Chinese Lunar New Year is a Spring festival, occurring around January to February each year (which is actually the middle of summer for us!). It always feels like a week long party of dumplings, red lanterns, lion dances, firecrackers and LOTS of noise. So, of course, my kids are fascinated! They love dumplings! They love learning about the symbols and traditions. They can retell (most of) the Chinese New Year story, and are super excited to learn the new animal of the year.
With 2017’s Lunar New Year fast approaching (the Year of the Rooster will kick off on January 28th), I thought I would do a little research on Chinese New Year crafts and activities, to tap into their fascination. (JJ’s already started making paper lanterns, and has plans to set up a shop to sell them, so I can tell she’s keen!)
I found some really awesome ideas, so I thought I would share them here, in case you’d like to start planning too! (And also so I have all these great ideas in one place, making it super easy for me to find them all again next year, lol.)
12 Awesome Chinese New Year Activities for Kids
Is it rude to start an ‘awesome list’ with one of our own activities? Haha! Last year JJ made a cute Hong Bao (red envelope) craft to give out to her friends. She loved making these so much, that she ended up making about a dozen!
Gift of Curiosity has a great idea to recreate a traditional Chinese instrument called the Bolang Gu, or pellet drum.
Or you could make your own Chinese gong like the one on Kid World Citizen! How awesome is it?
Messy Little Monster has a really do-able version of the classic Chinese dragon puppet craft. I love that you can make the head and tail out of the one paper plate.
Check out this amazing sensory tray using red rice and gold chick peas from Tuff Spot Play. My kids would go bonkers if they came home to this!
I love Clare’s Little Tot’s version of Chinese lanterns. The double colour layers make this kid-made craft really pop!
If you want to really up your lantern game however, check out this range of cool DIY Chinese lanterns from Marie’s Pastiche.
Or have you ever thought to make a Chinese lantern out of a mini cheese wheel? Ha! We made these one year – they were fun and yum!
Another ‘healthy’ idea – Make some easy Chinese fortune ‘cookies’ using foil liners, from Laughing Kids Learn.
Perhaps not a ‘traditional’ activity, but how cool is this Chinese New Year inspired slime from Little Bins for Little Hands. Don’t you just want to dig your fingers in and squelch!
This cork stamped Chinese lantern art idea from Let’s Go Fly A Kite looks effective. I love how they used newspaper print for the background buildings too.
These egg carton Chinese dragons from Happiness is Homemade are fabulous! I would add horns to the head too.
To learn more:
Kid World Citizen has a great post explaining the symbolism of the Chinese dragon, including all the animals that contribute to it’s anatomy. Very cool!
Adventures of Adam has a simple retelling of the Chinese New Year story, using printable puppets.
And check out this interactive and printable notebook for kids to use while learning about Chinese Lunar New Year. It features map, culture, traditions, food, and more.