Mandarin Motion Song and Story Time Wed 1st Feb 2017

Older students will be introduced to a play/musical this week that we will learn the first half of this year…we may keep the play a secret so that we can perform for the little kids when we are ready!

Little kids it’s the deep ocean for this story time!

We will read 大海里我最大  (dà hǎi lǐ wǒ zuì dà) ‘I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean’

This is  a great story for hearing how to use comparatives and superlatives in Mandarin, in a really funny story!

We will sing our 3 Jelly Fish song again (click on link for words, same tune as English version) this will get us singing our important 上 and 下 (Up and Down/On and Off etc) words!

And also sing this new lovely song ‘Time to Swim’ while we do an under the sea dance!  We don’t have a link to this song anywhere, but Aurora played it on the keyboard and sang along so that we could upload for you to sing along to at home!  Sorry, we didn’t have the tools to make a great sound recording!  But better than nothing!  We might record our dance of it this week to upload! Lyrics below:

海狮海豚海马水母   海狮海豚海马水母  游啊游,游啊游,多么逍遥, 游啊游, 游啊游,乐悠悠

hǎi shī hǎi tún hǎi mǎ shuǐ mǔ, hǎi shī hǎi tún hǎi mǎ shuǐ mǔ,yóu a yóu , yóu a yóu , duō me xiāo yáo , yóu a yóu , yóu a yóu , lè yōu yōu

Sea Lion Dolphin Seahorse Jelly Fish,  Sea Lion Dolphin Seahorse Jelly Fish, Swimming, Swimming, how free, swimming, swimming, happy and unhurried.

Look forward to seeing you Wednesday!!!!



Mandarin Motion Chinese New Year Celebrations!

We had a lovely song and story time this week to celebrate Chinese New Year!  Learning about the Chinese Zodiac, and Chinese New Year Traditions through song. (click here for song video)

We had out own ‘Dotting of the Eye’ ceremony so that our Lion could ‘see’ for our dance.

Ended up with a Lion Dance and lots of noise to scare all the bad things away for the year.

祝贺大家新年快乐! Have a happy Chinese New Year!

舞狮开光 Dotting the eye of the Dancing Lion

Kids have been busy making our new Dancing Lion 舞狮 (wǔ shī) for all the kids to participate in a Lion Dance at our Song and Story Time this week!


It does not have eyes yet…its eyes are closed at the moment!  On Wednesday at our special Chinese New Year story time, we will have a special ceremony called 开光 (kāi guāng) which means ‘opening light’.  We will use a calligraphy brush to dot eyes on our lion, sometimes called ‘Dotting the eye’, which means our lion will then be able to ‘see’ and be ready for us to make a noise and have a dance together, to scare away any bad things for the New Year!

Here is a pik of a 开光 (kāi guāng) ceremony.

Kids can easily make their own dancing lion head, just grab a cardboard box, paint it (red and gold are good Chinese colours, but there are dancing lions of all colours!!).  Make a cut similar to the one in our piks, so that the mouth drops down, making an authentic looking Dancing Lion mouth, and also makes a hole for children holding the head to see out of!  Then search for some piks of Dancing Lions, and decorate with anything shiny, sparkly, feathery or furry! Don’t forget to dot his eyes before he dances!!!! Use a piece of material for other children to get under behind the lion head….usually only 2 people for head and tail…but of course we will have a long parade of children under our really long Lion!!!!

Here is a song I wrote that children can sing to while dancing with their Lion, don’t forget to bang drums and bash cymbals to make a noise too!  Wooden spoons and pans work really well!!!  Sing the song to the tune of ‘London Bridge’. (For details of some of the other things we will do this story time visit our Chinese New Year Story Time page

看看舞狮跳舞跳 跳舞跳 跳舞跳

kàn kan wǔ shī tiào wǔ tiào tiào wǔ tiào tiào wǔ tiào
kàn kan wǔ shī tiào wǔ tiào
xīn nián kuài lè

Look at the Dancing Lion dancing and jumping, dancing and jumping, dancing and jumping
Look at the Dancing Lion dancing and jumping,
Happy New Year!

Then replace the bold with 尾巴摇 (wěi ba yáo) ‘shaking tail’, and 转个圈 (zhuǎn gè quān) ‘turn around’.

Happy Dancing!  Get ready to dance and make some noise on Wednesday 🙂

Chinese New Year Song and Story Time Wed 25th 2017

Special Chinese New Year Song and Story Time!

We will read this book and learn all about the Jade Emperor’s way to develop a system of time, one such legend of the Chinese zodiac:

We will learn this New Year song from Groovi Pauli

Here are the lyrics :

穿新衣服                      (chuān xīn yī fu) wear new clothes
吃年夜饭                      (chī nián yè fàn) eat the new year’s feast
拿个红包                      (ná ge hóng bāo) get a red envelope
说恭喜恭喜                  (shuō gōng xǐ gōng xǐ) say “congratulations”
恭喜恭喜恭喜你           (gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ) “congratulations, congratulations, congratulations to you”
恭喜恭喜恭喜你           (gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ) “congratulations, congratulations, congratulations to you”

舞龙舞狮                      (wǔ lóng wǔ shī) Dragon dance, lion dance
去拜年                          (qù bài nián) Give new year’s wishes
听到鞭炮                     (tīng dào biān pào) hear firecrackers
说恭喜恭喜                 (shuō gōng xǐ gōng xǐ) say “congratulations”
恭喜恭喜恭喜你          (gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ) “congratulations, congratulations, congratulations to you”
恭喜恭喜恭喜你          (gōng xǐ gōng xǐ gōng xǐ nǐ) “congratulations, congratulations, congratulations to you”

Don’t forget our new year song from last week too, click on link to watch it again. If you want to learn about how Chinese New Year is responsible for the world’s biggest human migration every year click on this old blog post ‘a time to connect’.

Little kids and mums also learned why the Chinese character 福 (fú) is hung everywhere in China, and why you often see it hung upside down.  Below Lucas is holding it the right way, Aurora is holding it upside down. Can the older students find out why before they come to class??? See if you can and let me know on Wednesday!!!!




Mandarin Motion Song and Story Time Wed 18th Jan 2017

A story all in English this week, but a lovely story to open up conversations with your little ones about the experiences of many children in China.  Often one or both parents of children in rural China must travel to the big cities for work.  Because this is usually a very long journey, parents will only get to see their kids once a year, when the whole migrant working community of China returns home for Chinese New Year celebrations! It is common for children to be raised by grand parents while their parents work away.

Here is the link to the Chinese New Year song we have been learning:

新年好呀   新年好呀  祝贺大家新年好    我们唱歌   我们跳舞    祝贺大家新年好

xīn nián hǎo ya    xīn nián hǎo ya       zhù hè dà jiā xīn nián hǎo      wǒ men chàng gē      wǒ men tiào wǔ     zhù hè dà jiā xīn nián hǎo

Happy New Year, Happy New Year   Wish everybody a happy new year    lets sing   lets dance     Wish everybody a happy new year

See you Wednesday!

Mandarin Motion Song and Story Time Wed 11th Jan 2017

NB.  10am little group only again this week

We will read 棕色的熊棕色的熊 (zōng sè de xióng zōng sè de xióng) ‘Brown Bear Brown Bear’.

Then children can be one of the animals in the story, and listen out for when we need their help to 拔萝卜 (bá luó bo)  ‘Pull the Turnip!’  Sing along to our Pull the Turnip song like usual, but replace the bold with the animal you want to come and help pull the turnip!  (We previously have substituted the children’s names). Below the video are the lyrics, and below the lyrics are animals in the story that we will replace as we sing the song.

拔萝卜    拔萝卜

嘿哟   嘿哟   拔萝卜

嘿哟   嘿哟   拔不动

小紫猫    快快来


Bá luóbo bá luóbo
Hēi yō hēi yō bá luóbo
Hēi yō hēi yō bá bù dòng
Xiǎo zǐ māo kuài kuài lái
Kuài lái bāng wǒmen bá luóbo

Pull the turnip, pull the turnip
Hey yo hey ​​yo pull the turnip
Hey yo hey ​​yo it won’t move!
Little Purple Cat, come quickly
Come quickly and help us pull the turnip

小棕熊,  小红鸟,  小黄鸭,   小蓝马,  小青蛙,  小紫猫,   小白狗,  小黑羊,  小金鱼,  小猴子,

xiǎo zōng xióng, xiǎo hóng niǎo, xiǎo huáng yā, xiǎo lán mǎ, xiǎo qīng wā, xiǎo zǐ māo, xiǎo bái gǒu, xiǎo hēi yáng xiǎo jīn yú, xiǎo hóu zi

Little Brown Bear, Little red bird,  Little yellow duck, Little blue horse, Little frog,  Little purple cat, Little white dog, Little black sheep, Little gold fish, Little monkey.

See you all Wednesday!

Mandarin Motion Song and Storytime Wed 4th Jan 2017

NB. No older group session this week, just the little kids at 10am 🙂

Hope you are all rested ready for the New Year!

Because it was requested again at our last session, we will read 小金鱼逃走了 (xiǎo jīn yú táo zǒu le) ‘Little goldfish escapes’.  For parents,  you might here the word 走 (zǒu) lots!  It means ‘walk’.  But, it can mean ‘go’, and even ‘run’, and when paired with a compound verb can have a meaning of ‘away’.  You may have heard me say it around class when I want the kids to walk!  You may have heard it when we read ‘Go Away Big Green Monster’ and the kids had to say 走开!(zǒu kāi) to make the monster ‘Go away’.  In this story the fish escapes 逃走 (táo zǒu), meaning ‘escape’ and ‘away’, kind of meaning escaping by running away.  Now you can listen out for the many other times we might say 走  (zǒu) in our class!!!!

And we are going to hear it again in a new simple song we will sing this week that we can simply do some ‘movement’ actions to.  The kids would have heard these lots in our other movement songs, but this time they can just focus on the actual word as they do the action. We will include this song for a few weeks, and soon we can get the kids to play some games with these words, or have our own mini Olympics!  The words to the song are below.

Move 动 dòng
Walk 走 zǒu
Swim 游 yóu
Fly 飞 feī

Move 动 dòng
Climb 爬 pá
Run 跑 pǎo
Jump 跳 tiào
Stop 停 tíng

See you Wednesday!