Are you looking for ideas for celebrating the Chinese New Year? Story Massage is a positive touch activity for children and adults. Here is a sensory story for Chinese New Year. It was written on a recent training day by Eileen Pace, Karen Rowbottom and Clare George (pictured below) as an introduction to a school topic. “The story can be shortened for our children with special educational needs or younger children,” says Eileen, “That’s the joy of Story Massage – it can be adapted so that everyone can enjoy the benefits.”
Chinese New Year – The River Race
The Chinese Zodiac is a cycle of 12 years, where each year is represented by one of twelve animals. This massage story is based on ancient Chinese mythology. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor organised a swimming race to decide which animals were represented in the Zodiac and in what order.
The Chinese Zodiac Race
Long long ago, the Jade Emperor gathered all the animals together to tell them his plan. (Circle)
There would be a race on river the very next day. The river was hard to cross, so it would be a real challenge. (Sideways Wave)
The first twelve animals to get across the river would have a year of the Zodiac named after them. (Circle)
That night while the other animals were laughing and chatting, the rat had an idea. (Bounce)
He sneaked away and hid behind a tree. (Calm)
The next morning the animals were all lined up and ready for the race. (Calm)
There was the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the goat, the monkey, the rooster, the dog, the boar … (Walk)
But where was the rat? (Calm)
One, two, three… go! (Drum)
The race began. The animals swam as quickly as they could …(Drum)
The ox was in the lead when suddenly … (Calm)
The rat jumped out from behind the ox’s ear and landed in the Emperor’s lap. (Bounce)
The rat had won the race .. (Circle)
And so the first year of the Zodiac was named after him. (Circle)
The Emperor was very pleased with the swimming race (Fan)
The sky was alight with fireworks to celebrate the new way of measuring time. (Fan)
We are now at the start of the year of the rooster. (Bounce)
Do you know where the rooster came in the race? (Calm)
He came in tenth place. So we are in the tenth year of the Zodiac. (Circle)
More about Story Massage
Ten simple massage strokes form the basis of our Story Massage book, resources and training. These strokes have a child friendly name, such as The Drum or The Circle, and an easy to recognise symbol making it fully accessible for all ages and abilities.
If you would like to introduce Story Massage in your home or work, then we hold a one day training course that is held around the country for individuals and groups. On these days we teach the Story Massage strokes and then work with you to adapt familiar stories and even create some sensory stories of your own. Ideal for anyone interested in sharing peer massage and positive touch ideas for children and adults of all ages and abilities. We also offer in-house training options. All the information is here: Story Massage Training
“Story Massage should be part of every school and nursery curriculum.” Rebecca Charlett, holistic therapist and supply teacher.
“The training day is a must. Brilliant day. Lovely atmosphere. New ideas. Positive outcomes. Ideal for our clients who love sensory stories.” Nicola Millward, day service officer at a day centre for adults with complex needs.
“Story Massage ticks all the boxes! It is a valuable part of the sensory curriculum as it has so many benefits including developing communication and awareness of surroundings. It is a fun and beneficial activity to use for achieving P-Scales.” Eileen Pace, teacher at a school for children with PMLD and vision impairment.