Five Facts about Chinese New Year

We present Chinese New Year Facts for you to get in the mood this Spring Festival. New Year is to Chinese what Christmas is to Westerners. It is the biggest festival of the year! Last year we were fortunate enough to be back (home) in China for New Years, but this year we will be here to share it with you. To get in the mood, here are five facts you can share with your children!

1 – Orange Trees and Flowers

Chinese New Year Fruits and Flowers

During Chinese New Year, outside homes, businesses, hotels, everywhere you will see trees of mandarin oranges and potted flowers. Chinese don’t generally decorate with cut flowers, as anything cut represents severing good luck. Instead, live plants and full branches of blossoms are used, with each fruit and flower symbolising different things.

2 – Yuan Bao ( 元宝 )

Yuan Bao

These throwbacks to Imperial China are commonplace in Chinese New Year. They come in all varieties from real gold to imitation. This one pictured actually holds chocolate inside! They are a symbol of prosperity and fortune for the next year.

3 – Happy Birthday! (人日)

Chinese New Year fact number 3 is that on the seventh day of Lunar New Year, everyone grows a year older. Happy Birthday!

4 – The Lion Dance

Chinese New Year Lion Dance

Associated with the creature Nian (年), the lion comes out to feast once a year, during the Chinese New Year. Eating crops, livestock and even people, during the lion dance he visits various businesses, housing blocks etc, where they make an offering of food, hung above the doorway. The lion then scatters the leaves and produces a scroll wishing good luck and fortune.

5 – ChunLian ( 春聯 )

couplet, typically seven characters, on two sides of the door frame, whose content is related to spring. Lexical and tonal rules are always adhered, though not strictly, as chunlian is transformed from metrical poems. Sometimes, concurrently, a horizontal scroll with four to five characters is hanged on the crosspiece of the door. Its content is mostly about the beauty of nature, patriotism of China and their earnestness of a splendid future

The concludes our Five Facts about Chinese New Year. Please check out our Chinese New Year section, where we have some fabulous offerings including children’s books and limited edition mice!

Dragon Boat Festival

Simple Dragon Boat
A simple dragon boat starring a Lanka Kade Dragon, wading through a play board made with Tiny Land Sea Wood Stains, backdrop is a Grimm’s Giant Rainbow.

Today is Dragon Boat Festival 龙舟节直译 (in China 端午节 or Duanwu Festival). For most this means it is time to make zongzi (粽子), but around the world it is better known for the dragon boat racing. I’m going to show you how to fold a quick boat that you can then craft into the more elaborate boat shown above.

What you’ll need:

1. An A4 piece of paper or card
2. Some glue, we recommend Tiny Land Natural Paper Glue
3. Some paint, we recommend Tiny Land Wonderpaints
4. Scissors and paintbrushes.

Part 1: The body of the Dragon Boat

Simple Dragon Boat
Creating a simple Dragon Boat

Dragon Boat 1
Start with a piece of A4

Dragon Boat 2
To make your A4 paper square, fold a triangle and then fold the remainder over. Serrate the edge to make it easy to tear off.

Dragon Boat 3
The remainder tears off

Dragon Boat 4
We are left with a square. This is a great trick as a lot of crafts need a square piece of paper!

Dragon Boat 5
Fold the paper in half

Dragon Boat 6
With the fold on the bottom, fold it in half again.

Dragon Boat 8
Open the fold and fold the bottom corners in.

Dragon Boat 10
Fold the first layer of the top corners in.

Dragon Boat 11
Flip the paper over.

Dragon Boat 12
Fold the top corners of the paper down.

Dragon Boat 14
Fold the layer of paper down.

Dragon Boat 15
Turn it over and fold the other down. At this point you can glue the paper if you wish to make it sturdier, but it’s not essential.

Dragon Boat 16
Et voila! A simple dragon boat that you can decorate.

Dragon Boat 18

Part 2: Decorating and Creating Oars

Dragon Boat 19
Remember that bit we tore off earlier? We can use it to make oars.

Dragon Boat 20
Roll the paper over, then cut a bit off. It isn’t important to keep them round as we will flatten to glue.

Dragon Boat 20
Roll the paper over, then cut a bit off. It isn’t important to keep them round as we will flatten to glue.

Dragon Boat 21
Spread glue along one edge and flatten to dry. Repeat to make 6 oars.

Dragon Boat 22
While we wait for the glue to dry, we can start decorating the boat. Dragon scales are traditional as there is usually a dragon head on the boat. But why not be more elaborate?!

Dragon Boat 23
After the glue is dry, we can round the oars again and make slits. With the leftover paper cut into 6 squares/rectangles, then these slot into the slits. You can glue to stabilise them.

Dragon Boat 24
To glue the oars to the boat, I’ve folded back the top and flattened. You can temporarily hold the oars to the dragon boat with a paper clip or peg while the glue dries.

Dragon Boat 25
And there you go, 6 oars on the dragon boat, 3 on each side. this will help the boat freestand.

 

World Breastfeeding Week 2018

Today marked the first day of World Breastfeeding Week 2018. This year’s WBW theme is Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life. In a world filled with inequality, crises and poverty, breastfeeding is the foundation of lifelong good health for babies and mothers.

Breastfeeding Week 2018
#Breastfeeding is a universal solution that levels the playing field, giving everyone a fair start in life. Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding is crucial for the health of our planet and its people!

But breastfeeding comes in different guises. When most of us think of it we think of nursing; a baby on a breast. But there are many journeys women face, be it expressing milk to feed through syringe, cup or bottle, or feeding with donor milk, or even combination feeding, every journey is different.

We asked the people of Babble to share their stories. Here are introductions to the journey’s of real mothers and links to the full stories. More to follow tomorrow.

Caroline’s story “Twin peaks: my experience of tandem feeding twins”:

“My twins were born at 34 weeks by emergency c-section. My husband got to hold twin A (Hal) while twin B (Conall) tried in vain to escape the consultant’s clutches and hide under my ribs. While Hal wanted out, Conall was definitely not ready to be born yet, a fact which became even clearer when he began to struggle to breathe. He was whipped off to the NNU and straight onto breathing apparatus without my even glimpsing his face. Hal followed shortly afterwards, and it would be almost 36 hours before I’d get to see either of my boys again.” read more

Kate’s storyJust The Two of Us (and the nipple shields)“:

“Before I had my baby girl I was relaxed about breastfeeding; I knew that it was cheaper and burned about 400 calories a day, but formula feeding meant the effort and bonding could be shared amongst the family. If breastfeeding worked then great, but formula feeding has its benefits too.

After I had my baby girl, I wasn’t relaxed about anything. I was exhausted, hormonal, and uptight.” read more

Zoe’s storyThe Boobie Diaries“:

“As a second time mum, I thought I had it all sussed. I fed my son with no problems at all and anticipated the same would happen second time around.

I had a wonderful water birth at home, everything was just as I had wanted it to be. Until my daughter started to feed.” read more

Mayumi’s story “‘A’ Breastfeeding Story”:

Mayumi Forsberg breastfeeding

“I sat for this painting within a month of my firstborn coming into my world. It remains untitled (21 months after conception) as I write…

…It is hard to label. I can’t express easily, the emotion that lead up to this picture-perfect image. The final product looks like a dreamscape. The process behind it was definitely a journey and has provided me with deep-rooted memories. No wonder I find it difficult to give it a name to this day.” read more

More will follow tomorrow 2nd August. Please stay tuned to read the stories.

Part of the Yes Bebe breast feeding series for World Breastfeeding Week 2018: <<read more>>

Green Toys: 100% Recycled Toys

Green Toys are a US brand where they recycle abandoned milk jugs into toys. To date they have recycled 54,609,858* jugs!

Their values
At its core, Green Toys Inc. has always been an eco-friendly toy company. Their motto is that “every day is Earth Day.” They have a strong commitment to sustainability and playfulness and aim to inspire others to share in this passion.

Using 100% recycled materials and keeping their manufacturing based in the US, they raise awareness about sustainability  while delivering unquestionably safe products. They believe that the best way to encourage environmental change is through goods people buy and use every day—and in their case that’s children’s products.

They care about your kids – how they play, what they play with, and what the future holds. They are constantly exploring and innovating to deliver the best products possible for a playful planet for all.

Their Toys
Summer is the perfect time to introduce your children to Green Toys. Perfect water and sand toys; durable and long-lasting to the elements they make fantastic outdoor and even beach toys! There are gardening tools and sand tools as well as their classic vehicles.

They also make fantastic bath toys. Embark on a cruise across the bathtub, navigate the wading pool; even splash around in the occasional mud puddle. There is no end to the Good Green Fun young sailors can have with the Green Toys Tugboat. This colourful craft featuring a red handle floats great and has a wide spout so it can be used to scoop and pour water!

Their building blocks are huge, amazing value and perfect for little hands. The Green Toys Block Set puts an eco spin on a classic toy. Made in the USA from food-safe, 100% recycled plastic, the lightweight blocks are perfectly sized for little hands to grasp, while older toddlers can practice fine motor skills, stacking, colour matching, and more! The Block Set is safe, with no sharp edges or small parts. This super-safe toy contains no BPA, phthalates, PVC or external coatings, eliminating the fear of toxins and lead paint, and also meets FDA standards for food contact, making the pieces safe for teething babies to put in their mouths.

And their range extends into role-playing toys, as well as practical toys and games, puzzles and even books!

Oh and another great point, all their toys are dishwasher safe!

But how are they made?
Green Toys demonstrate that recycling can result in something tangible and meaningful – old can become new. Thesetoys are living proof that milk jugs, just like the ones in your refrigerator and recycling bin, can ultimately end up back in your playroom. This helps close the loop for kids because they can see their own environmental efforts in action.

While recycled milk jugs are the primary ingredient in their toys, we sometimes integrate other types of recycled plastic (think yogurt cups!) when needed to ensure we’re creating the best products possible. All the plastic is collected by waste management, cleaned, shredded into flakes, reprocessed into our raw material, and mixed with food-safe, mineral-based coloring. Voilà, its playtime!

The milk jugs used are 100% post-consumer recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Some products have components made from recycled polypropylene (PP) or recycled low-density polyethylene (LDPE). By using recycled plastic, they divert material from landfills, save energy, and reduce our carbon footprint.

 

 

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

 

Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Fortnight, which is from 26 February to 11 March, helps to bring more awareness to shoppers about where the produce they are buying comes from.

You might be asking yourself ‘What is Fairtrade?’ Well Fairtrade simply means offering fair prices for farmers in the developing world. This enables them to get a sustainable price on the produce they grow and a premium incentive to invest in their own communities.

At Yes Bébé we pride ourselves in stocking quality Fairtrade Toys, Clothing and Food for our customers to enjoy.

Our most recent addition to our website is the Love Cocoa Chocolate Bar range. Love Cocoa is free from refined sugars, gluten, palm oil and other nasties, and in their place, they have poured in a selection of classic and sensational flavours. Treat yourself to a cheeky dark chocolate with gin & tonic, or wake up with a piece of milk chocolate with Earl Grey with your morning tea!

Recently launched this week, our Little Green Radicals Spring/Summer range is made with 100% Organic Fairtrade materials featuring some quirky prints from Frogs to River Friends!

Some reasons why it is worth buying Fairtrade:

  1. Fairtrade means fair prices for farmers in the developing world.
  2. Farmers who get a fair price can invest in their communities and businesses and are empowered to build a better future.
  3. Buying Fairtrade doesn’t have to cost more – there’s such a wide range of Fairtrade products from handmade toys to breakfast bananas that there’s something for everyone.

There are many ways you can be a part of the Fairtrade movement. You can encourage your town to become a Fairtrade Town, or local school to become a Fairtrade School.

It’s time for this injustice of employees to end. Fairtrade Fortnight puts a spotlight on trade. When trade is fair it has the potential to improve the lives of the people who grow our produce.

Little Green Radical Spring/Summer 2018 Range