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
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?
This Chinese New Year craft was inspired by two traditions.
Tradition dictates that Lunar New Year should begin with freshly-cut hair and new clothes.
Fresh start and all.
You should also clean your house on the last day of the year to clear out the bad luck.
And whatever you do, DO NOT clean your house on the first day of the New Year lest you sweep away all the good new luck settling.
(Best excuse ever to not do housework.)
Print out the template and lay out different materials for colouring in.
We used black pens to add details and a combination of watercolour pencils and crayons.
Once coloured in, cut the puppets out and stick to a craft stick.
We also raided our recyclables stash and decorated some boxes with red and yellow items found in the craft cupboard.
These collaged creations formed the “rooms” in a house. My kids pretended that their puppets were moving through the rooms and tidying them in preparation for New Year.
The idea of making a lion dance craft for Chinese New Year has been sitting in the dark recesses of my brain for ages.
I just couldn’t quite figure out what form it was going to take.
And so the concept just hung around as I waited for an idea to land upon me.
Yep. My creative process is very formal. Not.
I attempted to do some firework printing using paper tubes with my kids.
It was a bit of a failure. Thanks, Pinterest.
However, looking at the discarded paper tube paintbrushes, it struck me.
Perfect for a dancing lion’s mouth.
And so the project took form.
What you will need for this Lion Dance Craft for Chinese New Year:
Printable template for lion’s head
2 paper tubes
2 pipe cleaners
Beads, buttons and pom poms
Hot glue gun (for adult use)
Print out your template and colour it in.
Make small cuts into a paper tube at regular intervals. Press down gently to fan these sections out. Dip into paint and set aside to dry.
Once dried, you can cut this toilet roll to about one-third of its size.
Cut out the inner circle of your template. Slide the lion’s head over the paper tube- the “teeth” will prevent the head from sliding off.
At the opposite end of the tube, make 4 evenly-spaced cuts into the tube. This will slide over the tube that forms the lion’s body.
Layer squares of tissue paper together. Cut the centre out and place over the paper tube.This tissue paper will sit behind the lion’s head, forming the mane. Trim the paper as desired.
Paint your second paper tube. Once dried, use a hole punch to cut 2 holes for front legs and 2 holes for back legs.
Thread a pipe cleaner between each hole.
Poke the jewellery wire through the middle of the tube. Secure with a bead on the underbelly. This wire will help your lion to jiggle and dance.
Thread beads and buttons onto the pipe cleaner legs. LOTS of fine motor fun at this stage.
I used a hot glue gun to affix pom poms. (An adult obviously should complete that step.)
Thread beads onto the jewellery wire.
Cut some extra tissue paper to layer over the lion’s body.
This Chinese New Year craft had me asking all the big questions.
Who writes the fortunes that go inside fortune cookies? Are they incredibly wise?
Or is it a team of people who are brainstorming fortunes across a boardroom?
Is job satisfaction high?
Like I said. All the big questions.
This Chinese New Year craft was literally thought up as I sat toying with a paper tube.
At first I considered crafting dumplings because dumplings are life.
Instead, I thought I’d try my hand at writing some fortunes for kids.
Create this rooster craft for Chinese New Year with a simple art process.
Last week I introduced Miss 3 to the process of tissue paper bleeding and it just about blew her mind. Just quietly, it also blew my mind as to how long it kept her engaged.
We then turned the finished artwork into roosters to herald the imminent arrival of the Year of the Rooster.