Chinese New Year Crafts And Activities

red Chinese dragon puppet

Friday 12th February is Chinese New Year and for 2021 it’s the year of the Ox. This celebration is known as the ‘Lunar New Year’. It starts on the first day of the lunar calendar and lasts for 2 weeks, with each day having a specific activity and traditions. Normally there are lots of celebrations including street festivals, dragon dances, etc. We saw a dragon dance 2 years ago and it was fascinating to watch. You couldn’t help but be entranced by the movements of the dragon and the beating of the drums. This year though sadly, due to lockdown, these events can’t go ahead. Instead we’re going to celebrate at home. We’ve got some Chinese New Year crafts activities planned to decorate our dining area and we’re going to make a home made Chinese banquet! We’re all so excited!

This is what we’ve planned for our meal:

  • Prawn crackers with hoi sin dip
  • Prawn toasts
  • Satay dipping sauce
  • Crispy duck pancakes
  • Spring rolls
  • Egg fried rice
  • Special chow mein
  • Sweet and sour pork
  • Katsu chicken curry (strictly speaking not Chinese but wanted to try it)
  • Fortune cookies

I’ve turned to some of my fellow bloggers for help with Chinese New Year crafts inspiration. I’ve definitely got Chinese lantern bunting on my list to hang above our dining table. Here are some other ideas:

Toilet Roll Tube Lanterns

Anna has shown me this really easy way to make our lantern bunting using toilet roll tubes. They’re perfect for little hands to do and I love the extra sparkle with the glitter. https://intheplayroom.co.uk/2015/02/09/recycled-tp-roll-chinese-lanterns-chinese-new-year/

toilet roll tubes painted red to look like chinese lanterns

Paper Plate Dragon

Helen has suggested this fantastic paper plate dragon. We have a load of paper plates in the cupboard left over from various parties so we can definitely make use of those here. You can really go to town with the gold and embellishments on the dragon. https://www.kiddycharts.com/activities/simple-chinese-new-year-craft-paper-plate-dragon/

Chinese new year crafts dragon using paper plates and a cup

Chinese New Year Shaker

Here’s another paper plate craft, this time creating a shaker! Paper plates, pasta and some craft materials is all you need to make these fun shakers to welcome in the new year. https://intheplayroom.co.uk/2016/01/31/chinese-new-year-shaker/

paper plates decorated for chinese shaker

Red Envelopes

Red envelopes are traditionally given on Chinese New Year with money in. The red colour represents good luck and prosperity. You could have a go at making a red envelope yourself and draw some Chinese symbols for happiness or luck. You could also make pretend money notes to go inside them. https://intheplayroom.co.uk/2017/02/07/red-envelopes-craft-chinese-new-year

Chinese new year crafts red envelope with gold glitter writing

Scavenger Hunt

Sarah-Marie from Tired But Crafty Mummy has put together this great scavenger hunt. Send the kids off to find things around the house that symbolise the different important parts of Chinese culture. I’m going to print this off to keep the kids busy while I’m making our banquet. There is a downloadable PDF of it here: https://tiredbutcraftymummy.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/chinese-new-year-scavenger-hunt

list of items to find for Chinese new year representing important symbols in Chinese culture

Printable Colouring Sheet

Jane from Hodge Podge Days has made this printable 2021 Year Of The Ox colouring sheet which you can download from her website. I think I’m going to print these and put them on the dining table as placemats for the kids to colour in! Here’s the link: https://hodgepodgedays.co.uk/crafts/printables/chinese-year-of-the-ox/

white sheet with black outline of 2 ox and writing for 2021 year of the ox

Chinese Lantern Sun Catcher

I absolutely love these Chinese lantern sun catchers. Don’t they look amazing with the sun shining through them on the window?! My Nan gave us some red cellophane quite recently that she’d found in one of her drawers and now I know exactly what we’re going to use it for. The instructions on how to make these can be found here: https://the-gingerbread-house.co.uk/chinese-lantern-sun-catcher/

black outline of chinese lantern filled with red to make sun catcher on window

Fai Chuns

Fai Chuns are rectangular shaped signs hung on doors and around the home with good luck phrases on them. They are said to warn off the monster Nian who visits on New Years Eve. There are 3 different ways of making these shown in the link here but I particularly like the design in the photo below. https://mummywishes.com/diy-chinese-new-year-fai-chun-3-ways

Chinese writing on a red rectangle Fai Chun

Educational Resources

Mrs Mactivity has got a fantastic assortment of Chinese New Year activities for home and school learning on her page. There are printable craft templates, Chinese writing practice sheets and mindfulness colouring sheets. A brilliant set of resources that I just had to share (although please be aware you do have to pay for membership). https://www.mrsmactivity.co.uk/chinese-new-year-classroom-activities

year of the ox mindfulness colouring sheet

Chinese Dragon Mask

Here’s another paper plate craft that I absolutely love – a dragon mask! Dragons are a really big part of Chinese culture. I think these masks look fab. The kids would love to have a go at doing a dragon dance while wearing them! https://daisiesandpie.co.uk/chinese-dragon-mask-craft-for-kids

red paper plate Chinese dragon mask with tissue paper

Mosaic Chinese Lantern

Here’s another twist on a Chinese lantern craft, this time using mosaic. There’s a free printable lantern template and instructions here: https://www.craftsonsea.co.uk/mosaic-chinese-lantern-craft

red and yellow chinese lantern using square paper mosaic pieces. Chinese New Year crafts project.

Cotton Bud Painted Dragon

This is a great idea for little hands and it looks lovely! Use cotton buds with different coloured paints to stamp the colour on to the page and bring your dragon to life. Here’s the link to the free printable dragon face template and instructions: https://www.craftsonsea.co.uk/chinese-dragon-craft

dragon face template coloured in with paint spots. Chinese New Year crafts project.

Chinese New Year Activity Sheets

Here is another good resource for activity sheets. This one includes Chinese New Year bingo, sudoku, colouring sheets and more. They are all free to download using the code ‘chinesenewyear’ from the link here: https://www.messylittlemonster.com/2021/01/chinese-new-year-coloring-pages.html

selection of children's colouring sheet templates

Dragon Puppet

I absolutely love this dragon puppet! You can really bring it to life by sticking lollypop sticks to each end so it can dance around. Go crazy with the decorating and embellishments. It’s super easy to make with the free printable template here: https://www.messylittlemonster.com/2021/02/chinese-dragon-puppet-template.html

red Chinese dragon puppet

We’re certainly going to have a busy week of crafting! If you make any of these crafts I’d love to see them. Please tag me on social media @mumsfamilyfun. Happy New Year!

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