5 Fun Chinese New Year Activities for Kids
Chinese New Year is the biggest and the most important annual celebration for the Chinese people. It falls on the first day of the first month of the Lunar Calendar, which is different from the Gregorian calendar that we use day-to-day. It is also the busiest time of the year filled with activities that can start two to four weeks before the actual festival begins and lasts for fifteen days.
Customs include spring cleaning before the New Year’s Day, a reunion dinner with family on the eve of the Chinese New Year, and visiting relatives and friends. Chinese New Year can be enjoyed by everyone who traditionally do not celebrate the occasion. There are plenty of Chinese New Year activities for kids to do in the classroom, at home, or in the community. Here we share five of them:
Make Chinese New Year Crafts
3D Year of the Dog Chinese New Year Card. Source: Taobao
Lion dance, firecrackers, lanterns, gold ingots are some elements usually seen during the Chinese New Year festival. Children can make some really fun Chinese New Year crafts at home with these simple household items:
- Dog hand puppets from coloured A4 paper
- Firecrackers from rolls painted in red
- Dragons from egg cartons painted in red, yellow and orange
For instructions on how to make Chinese New Year crafts for kids, click here.
Also learn to make paper lanterns, fortune cookies and Chinese fans here.
Or simply creating your own Chinese New Year cards using lucky colours for the card and the envelope. Do you know what colours are considered lucky in the Chinese culture?
Make Dumplings or Glutinous Rice Balls
Dumplings are often eaten during festive occasions in China. They are easy to make and can be made using different fillings. For a sample recipe, click here.
Another popular dish is glutinous rice balls, also known as tang-yuan, sweet dessert made from flour and can be presented in different colours. Tang-yuan is eaten on the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year, known as the Lantern Festival. Click the image above to watch how to make tang-yuan.
Read Chinese New Year Stories
Learn about the customs and traditions of Chinese New Year through books and illustrations:
- Learn about the custom of children receiving red packets or lucky money in Sam and the Lucky Money
- Learn about the preparations to welcome the New Year, such as cleaning the house and getting a haircut in Bringing in the New Year
- Learn about the Reunion Dinner on the eve of the Chinese New Year in A New Year’s Reunion
Click here for more Chinese New Year stories for kids.
Go To Chinese New Year’s Events
Sichuan Opera’s Face Changing Art. Source: China Daily
Participate in Chinese cultural events in your neighbourhood. Chinese Cultural Centres will usually run some free cultural workshops, such as calligraphy, tea ceremony, or Chinese painting classes. You may also be able to find Chinese New Year Cultural Day being held in your city. The day will usually be filled with traditional Chinese performances, such as martial arts show, lion dance, and face mask changing art.
Sing Chinese New Year Songs
For children learning Mandarin, it is a good time to learn to sing Chinese New Year songs. These songs are a good source of information about the Chinese New Year’s customs and traditions. Click the image below to watch the music video.
guò xīnnián zhēn rènao
fàng ya fang biānpào
dà hóngbāo yāsuìqián
cāicāi yǒu duōshǎo
gōngxǐ yéye dàfācái
xīnnián zhēn rènao
Click here to learn more Chinese New Year songs.