Geography Adventures: Toronto’s Chinatown

Chinatown in Toronto during Chinese New Year

I always tell my children that one of the best things about homeschooling is the number of field trips we are able to take. It is so wonderful to have the freedom to do some experiential exploration of the things we’re learning about!

This week, we’re going to be studying The Story About Ping to coincide with Chinese New Year. It seems like the perfect week to spend some time learning about and praying for China. 

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I thought we’d kick off the week with a trip to Toronto’s Chinatown so the kids could get a taste of Chinese culture.

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Chinese New Year falls on February 8 this year and all the stores were decked out for the celebration. The markets were bustling and everyone we met seemed to be in a happy mood.  

There were tables overflowing with plump, ripe produce. There were bins filled with dried mushrooms, fish and seaweed. On one corner, a man played an erhu. 

We stopped at a little Chinese bakery for a late morning snack. The Hongkong Island Bakery has amazing buns filled with barbecue pork, barbecue chicken or red bean paste. They also have huge custard buns, coconut buns and deep-fried donuts. And lots of other tasty treats.

After we polished off our snacks and cleaned sticky fingers and faces, we did some more shopping. You can find so many amazing things in Chinatown. Along with some items of clothing, we picked up some jasmine tea, a bamboo steamer and some chopsticks for the Chinese meal we plan on making later on in the week. 

Chinatown has always been one of my favourite places to visit. On the way home, I asked my girls which part of the trip they liked the best. 

“All of it!” was their prompt reply.

I couldn’t agree more.

For a list of books on Chinese New Year, please visit 100+ Winter and Holiday Themed Storybooks to Read to Your Child.

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