACTIVITY: What year was your child born in? This link has a calculator to work out the year, and will then link to their traits.
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