The Chinese New Year will fall on February 10th this year. 2013/14 will be the year of the snake. In Western cultures the Chinese zodiac is really only mentioned at this time of the year. Horoscopes are much more popular in the ‘West’. However, in Eastern cultures the Chinese zodiac is followed much more, as is learning about a person’s blood type. It is taken quite seriously and love matches are made according to a person’s zodiac sign. I know from my time in Japan this was certainly the case.
If you’re not familiar with the story behind the Chinese Zodiac, there are many sources to read, but last year we printed off the story from Activity Village .
If you were/are born in the year of the snake, you are smart and cunning and will plan to get what you want. If what you want is a recipe for Chinese Hot and Sour Soup, please click here.
It is said that it is good luck to have a snake in the house because then you will never starve. I suppose there is some logic to this…if the snake is real. We don’t have a pet, but we thought it would be fun to make our own crafty snakes using some construction paper and ‘monkey foam’ as the children were calling the thick foam of a similar sounding name this morning. Include some glue and googly eyes and you have all you need to make your very own snake craft!
How to make your Chinese snake craft:
Cut construction paper into lengths about 2cm wide using the children’s favoured colours. They/you may cut as many as you’d like, just make sure they are done in multiples of 2.
Dab a little glue onto the end of one strip and place the 2nd strip on top at a 90 degree angle and press together firmly.
Then fold the bottom strip over the first and crease where the 2 strips meet. You may remember doing this ‘accordion folding’ from your own school days.
Continue to do this, moving from one strip to the other and back again until you run out of paper.
At this point you can either glue the ends of the papers together or you can glue on another strip of paper and continue on to make a longer snake. You may have to trim a little off of the ends so that they don’t stick out when you are done.
Tristan got a little carried away at this point and instead of just gluing his ends together to keep them from unravelling, he glued one end of the snake to the other. I think it turned out ok – he just has a coiled snake, and this makes his all the more unique and beautiful.
Now comes the snake’s head. For this we drew a rough pattern onto a piece of paper and then cut out the shapes onto the monkey foam. The kids each chose a colour for the head to correspond with the colours of their snake, and then a second colour for the inside of the mouth.
I cut Kallista’s foam for her while Tristan cut his. The pieces were then glued and layered, and a little off-cut of foam was trimmed up for a forked tongue. A previous scrap of white cut into little triangles made some fangs.
The children chose some googly eyes to finish off the faces and then they glued the heads onto the bodies and their Chinese New Year of the Snake craft were completed!
Happy New Year! Please see our Multicultural Activities for Kids page where you’ll find all of our multicultural ideas in one place.