Monday, January 16, 2012

A Fun Lunar New Year Game

Hi everyone! Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year, Korean New Year, etc) begins on January 23. Did you know this is the year of the dragon? Its a really exciting year! (Assuming the world doesn't end... although I guess that would make things even more exciting...)
You may remember I wrote before about my little cousins, Birdie and Tiger, who I often spend time with. Last week, since they were on school vacation and I was also on school vacation, I spent the night over at their house. Whenever I see them I try to bring activities for them. They are very active kids who need to be kept busy... but keeping them busy is actually really easy because they love things like crafts, games, coloring pages, word searches, etc. 
Since Lunar New Year is coming up, I made a Yut Nori game for the kids! I made this game before when I was a nanny for a family that was part Korean. Its kind of a simplified version. (The original version is a lot like the Sorry game we all know! If you want to read more about the real Yut Nori and try to make a more authentic version, check here.) I thought I'd share this, in case some of you are doing Lunar New Year lessons or celebrations with your students, or even with your own children at home! It can be played in partners or small groups. It would work great as a Centers activity. If you wanted all of the kids to be playing it at the same time, you'd have to make multiple Yut Nori sets, of course. You might even want to have kids make their own Yut Nori games as part of the process! 
My simplified Yut Nori game can be made using a poster board or a file folder. All you need to do is make colored circles all around the board, in a pattern. Label a "Start" spot and a "Finish" spot. Next, you need four craft sticks. Decorate one side of each craft stick. Finally, you need playing pieces. You can use whatever you have handy for this. Those shiny, colored pebbles from Dollar Tree work great!
Here is what my board and sticks looked like. 

Now, here's how you play. 
The first player picks up the four sticks and tosses them gently into the air. The way they land will determine how many spaces the player can move. If just one lands with the design up, go one space. Two with the design up means two spaces, and so on. But if all four land with the design down, you get to move five spaces!
Each player does this same thing during their turn.
If someone lands on you're spot, while you're on it, you have to go back to the last spot of the same color. So if I were on yellow, and you landed on my spot, I'd have to move six spaces back to the last yellow. 

This game is the most fun when more than two people are playing it, because then landing on someone else's spot becomes more common. When just two people play, you're sort of just moving around the circle. 
I also printed out these Chinese Zodiac coloring books for Birdie and Tiger. If you don't mind using up some ink, you could print these out for your students as well. The cover page lets you figure out which zodiac sign you are, and then each page is an animal to color and a little description of the animal. Birdie and Tiger loved figuring out what they were and what all of their family members were! 
I just thought I'd share this. I am starting student teaching tomorrow, but since its just the internship I have no idea if I'll be allowed to plan any activities... but if I do get the chance, around January 23, I definitely plan to use this! I hope you can get some use out of it too. 

1 comment:

  1. Cool! What a fun idea! I think we'll do it soon...


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