Feburary was China month in her school (it was beacuse Chinese New Year was in Feb). The only thing I could think of related to China that I can teach them was Origami. I know that Origami (pronounced or-i-GA-me) is the Japanese art of paperfolding. "Ori" is the Japanese word for folding and "kami" is the Japanese word for paper. That is how origami got its name. However, origami did not start in Japan. It began in China in the first or second century and then spread to Japan sometime during the sixth century.
So I decided to teach them origami. I picked out few easy designs that a pre-schooler can make with little help. I also made some more a bit complicated but fun designs like flying crane, frog, airplanes etc to show them what all they can make by folding paper. Kids were so excited about making cats and glueing googly eyes on their cats. The paper planes and birds caught their attention as well. It was so much fun seeing them having fun. Everyone of these kids were happy and excited to show their creations to teachers and parents.
I used simple materials like construction paper from dollar store (you can use Origami paper as well), craft glue, googly eyes, marker to make eyes etc, and I used a paper cutter to cut the cardstock in squares. You can get all the supplies in a local art store or by the links on this page.
I always think about the result of every activity. What did these kids learn out of it? What benefit they got out of learning origami.
Not only did they learn a new technique of making objects, they learned about the association of that art form with a country. They practiced 'Folding' which is an important motor skill for their age along with learning to follow simple instructions. Having to wait for their turn to do the project also is an important lesson for their future.
I love to see kids have fun and if they are learning some imp. lessons on the way then that is just the best thing ever. I hope you will try it too.