Throwback post from 1/27/20-2/1/20–we were welcoming the year of the rat–with some Lunar New Year themed ideas for your at-home play. (The public activities here are from the past, but you can still make music and art with us.)

I have a few, vivid memories of Lunar New Year from my childhood, mostly of food, extended family, lion dancers, red envelopes, and thrillingly loud firecrackers in San Francisco’s Chinatown. (I’m half Chinese, which you wouldn’t know by looking at me or my long, European last name. My family name on my mom’s side is Wong.) We didn’t always celebrate when I was young, but since I’ve had kids, my mom and I have loved sharing some Chinese traditions with them, and learning more about those traditions alongside them. What cultural traditions do you enjoy sharing with your kids?

This is all to say, Happy Lunar New Year! Info on the week’s activities is below.
Thanks & see you at PLAY–

Jack with fan
My son, Jack, with my mom’s tai chi fan

In Messy Art: Lion Dance

Our recycled-materials lion dance head needs much more color (and he’s a southern lion, so he should really have a horn on top of his head). Help us decorate him during Messy Art hours Mon. 1/27 through Sat. 2/1. Make paintings too, of course.

lion dance head

Mon. 10-12
Tues. 10-12
Fri. 10:45-12
Sat. 10-12


“Two Grey Rats” in PLAY music

Our PLAY music rhyme “Two Red Birds” gets a ratty re-adaptation in this week’s PLAY music classes to celebrate the year of the rat. With kids around, it’s always nice to have a handful of really malleable songs in your repertoire, so you can sing off the cuff about their favorite things or about what you’re doing together. A little origami is fun too. I found the instructions for these baby rats (…ok, they might be mice) HERE.

Red is a Dragon

Stories & Art: Red Is a Dragon, A Book of Colors

On Thursday 1/30, Jasmine will be reading Roseanne Thong’s, Red Is a Dragon, with illustrations by Grace Lin, a rhyming book about colors, and Chinese culture. Arrive by 10am to catch the reading. Toddlers to five; drop-in.

Every Thursday, 10-11:30

Animal Collage

Messy Mixed Media: Animal Collage

This week, the 2- to 5-year-olds (horses, goats, monkeys, and roosters) in our session-based art program, Messy Mixed Media, will get introduced to the animals of the Chinese zodiac and make animal-themed collages.

Messy Mixed Media is facilitated parent-and-child art for kids 2-5: View the schedule for Messy Mixed Media.

(To see how our projects shape up, follow us on Instagram.)

lion dance heads
Lion dance head
Lion dance