Over the summer, we made 中国扇子 (zhōng gúo shàn zi / Chinese fan) in lucky Chinese colors, red and gold. The two main types of hand fans are (1) rigid with a handle and (2) folding. Since we didn’t have many craft materials, we made simple Chinese folding fans. While making these easy-to-DIY Chinese folding fans, I showed my daughter a few old folding fans from my parents and grandparents. My daughter had fun touching the fabric and intricate designs! In addition to providing a cool breeze on a hot day, we discussed how Chinese fans were significant in fashion and art. (For those curious about the history of Chinese fans, this article from the World of Chinese is interesting!)
- 风扇 (Fèng shān / fan, electric fan)
- 电风扇 (Diàn fèng shān / electric fan)
- 扇子 (Shān zi / hand fan)
What you need:
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- Red printer paper (Astrobrights is our favorite)
- Gold Sharpie marker
- Gold glitter marker
- Gold glitter glue
- Organza ribbon or curling ribbon
What to do:
- Cut half a sheet of 8″x11″ red printer paper (folded lengthwise)
- Write a message with gold Sharpie; ask your child to trace the characters with Gold glitter marker for writing practice!
- Decorate the paper & with gold glitter glue
- Fold 0.5″ accordion style
- Tie the bottom end with a pretty ribbon!
If you don’t have red paper at home or want to save paper, you can upcycle anything! In the photo below, you can see that we made pretty Chinese folding fans from random pieces of white paper. Also, please note that when we made the fans, we were learning the word 风扇, which is why we wrote it on the red paper. However, that word actually means electric fan. But you can write any words or phrases that your child is learning!
Looking for more hands-on Chinese activities? Click here to see which topic you want to explore with your child!
Looking for Chinese New Year books, audiobooks, and activity books? Click here to see recommendations!
Happy learning, friends!