Celebrate the Chinese New Year with your children with these 10 Chinese New Year crafts and activities.
Are you celebrating the Chinese new year next week? I like to observe celebrations from around the world with the children as I think it open their eyes to diverse cultures, showing them how people around the world are different but how the basis of many traditions are very similar too. We like to make Chinese style lanterns (which are perfect for practising scissors skills) and eating a Chinese meal. This year, which begins on 3rd February 2011, will be the year of the rabbit so here’s an idea for a craft you could try:
Potato Printing a Rabbit
We used potatoes and carrots to print with to make our rabbit. (Seems appropriate to use carrots, don’t you think?) Carrot printing is great for younger children as the carrots are just right for holding in little hands. Potatoes are a little more cumbersome to hold but you can make easier for the children to grasp if you cut out a handle into the top – as shown in the picture.
This rabbit design provides the opportunity to mix in some maths, as we thought about what shapes we could use to make our pictures. We decided to make a picture using just two shapes: circles and triangles.
I used a knife to cut out a triangle from the carrots, the potatoes were simply sliced in half.
We also talked about size as we used a big shape to make the body, ears and carrots and a small shape for the head, nose and carrot leaves.
We enjoyed having a specific project – working out how to form our rabbits and follow our instructions to create the pictures – but it was great to add in time at for some free style printing too, to see what other designs we could come up with using the circles and triangles.
More Chinese New Year activities
Raise a global child! Exploring festivals from different countries and cultures is a wonderful way to learn about the world. You can see our archive of Chinese New Year activities here.
These paper lanterns are a great way for young children to practise their scissor skills and perfect for decorating the house in time for the Chinese New Year celebrations on February 19th 2015. Red is the traditional celebration colour in China but as the lanterns look so good you might like to make some in your child’s favourite colour and string them up to decorate their bedroom too.
To make one you will need: 2 sheets of paper, scissors, sticky tape or glue (and pens/pencils if you want to add any embellishments)
Following the above pictures clockwise from top left:
Step 1: Fold one sheet of paper in half lengthways
Step 2: Cut lines along the FOLDED length of the paper, but not all the way to the unfolded edge or you’ll just end up with ribbons. I drew lines on the paper for my daughter to follow. She’s just getting the hang of scissors so this was a great craft to let her make something with the scissors which she could pretty much manage all by herself.
Step 3: Open out the paper
Step 4: Add any drawing you like to decorate you lantern.
Step 5: Roll up the lantern and stick the ends together with sticky tape (you could use glue, but you know my daughter won’t wait for it to dry!).
Step 6: Cut a thin strip of paper from the other sheet and stick it on to make the handle. Then string them up to decorate your room
Here’s our guide on how to celebrate Chinese New Year with children.