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Chinese New Year

Gung hay fat choy! Come and celebrate Chinese New Year, one of the most widely celebrated festivals. Find out why the years are named after animals. Dance in a dragon costume around the grounds of Brackenhurst Hall and make a range of craft activities in the classroom.

Suitable for:
KS1 and KS2
Full day
Available at:

• On arrival one of our tutors will welcome your group to the Centre and go through the schedule for the day, learning objectives and health and safety issues.

Session A: Usually led by centre teacher.

Read the story of the animal race and children can find out how the years got their names.
• Children dress up in masks and costumes of the 12 animals and have their own race on the lawn in front of Brackenhurst Hall. Swap over so all children get chance to take part.
• In groups of 4, 5 or 6, complete our photo orienteering challenge in and around the hall and gardens areas, Children will get to collect authentic charms to explore Chinese traditions and their symbolism.
• Once all the items are collected the children can decorate their own ‘Chinese New Year’ tree in the gardens.
• Finally, all children can get inside the longest dragon costume. Holding the dragon’s head at the front and everyone holding bells they can dance around the gardens wishing everyone ‘Gung Hey Fat Choi!!’ and bring this colorful festival to life. 
• Head back to classroom.

Session B : usually led by visiting teachers
• The classroom will be set up with 4 craft activities with all relevant resources. These can include:

  • Make and decorate your own dragon
  • Create a Chinese lantern
  • Depending on which year the festival is celebrating there will be a relevant craft for that animal
  • Recreate the Willow pattern plate
  • Learn about the festivities and the importance of the Chinese New Year Festival, and its history.
  • Explore the Story of how the Chinese New Year calendar became named after the 12 animals.
  • Understand the importance - for some people - of belonging to a religion and how they celebrate different festivals
  • Use their senses to experience a new environment
  • Use natural and made materials to make their crafts to take back to school
  • Having fun outside
  • Discovering new locations
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Further information

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Before you visit

Some outdoor clothing and footwear is available at the Centre but please ensure children are dressed warmly with suitable waterproof outerwear. Please dress for the weather. Detailed activity sheets will be provided at the centre for group’s self-leading sessions. Please note all activity programmes may vary depending on number of pupils and their needs, length of visit and weather conditions.

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