Group teachers are familiar with the birthdate of each child. We will ask parents to prepare birthday cakes or snacks to share with group children, at the same time we might invite the parents to attend the celebration, to cut and hand out birthday cake. We sing birthday songs together in the group. Each group has their very special birthday traditions, like making a crown for the child with the age-number on it, preparing a birthday hat, holding a “good wishes” circle during which all classmates take turns holding a candle and saying their wishes for the birthday boy or girl. He or she then blows out the candle so that the wishes will come true. Some groups give a birthday drawing made by the other classmates to the child, or lift the birthday child up into the air as many times as the years of his/her age, while singing a song (German tradition). All birthday children receive an Eduwings Gift. Often the birthday child naturally gets special rights on that special day, like choosing the activities or a favorite game to play.
Eduwings Traditional Events
At the beginning of each school year, Eduwings will prepare a Summer Party for all children and parents. The party is held on the weekend of the third week of the school year. Eduwings invites all families and their friends to attend this party in a relaxed atmosphere and with many fun activities (face painting, games, water activities, jumping castle …). This is a good opportunity for parents and kids to get to know each other.
St. Martin Lantern Festival is a traditional religious day to celebrate St. Martin’s journey in Germany. In the evening children bring their lanterns for a stroll on a street nearby and sing Lantern Festival songs. All groups of Eduwings will prepare self-made lantern in advance, patterns and design will be decided on by the children themselves. The main body of traditional lanterns is made of oiled paper or recycled materials. Eduwings will invite parents to come to the kindergarten to share St. Martin’s stories or take part in the group activities, to have a traditional St. Martin buffet with mulled wine, hot dogs and hot soups. This is always an interesting outdoor experience for both parents and children. Through festivals like this families who are not from Germany get the chance to experience a part of German culture and tradition.
Moon Festival is a Chinese traditional festival. It has been called “Reunion Festival”. Family members will come back home for dinner, worship ancestors and express their thanks to them. Traditional activities include: enjoying the view of the moon and eating moon cake. Apart from preparing traditional Moon Festival food like moon cakes for all kindergarten children of Eduwings, the Chinese teachers of each group will also organize different kinds of activities or stories for their group’s children (e.g. the story about Goddess Chang’e flying to the moon), in order to teach the children about the background and origins of this festival and to get them into the right spirit for the festival.
Celebrating this festival is of course a good opportunity for foreign children and their parents to know Chinese tradition and culture. Eduwings kindergarten is closed on Moon Festival Day. Children can then spend this day with their family members and enjoy this festival together with them.
Halloween falls on the 31st of October each year. It is a traditional festival of the Western world. The children will dress up in costumes and put on masks, and they go around in the neighborhood to ask for sweets. Jack O’Lantern is a symbol well-known for Halloween night. Before Halloween Eduwings kindergarten either prepares pumpkins which the children may decorate by themselves, or the kindergarten will organize a pumpkin contest. Each group room will be newly decorated, all teachers will prepare creative “trick-or-treat” activities. On Halloween the children will get to participate interesting activities like listening to Halloween stories, playing Halloween games and creating eerily beautiful Halloween crafts. We also learn about the story behind Halloween. Of course, the children may also say “trick or treat” to ask for sweets. Eduwings encourages parents to help their children to dress up for Halloween.
Thanksgiving Day is a festival originated from USA and Canada. People used to give thanks to God for the good harvest of the year. The festival is always on the fourth Sunday of November each year. During morning circle, group teachers introduce the origin of Thanksgiving Day, and encourage older children to act out the story of Thanksgiving. Each group organizes different age-appropriate theme activities on Thanksgiving Day, for example Turkey crafts, a theatre play, and harvest-related activities. Eduwings kindergarten also prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dish for lunch – Turkey. The children can first observe and then share the dish together.
Nikolaus Day (St. Nicholas Day) falls on the 6th December each year. Nikolaus Day is a traditional religious festival from Europe. It is said that Nikolaus will bring children sweets and presents on the Nikolaus Day every year. However, his helper Krampus (or Knecht Ruprecht, as he is also called) will punish the children who misbehaved during the year. Teachers will write a little poem about each child. The poem mentions the child’s achievements and progress, and also areas of improvement. In Eduwings Nikolaus (who is played by one of our fathers) will receive these little poems and recite them for the children. He will also bring a sock filled with sweets for every child. The children will prepare a Nikolaus song or poem, which they sing or recite for Nikolaus before he reads the poems to the children and distributes the gifts.
Christmas is a traditional religious festival for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. At the same time Christmas is also the time of family reunion. In Western countries the whole family gets together to celebrate Christmas together. Eduwings will start putting up Christmas decoration already one month in advance. A big Christmas tree is set up in the entrance area, the children help to make lovely Christmas crafts like snowflakes and ice crystals to decorate the tree and windows. We sing Christmas songs with the children and practice Christmas poems. Sometimes Eduwings hires a professional photographer to do a Christmas-themed photo shooting for all kindergarten children. According to German tradition, each group will put up a Christmas Calendar (Adventskalender) in the classroom, and every day one child gets to open a gift bag. There are 24 gifts altogether, which means that every day until Christmas one gift bag can be opened (in Germany Christmas is celebrated on the 24th). The German department and English/Chinese department will have their own Christmas parties, during which the children perform their Christmas program, everyone sings Christmas carols, and all families enjoy a Christmas dinner together. The children will start rehearsing their Christmas program about one month in advance with the help of teachers. Eduwings is closed for two weeks during Christmas period. For details about the Christmas holidays please refer to our school year calendar.
Spring Festival or Chinese New Year is the New Year’s Day according to Chinese moon calendar, and it is a wide spread-out New Year tradition in Mainland China, Taiwan and other Chinese communities all over the world. Chinese New Year customs are: having a New Year Eve dinner with dumplings and rice balls, hanging up spring festival couplets, singing songs, and visiting temple fairs. We will decorate group rooms with the Chinese character “Fu” (happiness), and spring festival couplets. Teachers and children will make creative “Fu” characters together, and hang them up in their group rooms. Older children will do paper cutting crafts and put them up as window decorations. In morning circle the children listen to stories about traditions of Spring Festival and look at pictures showing the most common customs like Chinese New Year’s Eve and lucky money. The children also learn how to make dumplings. In some years we prepare a show with the children 3 weeks in advance. Each group prepares something different, e.g. sing a New Year’s song, or perform a dragon dance or play. We welcome the Chinese New Year together by celebrating a Chinese New Year Party with many fun games and traditional Chinese activities with the children. Eduwings is closed for two weeks during Spring Festival. For details about our Spring Festival holidays please refer to our school year calendar.
Easter is an important Christian festival. It has the meaning of rebirth and hope. Both the English and German department will have an Easter picnic together during Easter time. During this event families can enjoy the nature in spring time. Eduwings kindergarten will choose the best location for the picnic according to the weather and set date for the event. We prepare exciting games for the children – and their parents – (parachute and ball games, badminton, rope jumping, hula hoop, etc.). Besides, all children can participate in our “Easter Egg Hunt”. We warmly invite all families to attend the Easter Picnic, and encourage parents to bring traditional food of their home country to share with all families. This increases the communication between families and the understanding of different cultures. Eduwings is closed for two weeks during Easter vacation. For our detailed vacation planning please refer to our school year calendar.
Dragon Boat Festival is on the 5th of May according to the Chinese moon calendar. The most important customs are dragon boat races and eating rice dumplings (so-called zongzi). During morning circle the Chinese teachers tell the children stories about Dragon Boat Festival and its origins. We also organize interesting activities such as crafting dragon boats and scented sachets. Through this event the children can learn about and experience Chinese traditions and culture. At lunchtime children eat rice dumplings provided by our kindergarten.
International Kid´s Day is on June 1 of every year. To honour the children, on this day we prepare particularly fun and exciting activities for our students to enjoy. In some years we organize full-day field trips to different places (Wali Park, Beyou) or organize a big party for them in our yard (jumping castle, ball pool and more).
Preschool Sleepover will take place in summer each year. The preschoolers will sleep outdoors without their parents, so as to prove their independence, courage and their readiness for school. During the sleepover the children are of course accompanied by their group teachers, who help them with the camping experience in nature (putting up tents, make their beds, fetch water, etc.). The children camp on a farm near Beijing, where they can play in the woods and in the yard, and enjoy nature for 1 day and a half. During day time the children play outdoors, and explore the nature together with their teachers. At night, both children and teachers sleep in tents. Fresh meals are provided during sleepover. Children may bring additional food and snacks if they wish, and also their favorite soft toy. On the day after the sleepover parents surprise their “big” children with a home-made lunch which everyone will enjoy together in school when the children are back. During lunch the children have the opportunity to proudly show their parents the pictures of the sleepover and talk about their great experiences in nature.
The Graduation Pool Party is held at the end of each summer semester. Eduwings organizes this event at a location with an outdoor pool. During this event we present a review of the kindergarten year and watch a special program which the children usually start prepping three weeks in advance. Each group prepares a little performance that suits the age of the group’s children. Parents are welcome share ideas for the performances and help us to practice. We also take the opportunity to thank parents during this event for their great support and cooperation. Another highlight of the Summer Party is the moment when the children who will graduate soon will each receive a school cone, which in Germany is a symbol of graduation and has a long tradition as a means for sending best wishes for a beautiful future the soon-to-be first graders. After watching the yearly review, the performances and the graduation ceremony, everyone enjoys a lunch buffet, for which all families bring some food to share, and then everyone can refresh themselves in the pool.
Summer Camp After our summer semester has ended, it is time for the Eduwings Summer Camp, which is free for all Eduwings students. Siblings or friends are also welcome to attend the camp. For more details about Summer Camp please contact us directly or refer to our related information material.
A popular theme during Summer Camp is “water” because it goes so well with summer time, but also other themes are possible. The children can look forward to art projects, experiments, outdoor activities, and many more fun and exciting activities and offers. During Summer Camp, the groups may be mixed differently or combined. This is a good opportunity for the children to communicate and understand each other better. This is in particular helpful for children who will transfer to another group after the summer holidays. There will be one field trip in each week of Summer Camp, so that the children can get to know Beijing and its environment better.