Simple Chinese New Year Craft for Kids

Simple Chinese New Year Craft for Kids

This simple Chinese New Year craft for kids involves collaboration, exploring line and shape and patterns.

In Chinese culture, fish are considered a symbol of luck and good fortune. The Chinese word for fish sounds like the word surplus or abundance. So during Chinese New Year you will see many fish decorations and it is customary to eat fish during New Year feasts to ensure prosperity.

What you will need for this simple Chinese New Year Craft for kids

Fish template
Cardboard
Coloured markers
Hole punch
Yarn
Beads

Click here to print the fish template

Print your fish template onto thin card or trace it onto cardboard scraps.
We reused some cardboard packaging from Christmas presents to create our fish.

My daughter and I passed the fish back and forth to fill in different sections.
This is a great chance to talk about different lines – straight, curved, broken, zig zag, wavy – and shapes. So much vocab!

Once complete, cut the fish out. Use your hole punch to create a hole in the top middle part of your fish.
String some yarn through and thread beads onto your string.
This is a great opportunity to practice 2-part patterns. Red and yellow/gold are dominant colours seen during Chinese New Year festivities.

Hang your fish decoration on your front door to welcome in all the New Year’s good luck!

If you try this simple Chinese New Year craft for kids, I’d LOVE to see! Tag me on Instagram or Facebook.

Looking for more simple Chinese New Year crafts for kids?

Check out my READ + CREATE: Lunar New Year Edition eBook.

A picture of an eBook containing Chinese New Year activities for kids

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Super Simple Kid-Made Christmas Ornaments

Super Simple Kid-Made Christmas Ornaments

A kid-made Christmas craft featuring beaded ornaments

Use the first initials of family members to create these DIY kid-made Christmas ornaments with beads and jewellery wire.
They’ll ensure that everybody is repped on the tree this festive season.

This is one of those projects that requires minimum materials but leads to some maximum engagement.

You will need:

A variety of beads
Jewellery wire or pipe cleaners

How to create your own beaded kid-made Christmas ornaments:

Bend your jewellery wire into the shape of the letter that you want.
This can take some experimentation based on the letter that you are making. Some letters with sharp points are easier to shape AFTER you’ve strung all the beads on.

If you don’t have jewellery wire, pipecleaners work just as well.

Twist one end of your letter to create a “stopper” to prevent beads from sliding off.

Bring out the beads and bead, bead, bead away. We also introduced threadable pom poms and fabric scraps. The fabric scraps had slits cut in the middle.

A kid-made Christmas craft featuring beaded ornaments

My 2 younger ones lost interest in the beading after 2.4 seconds, so I modified the activity for them. I cut their initials out of a cardboard box, let them go to town with watercolour paints and markers and they still get their place on the tree.

My eldest spent a whole morning creating personalised Christmas ornaments for various family members.

Once the beading is completed, twist the end of the wire or pipe cleaner to keep all beads in place.
Add a ribbon and your kid-made Christmas ornament is now ready to hang on the tree.

INCOMING TEACHER TIP:
Names are a perfect place to start getting young readers and writers excited about alla the letters.

As you talk about the names of family members, point out how a name starts with a CAPITAL but is followed by lower case letters.

Most of us Kindy teachers inwardly groan when an incoming student proclaims “I CAN WRITE MY NAME!” And then we watch as they spell their name ALL IN CAPS. It is our job to then unteach this.

We get it. Capitals are much easier to write on the letter formation front. But model it correctly from the start and save time later down the track.

Need more Christmas crafts ideas? Check out my Christmas eBook, The 12 Oh Creative Days of Christmas.

A kid-made Christmas craft featuring beaded ornaments

3 Homemade Advent Calendars for Kids

3 Homemade Advent Calendars for Kids

I’m not gonna lie.
I adore advent calendars for all their numeracy opportunities. Because #teachernerd.
I mean, who doesn’t love a side serve of Maths in their festive season?
These homemade advent calendars are not only sugar-free, but will have kids identifying numbers and practising forward and backward number sequences all Silly Season.

For the third year running, I’m a part of the Craftmas Crew. We are a stellar, international team of crafty ladies who will each share a Christmas crafty project on Instagram during the festive season.
This year, however, there is a plot twist! Craftmas will run across 5 days. Each day has 3 crafty ladies sharing a project and each day is assigned a certain set of simple materials. Again with the Maths, but that will be 15 inspired projects for you to try by the end of the week!

Along with Arielle from Art Camp LA and Rebekah from Heart Art Life, our featured materials are….
DRUM ROLL, PLEASE!
Tissue paper and cereal boxes.

What You Will Need to Create your own homemade advent calendars

Tissue paper
Cereal box
Paint (optional)
White craft glue (PVA glue or Mod Podge)
Yarn

Homemade Advent calendar number 1 is a mash up of 2 of my most popular posts.
Eric Carle-inspired tissue paper painting meets DIY paper beads.

I’ve outlined all of my tissue paper painting tips in this post.
My number one tip is to not be too heavy-handed with the paint.
Too much paint will make your tissue paper too wet and your paper will disintegrate.

Once your paper is dried and oh-so-crinkly, cut it into triangular strips.
Starting at the wider end, wrap this part around a chopstick or dowel rod. Apply a very thin layer of glue and roll, roll, roll until the end.
Slide your bead off the chopstick and repeat x 24.
Tissue paper is obviously quite delicate to work with so this step involves a bit of experimenting.
Too much glue results in your paper bead getting stuck to the chopstick.

I poke a skewer through an egg carton and let the beads dry upright.

Once your beads have dried, apply a layer of craft glue or Mod Podge to the outer of the bead. This hardens them up nicely.

Once your beads are dried on the inside and the outside, I trimmed the edges off for a more uniform size.
Thread the beads onto a piece of yarn.
I cut a Christmas-tree shape out of cardboard and wrapped the garland around the tree.
I secured the yarn in place with tape.

Each day, kids can remove a bead from your homemade Advent calendar.
Collect the removed beads and transform them into necklaces or bracelets for DIY Christmas gifts.
Or re-string them to create a garland or Christmas tree decoration.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME, SHANNON? AS IF MY SILLY SEASON ISN’T SILLY ENOUGH WITHOUT YOU SUGGESTING I BRING OUT THE PAINT! NO WAY, JOSE!

Okay- I totally hear you!
Homemade Advent calendar number 2 is a simpler, paint-free idea that is excellent for the toddler and preschooler crowd.

Cut open a cereal box and lay flat.
We’re going to create a tissue paper collage by liberally applying craft glue and laying down sheets of tissue paper.
The key to this project is lots of tearing and layering.
Once the surface of the cereal box is covered, apply a coat of craft glue over the top of your tissue paper collage.
This helps to seal it.

Once your collage is dried, create a diamond template and trace this onto your box 25 times.
Fold your diamond in half to create triangular flags.
I had to place a heavy book on top of my flags, lest they kept flipping open.
Thread yarn between your flags to create an Advent garland.
You could write little messages or activity ideas inside the flags.

I chose to number the flags.
If your child is learning skip counting, you could number every 5th flag. You could number every even flag or every odd flag.
See all the learning opportunities in a simple Advent? Maths for days. Literally.

This 3rd homemade Advent calendar comes from my 12 Creative Days of Christmas eBook.
And it does involve more paint. Sorrynotsorry.

I found these sweet little envelopes in the local Dollar Store.
We popped them in the salad spinner with some acrylic paint.
Spin, spin, spin and once the paint has dried, fill them with notes, activity suggestions or stickers.

If you do try one of the homemade advent calendars, I’d LOVE to see. Just tag me – @ohcreativeday – on social media.

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Upcycled Necklace Craft for Kids

Upcycled Necklace Craft for Kids

This necklace craft for kids is brought to you by two things- 1) my hoarding of recyclables and 2) my fave new art supply.

This post is sponsored by Pilot Pen Australia

People frequently ask me about my must-have materials when it comes to crafting with kids. I always recommend washi or decorative tape as a craft cupboard staple.
We go through a fair bit of washi tape here and whenever we get to the end of the roll, I keep the cardboard core.
For a loooooong while, I wasn’t sure why I was keeping all those cores. My inner-creative lady knew that one day the project would reveal itself.
And reveal itself it did.

NECKLACES!

I teamed these cores with Pilot Pintor Paint Markers which have recently become my favourite creative supply to use at home and in my READ + CREATE preschooler classes.

Pilot Pintor Paint Markers contain water-based paint. We’ve enjoyed exploring the different colours and different tip sizes.
So far we’ve used them on paper, terracotta, canvas, cotton, rocks, cellophane and now tape cores!
They are a total game-changer.
Because they are water-based, if my children use them too *enthusiastically*, then a simple wipe down removes any trace of them from household surfaces like the dining table or floorboards *ahem*

What you will need for this necklace craft for kids:

Cardboard tape cores
Pilot Pintor Paint Markers
Yarn
Beads

Colour the tape cores with Pilot Pintor Paint Markers as you please. The pens with fine to bold tips are great for this purpose.
Use the pens with extra fine tips to add detail. We did this as a family Saturday morning creative session.
Literally fun for all the family.

If you’ve been around here for awhile, you’ll know that I love arts and crafts as a mode for children to explore problem-solving and tackling frustrations. This necklace project encourages kids to experiment with how they will construct and structure their necklaces.

We used yarn and decorative strings to hold the cores together. My 6-year-old opted to simply thread the cores onto the yarn.
We dug out the bead box and embellished our necklaces with beads and tassels.
The Pilot Pintor Paint Markers also worked beautifully on the beads so we added more details onto the beads this way.

We do love the “more is more” approach at my place.
Bling up your necklace and then wear it proudly.

This necklace craft for kids would be perfect for handmade gifts for family and friends.
You could also Christmasify them and turn them into Christmas tree decorations.

Halloween Paper Crafts: Guest Post from Red Ted Art

Halloween Paper Crafts: Guest Post from Red Ted Art

I’m super excited to have my friend and Oh Creative Lady, Maggy from Red Ted Art, here today sharing some Halloween paper crafts for kids. Maggy also has a rad new book out called Easy Paper Projects. It’s chock-a-block with simple craft ideas that can be used every day and for every celebration!

Over to you, Maggy!

This post contains affiliate links.
Thanks for your support.

Do you prefer spooky or cute Halloween decorations? Today we bring you a selection of little bit spooky Halloween paper crafts for kids and we hope you will find just the right one to make with your kids before Halloween! We have bats and spiders, black cats and monsters! Which one you will choose to make? Remember to have fun with spooky Halloween decorations!

A selection of halloween paper crafts for kids.

To start your Halloween crafting, you will need to collect some of the basic materials like:

  • Construction paper
  • Origami paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Markers

Take a look at Halloween paper crafts we prepared for you and make your pick!

  1. Spider are spooky for sure! Get directions how to make these simple 3D spider decorations. They are really easy to make and you can make them with your preschoolers! Older kids will love making them too!
  2. If there are spiders, we have to make a large paper spider web as well! Spider webs are quick to make and your child will be working on their scissor skills as a bonus!
  3. Did you watch Nightmare Before Christmas movie? We have a perfect craft to make after watching this movie with kids! This easy to make Halloween wreath will surely leave visitors spooked!
  4. Another have to include theme when it comes to Halloween are bats! We have an easy origami bat craft that even children who never did origami before can make!
  5. When we look at the dates around Halloween, we can’t skip the Day of the Dead! We have prepared a tutorial for sugar skull corner bookmarks kids get to make and color in their preferred color combo!
  6. Black cats are something you can’t avoid around Halloween! Invite kids to make and then play with these cute black cat finger puppets! Lots of pretend play incoming!
  7. Paper skeleton puppets can be made super fast with provided template. It will be fun for your children to decorate them and play with them when they complete their puppets.
  8. We can’t forget ghosts! Of course, ghosts always make their appearance around Halloween. Make a quick ghosts garland to decorate your home or classroom! Spooky and fun!
  9. Never enough bats? We have another simple bat craft you can create with kids! Use them as a decoration, link them into garland or glue them in Halloween invitations!
  10. Halloween, monsters…. Yes, we can’t forget Frankenstein! You can make a Frankenstein suncatcher to decorate your windows and spook kids as they come to trick and treat!
  11. Bonus craft idea: Make Frankenstein paper toy! Kids can play with this toy while you prepare everything for your guests!


Be sure to check out Maggy’s new book, Easy Paper Projects. In this book you can find many simple paper craft ideas for every day and every holiday. Have fun crafting with your kids all year round!

Get your copy today
Book Depository | Amazon

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READ + CREATE: DIY Superhero Capes

READ + CREATE: DIY Superhero Capes

We made these DIY superhero capes weeks ago in my READ + CREATE school holiday classes.
Just this morning, one of my regular little reader/creators rocked up for class in his DIY superhero cape.
Like a boss.
A creative boss who really likes good books.
Below is the little caped legend.
It was such a fun class and simple project that I thought it needed to be shared with the Interworld.

Every year here in Australia, Book Week carries a theme set by the Children’s Book Council of Australia.
This year’s Book Week theme was “Reading is My Secret Power.” To tap into this awesome sauce theme, we read two books about superpowers and created our one-of-a-kind capes.

READ: Doodle Cat Wears A Cape by Kat Patrick and Lauren Farrell
All the Ways to Be Smart by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys
(Or any book to do with superheroes or the theme of embracing your own unique superpowers.)

CREATE: Personalised DIY superhero capes using permanent markers and watercolour paints

You will need:

A length of cotton fabric- an old pillow case or sheet should do!
Chenille sticks
Permanent markers
Watercolour palette and paintbrushes
Liquid watercolour paints or food dye
Spray bottles

How to make your own superhero capes:

Our DIY capes were approximately 45cm wide across the bottom, 20cm wide across the top and 50cm long.
I folded lengths of fabric in half and then cut out the capes to ensure they were symmetrical.

I cut two little slits on either side at the top of the cape and threaded a chenille stick through each of these slits.
Chenille sticks are easy for little hands to manipulate and save Mums from repeatedly hearing “Can you tie up myyyyyyy caaaaape?”

After reading “Doodle Cat Wears A Cape,” we chatted about our own superpowers.
Using permanent makers we drew visual representations of our superpowers onto our capes.
The permanent marker bleeds through the fabric, so prepare your surface accordingly.

Once you have a design in black marker on your cape, start painting with the watercolour palettes.
When using watercolour palettes, I always try and instruct children to “load up their brush with colour.” To do this, we swish our brush around in the colour and count to 5. (Sometimes I even say to 10.) This leads to brighter colours.
I didn’t give many instructions at this stage- children applied colour as they so desired.

Then we took our capes outside.
Awaiting us were spray bottles filled with liquid watercolour paint.
These paints can be expensive but are a fab investment.
If you’re not keen to invest, then watered-down food dye also works.

The instruction at this stage was to cover the cape with colour.
I advised that the children spray from a height to disperse the colour more easily.
If you spray at close range, the colour coverage is not so great and the paint bounces back towards you.
But this stage is also a fun one for experimenting- so let the children play around with their technique and take risks.

I also suggested that the cape shouldn’t end up soaking in paint. When you hang the cape up to dry, all that excess liquid will run and drip off. It could lead to a cool effect. Or it could leave everything brown. Creating comes with so many unknowns!

The other trick is to make sure that the colours in the spray bottles are complementary. We used blue, purple, red, pink and orange. Too many colours and you could end up with khaki green capes. (Look, no disrespect to khaki green, but…)

Once your DIY superhero cape is dried, go forth and unleash your awesome onto the world.