For many families, the annual Lunar New Year visitations are rare opportunities to “reunite” with relatives and old family friends. But catching up can be hard with restless children tugging on your sleeves demanding for attention – after all, there’s little for the younger ones to do apart from watching CNY reruns and running around after the ‘bai nian’ formalities are done.
This year, involve the kids in fun group CNY-themed games and activities that’ll help them bond while leaving the adults free to mingle – or join in the fun!
Pass the Angbao
Similar to the old school game of pass the parcel, this angbao-version will see the children passing a red packet around the circle till your CNY music of choice stops. To prepare for the game, stuff a bigger red packet with varying layers of smaller angbaos – Matryoshka doll style. The child holding the angbao when the music pauses will have to take out one layer, and the person holding the final angbao will get the “prize” within.
A fun game for both kids and adults, phrases for CNY charades can involve everything from traditional greetings to zodiac animals and auspicious items. It might take awhile for the younger kids to understand the concept of charades, but a few test runs should iron out any kinks.
Do CNY DIYs
While children embarking on DIY projects may seem like an unnecessarily chaotic CNY activity, easy crafts such as these DIY Year of the Dog-themed good luck characters will keep the younger ones occupied sans the mess. Plus, all parents would be able to go home with little keepsakes of CNY!
Catch the tail on the dragon
Perfect for a large gathering of kids, all you’ll need for this traditional game is a handkerchief and lots of room at the void deck/playground. Start off by instructing the kids to form “the dragon” by lining up and holding the waist of the person in front of them.
Then, tuck the handkerchief into the pocket of the last kid. The head of the dragon then has to snatch the handkerchief by “chasing” its tail – the kids in the middle has to prevent the head from catching the tail without letting go. Once the handkerchief is acquired, have the kids swop positions and begin again.
Mini CNY Photographers
Insert a little nostalgia this CNY by giving the children disposable cameras and encouraging them to take photos throughout the visitation. This way, you’ll be able to get a glimpse into your child’s mind and their unique perspectives, as well as encourage their creative streak. If developing photos are a hassle for you, Polaroid cameras work equally well and deliver instant gratification.
Angbao fashion show
Make full use of your spare red packets and other CNY decorations by hosting an angbao fashion show! Split the children up into groups and give them half an hour to come up with the most creative outfits using the above-mentioned materials. Ask each team to name their design using CNY-related phrases, and have the model strut down the “runway” – prepare mini prizes for “Most auspicious looking”, “Most lifelike zodiac animal”, “Most adventurous outfit” etc.