Chinese New Year fun for visually impaired children

The Chinese New Year is a spring festival and is based on the lunar calendar, meaning it is celebrated on the first new moon between the end of January and the end of February. This year, 2022, Chinese New Year falls on 1st February and it is the year of the Tiger.
It is a fun and colourful festival that lends itself to many activities for you to participate in with your children. Read on for some ideas, suggested by Claire from our Children and Young People’s Team.

Mandarin Oranges

Mandarin oranges are one of the traditional elements of the celebration of the Chinese New Year. They are a winter fruit representing abundance.

You and your child can explore oranges in a range of ways. You could begin by setting out some mandarin oranges, juicers, tongs, jugs, and containers.

An orange in a bowl

Introduce the mandarin oranges and chat about how they look, feel, and smell. Slice open the mandarins and investigate how they look, feel, smell, and taste inside. How does the inside compare to the outside? What words can your children think of to describe them?

Then have a go at juicing the oranges – this is great for physical development of the hands and wrists, and drinking the juice is delicious!

A child eating sushi with chopsticks

Chopsticks

Another fun activity that also helps build muscle strength in hands and wrists is exploring with chopsticks. You could use training chopsticks for younger children.

Fill a tray with a range of small objects (pom poms, fabrics, beads, even rice or sushi if you want a challenge) and try to pick them up with chopsticks.

You could also add gold coins to this activity as giving money in red envelopes is another tradition of Chinese New Year.

Tiger crafts

Being the year of the tiger means that there is a huge opportunity to use arts and crafts materials to make tigers.
Visit this link for some craft ideas which include paper plate tigers, mosaic tigers, tiger cards and origami tigers.

Did you know: People born in a year of the Tiger are brave, competitive, unpredictable, and confident. They are very charming and well-liked by others. But sometimes they are likely to be impetuous, irritable, and overindulged.

The Great Race

The Great Race is the story behind why each year of the Chinese calendar is named after one of 12 animals. Visit this link to watch the story with your child and discover all the animals in the Chinese zodiac.

Food tasting

You could make your own Chinese dishes together, and use this as an opportunity to develop your child’s independent cooking skills.
Alternatively, you can buy foods your child hasn’t tried before such as seaweed, lychees or sweet and sour sauce.

We hope you have lots of fun trying out some of these ideas. Please share your photos with us on social media as we would love to see the fun you have together.
Happy Chinese New Year, or in Cantonese –
Gong hei fat choy

This blog was written by our Children and Young People’s Team, who support vision impaired children and young people, and their families, from across Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

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