Lunar New Year is the most important holiday in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam, and other Asian countries. People worldwide – such as the United States, where my family lives – celebrate Lunar New Year, too. Want to join the festivities? My children and I have compiled the best Chinese Lunar New Year crafts and activities to help you have fun!
My family has learned about our heritage through Chinese New Year crafts and activities. But no matter your background, these projects are great for home and school. Several have printable templates to save time and guide you through each step.
Lunar New Year versus Chinese New Year crafts
What’s the difference between the Lunar New Year and the Chinese New Year? Want to include other cultures in your celebration? Our family’s Lunar New Year ebook is the perfect way to start.
Since we are a mixed-heritage Asian American family, we wanted to create a fun and inclusive activity pack.
This Lunar New Year activity book includes China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Vietnam! While many traditions overlap, each culture has special customs.
Learn why Lunar New Year is a misnomer, plus a mix of calendar science, history, geography, social studies, food culture, and more in this ebook.
Full-color photographs bring the fun facts to life. Then, explore a few activities as a hands-on introduction to culture.
Note: While we generally prefer to say “Happy Lunar New Year” to include other Asian cultures, we use “Chinese New Year” to describe other projects here.
Contrary to popular misconception, Chinese-specific activities do not represent other Asian traditions. Using a broader term would be misleading for the rest of the projects in this article.
Learn more about Korean Lunar New Year crafts and activities here!
How to celebrate Chinese New Year activities with kids
Traditionally, houses are cleaned and decorated with lucky colors, red and gold, for a fresh start to Chinese New Year. In addition, Chinese lanterns and banners have messages of fortune, happiness, wealth, and longevity!
Food is also a huge part of Chinese New Year. Many families enjoy dumplings, noodles, and tuan yuan, to name a few favorite dishes. In addition to crafts and activities, you can also celebrate by reading Chinese New Year books.
Watch these Chinese Spring Festival videos to see the festivals in action and hear popular songs.
Although the Chinese New Year holiday traditionally lasts 2 to 3 weeks, you can make it as simple or elaborate as you like. Do as little or as much as you can at home or school!
Explore this: Inclusive Lunar New Year Lesson Plan for Kids
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Best Chinese New Year crafts and activities for kids
I’ve organized the best Chinese New Year activities into the following categories:
- Chinese culture: red envelopes, banners, lanterns, paper fans, and more!
- Chinese literacy: calligraphy, coloring pages, word puzzles, word-matching
- Chinese zodiac animals: printable animal activities and crafts
Although the internet is saturated with many Chinese New Year crafts lists, we aim for authenticity. Specifically, we have tried to exclude ideas that could be offensive to our culture (e.g., rice sensory bins and stereotypical images).
Chinese New Year crafts about cultural traditions
Printable Chinese lanterns for the Lunar New Year
We love making these easy Chinese paper lanterns with our helpful template. These lanterns take 1 minute to make in just 5 steps! It’s a great craft for a wide age range -preschoolers and even grown-ups. Our template makes the activity accessible to various developmental levels.
Fun printable Chinese red envelopes
Red envelopes 红包 (red packets) are essential for Chinese New Year! Our festive printables feature Chinese characters, including 福, 囍, 寿 or 壽, 家, 春, 好, and 恩, plus Christian phrases for those who are interested.
Download our printable Chinese red envelopes, show your kids Chinese words (translations and instructions included in the printable pack), and decorate them with gold! Bonus: red envelopes with cash are also the gift of choice in Chinese culture.
Chinese New Year banners activity
Pairs of red Chinese banners (couplets) are popular decorations for the Lunar New Year! Our printable Chinese banners also come with information sheets and English translations for kids to learn more about culture at home or school. This activity is great for all ages.
Chinese firecrackers Lunar New Year craft
With red paper and gold tape, you can make lucky Chinese Firecrackers for the Lunar New Year! Firecrackers are fun and cool decorations.
Paper fortune cookie template with printable bilingual messages
Save time and use our template to make paper fortune cookies! Although fortune cookies are not part of Spring Festival celebrations in Asia, they have become popular in Chinese American restaurants. Plus, getting a surprise fortune is always exciting.
Our printable template includes special bilingual English and Chinese proverbs and positive affirmations for kids.
Chinese paper fans craft
Want to make the easiest Chinese paper fans with your kids? You can even turn scrap paper into something beautiful. Learn how to make Chinese paper fans here.
Chinese peach blossom number bonds activity
I love this hands-on math activity from Tot School with Osh! Learn number bonds with Chinese peach blossom flowers. If you don’t have wood numbers and silk flowers, you could recreate this by drawing or making a flower craft.
Yin Yang paper plate puzzle craft
The famous yin-yang symbol represents harmony and balance in Chinese colors. Kids can make a paper plate yin-yang puzzle and learn about the symbolic meaning This could be fun for Chinese New Year or any time of the year.
Chinese paper cutting 12 zodiac animals for Lunar New Year
Have fun exploring the 12 zodiac animals with Chinese paper cutting! Get the convenient paper-cutting kit here.
Paper cutting 春 craft for Chinese New Year
Miss Panda Chinese has a template that you can cut to create a 3-dimensional 春 (chūn / spring) Chinese character. In Chinese culture, the Lunar New Year marks the start of spring. Therefore, Lunar New Year is also known as 春節 | 春节 (Spring Festival). Get the template and instructions here.
Paper plate drum craft for Chinese New Year
Ring in the Lunar New Year with a fun and easy paper plate Chinese Drum craft! Learn how to make a paper plate Chinese drum here.
Learn Chinese characters for the New Year
Happy New Year coloring sheets in Chinese
Coloring can be a calming brain break for kids (and grown-ups)! Download our printable Happy New Year coloring sheets in English, simplified Chinese, and traditional Chinese! *Coloring pages have been updated for 2024.*
Chinese water calligraphy for the Lunar New Year
Calligraphy is a gorgeously artistic writing style celebrated for centuries in Chinese culture. My kids enjoy magic water calligraphy, a reusable and eco-friendly way to explore calligraphy.
Kids and adults can use this calligraphy mat. See examples of using the magic writing cloth for Chinese writing practice here.
Chinese New Year craft stick puzzle for kids
Learn the important Chinese New Year Greeting 恭喜发财 with this festive craft stick puzzle! You can adapt this puzzle to Chinese phrases, too.
Chinese zodiac activities for Lunar New Year
Spinning Chinese zodiac wheel animals activity
To learn the Chinese zodiac, this interactive wheel shows you which animals correspond to which year. Kids love to spin and find the birth year of their friends and family. The printable Chinese zodiac wheel is available in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, and English.
Chinese zodiac animal crafts
DailyNoodles Chinese Activity book includes simple crafts for all 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals!
Chinese zodiac animal matching activities
Here’s a clever Chinese zodiac animal matching activity from Happy Tot Shelf! Line up the Chinese zodiac animals and find their Chinese names.
Whirling paper plate Chinese dragon for Chinese New Year
Do you have extra paper plates? This bouncy, whirling paper plate dragon from Red Ted Art makes Chinese crafts so much fun!
Dancing paper roll Chinese New Year dragon craft
This amazing dragon craft is made from upcycled materials and colored with acrylic paint. Tip: Save your toilet paper rolls! The longer the dragon, the more fortune you’ll have. Learn how to make this Chinese dragon from Oh Creative Day.
Paper chain Chinese dragon puppet craft
This cute DIY Chinese dragon craft is easy to make with a printable template from Pink Stripey Socks!
What are your favorite Chinese New Year crafts and activities?
Please share in the comments below. We’d love to learn about your experience! 新年快乐, 恭喜发财! / 新年快樂, 恭喜發財! Happy New Year! May you have a prosperous new year!