It's the Year of the Rat! Chinese New Year begins February 7 and ends with the Lantern Festival 15 days later. We have lots of books to help you learn about and celebrate this holiday including:
Celebrating Chinese New Year by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith
Chinese New Year by Fay Robinson
The Great Race: the Story of the Chinese Zodiak by Dawn Casey
Moonbeams, Dumplings, and Dragon Boats by Nina Simonds
The Next New Year by Janet Wong
If you look online, you can find sites that have lots of crafts for you and your child to make. One in particular is http://crafts.kaboose.com/holidays/chinese_new_year.html.
Making fortune cookies is a fun project to do with your children. Here's a recipe that I recieved in a birthday card from my grandmother many years ago. My mother and I made them, and I, in turn, made them with my children. Making up the fortunes to put inside is even more fun than making the cookies.
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
Beat eggs for 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating again 10 minutes. Add flour gradually; add lemon extract, beating 2 minutes. Drop by tablespoon onto a lightly oiled grill or skillet Toast 1/2 minute on each side, or until brown (like a pancake). When cookies are done and still hot, butter your hands and place a strip of paper containing a fortune in the center of each cookie. Fold in half, press the sides together to seal, and pinch sideways.
Have fun and Happy New Year!