The Magic Paintbrush

It’s week one of our Spring 2022 term, and we’re delighted to be telling a story that’s a brand new one to our Beanstalk Arts canon, the magical Chinese folktale ‘the Magic Paintbrush’. We’re going to be leading live, interactive Zoom classes all this week, and you can book your spot in here, so you don’t miss us.

The story is a Chinese folktale about a little girl who is entrusted with a magical paintbrush by a wise old man. She promises never to paint for the wealthy but only for the poor. However, when the Emperor finds out about the magic paintbrush’s powers, he demands she paint all the riches and jewels he desires… what will she do?!

You’ll find out in our sessions, and here are a few ‘at home’ activities you might enjoy to continue the theme of this story in your play around the week… If you have older preschoolers, why not start with a chat about what you might paint if anything you drew came to life….? I’m going to ask my girls over dinner tonight! 

Play:
Chopsticks – fine motor 
Do you have some chopsticks? Or tweezers? Or just two sticks you can find? Can you have a go at using them to pick up things? Cotton wool balls… toys…. raisins…?!

Paintbrushes – different things – water/paint/ink etc 
Do you have your own magic paintbrush? It could be any size, any shape… have a go at using it with different things! Water… paint… ink… juice… 

Painting Chinese numbers (practicing with little paint brushes)
You could do these with or without painting them – understanding and copying Chinese symbols of numbers and writing them out… Can you count out loud too?

Cooking!
You could cook some noodles or fried rice (AND try and eat them with your chopsticks!)

Arts and crafts:
Lanterns
Make a simple paper lantern – here’s a blog post with an idea how. https://www.auntannie.com/PartyDecorations/ChineseLantern/

Dragons
Make a simple paper dragon: https://www.pinkstripeysocks.com/2019/01/chinese-new-year-paper-chain-dragons.html

Fans 
Have a go at this origami Chinese paper fan:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjGwD7gtyg8

Music:
Have a listen to these musicians playing traditional Chinese music on traditional instruments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M4gca_uLB4

Watching:
Chinese New Year Let’s Celebrate!
Watch these young people tell us all about celebrating Chinese New Year…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8ssHXZ9_qU

Peppa Pig!
If you’re a big Peppa fan… There is an episode which tells us lots about Chinese New Year! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCR-PVLV6Cw

Dancing Dragon 
Watch the amazing dancing street dragons…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bs0GuU0cUtw

Literacy/Communication:

Sequence the story
Can you try and retell the story with the help of your Beanstalk Colouring Sheet?

Retell story with puppets 
Why don’t you cut out your pictures and try to retell the story?

Fortune Cookies and fortunes
Fortune cookies are yummy biscuits which have something predicting your fortune inside! Have a go at making a paper one and write some good fortunes for the people that will find them inside.. Like “your love of music will be important this year” or “you will feel happy and loved this year”.

https://unsophisticook.com/how-to-make-paper-fortune-cookies/

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