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By Jean Evansearly years consultant and author

Take a trip to China where the children can enjoy building the Great Wall, lion dancing and creating a habitat for pandas


Chinese customs

China is a highly-populated country with many huge cities. The Great Wall of China is the longest wall in the world.

Rice is grown in flooded paddy fields and is one of the main ingredients of Chinese food, along with noodles and vegetables. The Chinese eat with chopsticks, and food is presented in small decorative bowls.

Chinese New Year is one of the many celebrations when Chinese people dress up, wear masks and make up street dances. The 2008 Olympic Games was held in the capital, Beijing.

Suggested resources

Images of Chinese life – use the web to find images of the Chinese New Year festival and famous Chinese landmarks; books such as Dragon Dance by Joan Holub (Puffin), Cleversticks by Bernard Ashley (Picture Lions) and Lanterns and Firecrackers by Jonny Zucker (Frances Lincoln); role-play items such as oriental cooking sets and Chinese costumes; travel brochures describing holidays in China.

1 Walk the wall

Build the Great Wall of China with construction equipment

Mathematics – shape

Development matters: find out what toys are like and can do by handling objects (8-20 months); use blocks to create their own simple structures and arrangements (16-26 months).

Early learning goal: use language such as ‘circle’ or ‘bigger’ to describe the shape and size of solids and flat shapes.

What you need

Group size: small groups.

Images (available from Google), books and holiday brochures depicting the Great Wall of China; construction equipment such as wooden blocks; small-world characters.

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