小星星 (Xiǎo xīng xīng / Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) is the bedtime song for my kids, so my daughter knows the lyrics all too well. I made this 小星星 craft stick puzzle for her last year, and it’s one of my daughter’s favorite DIY puzzles! I have a “busy basket” of all the craft stick puzzles I’ve made, and my daughter can work independently on them. I’m a big fan of incorporating Chinese with puzzles so that kids can review Chinese characters in a fun, hands-on way!
I’m glad that I didn’t write about this particular puzzle until now so that I can show you tips I’ve learned since making the original puzzle!
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What you need for the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Craft Stick Puzzle:
- Star stickers
- X-acto knife
- Natural Jumbo craft sticks, natural mini craft sticks (we used these), or colored craft sticks
- Paint brush
- Black acrylic paint – Note: It dries quickly and leaves a vibrant color, but please note that the smell is rather strong when the paint is wet
- Circle template – We love this set from Learning Resources and use the smallest circle for the labels
- White address labels
- Black pen
- Download the song from wonderful Chinese music album for children, “A Little Mandarin“!
How to make 小星星 (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) Puzzles:
- Decide on the number of craft sticks to use
- Since the song has 28 Chinese words, I recommend using 7 or 14 craft sticks for the song lyrics
- You could use 28 craft sticks and have 1 word per stick, but I feel like that is too many craft sticks
- You can use 14 craft sticks to have lyrics divided between the top and bottom of craft sticks
- The most cost effective option that we chose was to 7 craft sticks and have lyrics divided in the front and back of the sticks. This would also make the puzzle more challenging!
- Paint craft sticks black
- Allow paint to dry
- Using the smallest circle in the circle template, trace 28 circles
- Write 小星星 song lyrics (included at end of this post for your reference) with black pen
- Cut out labels and tape to craft sticks.
- Affix stickers throughout puzzle and cut with X-acto knife.
- Demonstrate how to complete the puzzle.
- Mix up puzzle pieces. As the child solves the puzzle, he or she might read or sing the song!
- Note: The lyrics and the stickers serve as controls for each other for completing the puzzle!
The next two photos are my “old” version of the craft stick puzzles. I previously used a black marker to color the craft sticks. You can also see how the the first stanza of the lyrics are 7 craft sticks; the second stanza is on the back.
Side-by-side comparison of two versions of the 小星星 (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) craft stick puzzles
At the top is the marker version after one year of intermittent use! In contrast, I painted the bottom puzzle with black acrylic paint, and therefore, the star stickers and Chinese characters really pop! I highly recommend using paint instead of marker so these craft stick puzzles can look great for a long time!
小星星 (Xiǎo xīng xīng / Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) Lyrics
I typed up the lyrics for 小星星 (Xiǎo xīng xīng / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) in English, Chinese, and Pinyin for my daughter. We keep all song lyrics in a binder for convenience, and you can see an example of it in my review of Stream of Praise Chinese Christian music. Feel free to download the pdf files in both Chinese scripts:
- 小星星 (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) Simplified Chinese Lyrics with Pinyin and English
- 小星星 (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) Traditional Chinese Lyrics with Pinyin and English
Note: I included an English translation of the Chinese lyrics since the Chinese words are a bit different from the original English version that you are familiar with!
For quick reference, below are the lyrics for 小星星 (Xiǎo xīng xīng / Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) in English, Chinese, and Pinyin.
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