Create your own branch of beautiful flowers to symbolize health, prosperity and good fortune in the coming year. Flowers are an important symbol in the Lunar New Year celebration, marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Even though the significance of the blossom is similar, different countries honor different types of blossoms based on which fruit tree flowers earliest in that country. In China, cherry or plum trees are the first to flower, representing the earth coming back to life and symbolizing good fortune. In Northern Vietnam, the pink blossoms of the peach tree flower early, representing peace and health. Whereas in Southern Vietnam, the yellow blossoms of the apricot tree, representing happiness, prosperity and good luck, are the first to flower.
- Small branch
- Substitute: cardboard & branch template (page 3)
- Pink or yellow tissue paper
- Substitute Options: paper, coffee filter, markers, crayons, paints (pink or yellow)
- Small plate or tray for glue
- Find a branch.
- Either collect a small branch outdoors or make a branch out of cardboard (see template). A cardboard branch may be an easier option for very young children who may have trouble gluing the blossoms onto a thin stick.
- To make a cardboard branch: trace the branch template onto a piece of cardboard, then cut out with scissors.
- If you do not have tissue paper at home, use regular paper or a coffee filter instead. Color the paper or filter either pink or yellow, then rip into approximately 1” pieces.
- Look at your branch – what do you notice?
- What color are your blossoms?
- Do all of your blossoms look the same?
- How do your fingers feel after sticking the tissue paper into the glue?
LEARNING BEHIND THE PLAY
- Supports emotional development
- Deciding where to place the blossoms on the branch, and trying different ways to do so, encourages problem-solving skills
- Actions such as cutting, tearing, squishing and sticking develop fine motor skills
TAKE IT FURTHER
Make an arrangement of branches. Make multiple branches and place them into a vase to decorate for Lunar New Year. How many branches can you make?