Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) marks the start of the lunar calendar and new Zodiac year. It is one of the most important holidays in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and other Asian countries. For a fresh start to the new lunar year, houses are cleaned and decorated with lucky colors, red and gold. In addition, lanterns and banners have messages of fortune, happiness, wealth, and longevity! To celebrate Chinese New Year, I have put together a list of engaging Chinese activities from websites dedicated to children’s education. I hope your family has fun with these Chinese New Year activities for kids of all ages!
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Hands-On Chinese New Year Activities for Children
1. Montessori-inspired Shelf of Chinese New Year Activities
Happy Tot shelf has an entire shelf of DIY Chinese New Year activities. Chinese New Year activities include Zodiac animal matching and learn how to read 狗 (gǒu / dog) in Chinese. Click here to visit to see details of each activity on Happy Tot Shelf!
2. Rainbow Paper Fortune Cookies
Although fortune cookies are not traditional Chinese food, they are a common staple of Western Chinese restaurants and filled with special messages on the inside! Check out the fortune cookie DIY instructions and video tutorial using colorful printer paper!
3. Chinese New Year Activity with Cardboard Tube Chinese Firecrackers
With cardboard tubes and red envelopes, you can make your own lucky Chinese Firecrackers for Chinese New Year! This is one of many great cultural crafts from Chinese American Family.
4. Chinese New Year Banners
Although Chinese New Year banners are typically red and gold, we had some fun with rainbow colors! You can download the free printable banners in simplified and traditional Chinese from this article.
5. Dancing Paper Roll Chinese Dragon Craft
Vibrant dragon craft made from upcycled materials and colored with acrylic paint! Save all of your toilet paper rolls, because longer dragons = more fortune! 🙂 This is one of the many wonderful ideas from Oh Creative Day!
6. Yin Yang Paper Plate Puzzle
The famous Yin Yang symbol represents harmony and balance in Chinese colors. This paper plate puzzle is a creative way to learn about yin yang! It’s a fun activity for Chinese New Year, but you can do it any time of the year!
7. Whirling Paper Plate Chinese Dragon for Chinese New Year
Chinese Dragon crafts just got more fun with this bouncy, whirling paper plate dragon craft from Red Ted Art!
8. Paper Plate Chinese Drum for Chinese New Year
Ring in Lunar New Year with a fun and easy paper plate Chinese Drum craft! Check out the DIY details at Gift of Curiosity.
9. Chinese water calligraphy
Chinese calligraphy is a beautiful and artistic form of writing that is highly respected in Chinese culture. Your kids can have fun with magic water calligraphy, a reusable and eco-friendly way to practice writing! Detailed review with examples of how we used the magic writing cloth in this post.
10. Chinese New Year Craft Stick Puzzle
Learn the important Chinese New Year Greeting “恭喜发财” with this craftstick puzzle from CHALK Academy!
11. Chinese Red Envelope Free Printable
Red envelopes (also known as red packets) are extremely important for Chinese New Year! Download the free printable and decorate with glitter glue and rhinestone stickers! Characters options include 福, 囍, 寿 or 壽, 家, 春, 好, 恩.
12. 3-Dimensional Paper Cutting 春 Activity for Chinese New Year
Miss Panda Chinese has a free printable that you can cut and use to decorate your home for good luck! In Chinese, Lunar New Year marks the start of 春 (Chūn / Spring). Therefore, Lunar New Year is also known as 春節 | 春节 (Spring Festival) in Chinese. Click here to visit her resourceful website for the free download!
13. Printable Rounded Chinese Lanterns for Chinese New Year
Fortune Cookie Mom has beautiful lantern printables that you can make with your family! Click here for the free printable and DIY instructions!
14. Chinese Zodiac Wheel – Educational Chinese New Year Printable Activity
To learn the Chinese Zodiac, this interactive wheel shows you which animals correspond to which year. The printable wheel is available in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, and English. Click here to learn more about the printable Chinese Zodiac Wheel!
15. Printable Chinese Dragon Puppets
DIY just got easier with these free, fun, interactive, dragon puppet printables from Red Ted Art!
16. Movable Chinese Dragon Paper Plate Craft
17. Chinese Paper Folding Fans
Want to make the easiest Chinese paper fans with your kids? Click here to learn how to DIY!
18. Paper Bag Chinese Dragon Puppet
This is a cute DIY Chinese dragon craft made easy with the free printable from Pink Stripey Socks!
19. Happy New Year coloring sheets
Free printable Happy New Year coloring sheets in simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese! You can download them here.
20. 福 (Fú / Good Luck) Sign for Chinese New Year
Miss Panda Chinese has a free download for the lucky 福 sign that you can hang in your home! You can download the printable from her website here.
21. Chinese New Year Themed Sensory Bin
Young children love to feel different textures. Sensory bins are fun and calming for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners. This festive sensory bin allows them to explore the texture of red rice and use fine motor skills to practice pouring and scooping in festive red envelopes. Visit Gift of Curiosity for details.
If you try any of these Chinese New Year activities with your children, let us know! We’d love to hear how your family celebrates Chinese New Year!
For Chinese New Year books and audiobooks, click here to see our recommendations!
To see other Chinese activities by topic (eg, math, human body, etc), click here.
Happy New Year! May you have a prosperous new year!
Other Chinese New Year resources for children
- Free Happy New Year Coloring Pages in simplified and traditional Chinese
- Chinese New Year books and audiobooks in Chinese and English
- Chinese New Year YouTube videos in Mandarin Chinese
Advice on how to teach kids Chinese
- Tips on creating a Chinese learning environment at home
- Teach Your Child a Second Language at Home with 5 Key Steps
- Raising Multilingual Children as a Non-Fluent Parent: 7 Lessons Learned in 2018
- How To Get Your Child To Speak the Minority Language
- Encourage A Child to Love and Speak the Minority Language with 5 Strategies
- How to Find a Foreign Language Teacher for Your Child
- 5 Reasons Books are the Best Gifts for Multilingual Kids
- Teach kids how to read Chinese
Bilingual English and Chinese Facebook Parent Support Groups
As always, please leave a comment with any questions, and I’ll try my best to answer them! Or better yet, ask other supportive parents in these bilingual Facebook groups:
- Montessori-inspired Kids Learning Chinese and English
- Christian Parents Raising Bilingual Children in English & Chinese
- Raising Bilingual Parents in Chinese & English
Happy playful learning, friends!