Red & Gold: Simple Chinese New Year crafts for kids
A couple of years back we made the decision as a family to start celebrating Chinese New Year. Ok, it was kind of my idea but I knew I could convince my son and at the time my daughter was too small to complain so it was a bit of an easy win. My reasoning is this, winter is pretty dull, cold and boring so we need more cheerful bright stuff to make it a bit more bearable. Chinese New Year is all about red, gold and most importantly, eating Chinese food. Every year the kids get busy making Chinese New Year crafts to decorate our house with and then we all sit down together and eat and eat and eat. Perfect! These Chinese New Year Crafts were simple enough to make with my kids who are aged four and seven but older kids will enjoy making more intricate patterns for the fan too.
You will need:
- A large piece of red paper (we used A3 red construction paper)
- Lollipop sticks
- Pens and/or pencils to decorate
How to make Chinese fans:
- Take a large piece of red paper, we used A3 red construction paper, and cut it lengthways into strips around the same length as a lolly pop stick. As A3 paper is pretty long we used two of these strips for each fan but if you are using A4 paper then you might need to use three.
- Next, draw a pattern along each strip of paper - I suggested things like Chinese lanterns, cherry blossom or that we could look up some Chinese letters. What my kids went for was 'some roads' and an intricate Batman scene complete with Bane and the Bat Signal and frankly trying to convince them otherwise was an argument it didn't seem to be worth having!
- Once your pictures are complete fold the paper up concertina style and stick them together so it is now one long piece of folded paper.
- Holding the paper together now wrap some sellotape around one end to hold it all together
- Then using a glue stick, stick lollipop sticks onto each end.
- Carefully open up your fan and it's ready to play with!
Chinese lanterns are a classic craft and we livened it up by using some glittery card for the inside, my daughter, in particular, can't resist anything shiny so she loved the idea of this!
You will need:
- Glittery A4 card (or plain yellow)
- Red A4 card
How to make Chinese lanterns:
- Take two bits of A4 card, one red and one gold glitter (if you can't find glitter card you could use plain yellow).
- Holding the two pieces together cut a strip about 5cm wide from the short side, this will be used to make your lanterns handle.
- Next, take your gold card and cut off another strip about 5 to 10 cm wide along the long side of the card.
- Once you've done that fold the red piece of card in half lengthways and then cut lots of lines through the middle making sure that these don't touch the edges at all.
- Unfold the card and then staple the top of the red card to the top of the gold card, staples will hold this in place much better than glue or sellotape would and while my daughter needed a bit of a hand with the stapler my son was able to use it on his own.
- Next staple the bottom of the red card to the bottom of the gold card, this will push the middle of the red card outwards as it is taller than the gold.
- Curl the card round into a tube shape and staple it into place and then staple on your handle.
- Your Chinese lantern is now finished and perfect for playing with or using as a decoration!
Will you be celebrating Chinese New Year this year? Don't miss Penny's guide to the best Chinese New Year events and celebrations in the UK.