Wednesday, January 22, 2014

5 Chinese New Year Crafts With Links To Even MORE

I am thrilled that my darling daughter is proud that she was born in China. She knows quite a bit about the culture and one of the holidays she loves the most is the Chinese New Year. On January 31st, people from all over the world will be ushering in the Year Of The Horse; this starts a 15-day holiday which ends with Lantern Festival.  Diva and I always do a lot of crafting, preferring to make our own decorations rather than buying them. Here are a few of our favorite crafts:

1.  Red Paper Tube Firecrackers – Throwing firecrackers is supposed to ward off evil spirits during the holiday and strings of firecrackers are a common decoration. For this craft, you'll need some red construction paper, white yarn, scissors, tape and gold glitter glue or gold glitter and glue. 
  • Cut the paper into small cylinders about the size of a toilet paper tube. I got 4 tubes out of one sheet of construction paper. Tape the end so it stays.
Firecracker decorations - no gunpowder and they're silent!

  • Decorate the outside of the tube. In the photo above, I used glitter and glue because it's what I had in the house. Glitter glue would have been much easier.
  • Tape yarn inside each tube and then string together. The more, the better.
2.  Red Paper Chains - Those simple paper chains you made in kindergarten are great, frugal decorations! Cut some strips of red paper, tape or use glue sticks to secure the ends, and put them together. By making them in red, you're covering not only the Chinese New Year but Valentine's Day as well. This is a great craft for even the littlest kids. 

Not the most intelligent-looking beast.

3.  Shoe Print Horse - Here's a great way to recycle at least one brown paper shopping bag. You'll need a shoe (the bigger, the better), a bag, tape, a sheet of black construction paper, a black marker, and scissors. If you want to make it a little fancier, you could use yarn for the mane instead of black paper.

  • Trace a shoe on the blank side of the paper bag; cut it out. The heel or narrower part of the shape will be the top of the horse's head. Also cut out a long triangle for the neck and small triangles for ears.
  • Tape the long triangle onto the head and the two ears to the top of the head.
  • Cut off a strip of black paper for the mane; it should be a bit longer than the triangle for the neck.  Fringe the strip of black and tape it onto the neck. I played with mine a bit so it looked a little "wild."
  • Draw eyes and nose with the marker.

Fringing the lantern.

The finished lantern.

4.  Paper Lantern - This is the classic that many kids learn in preschool or kindergarten. You'll need colored paper, scissors, and glue, tape or a stapler.
  • Fold the paper in half, making a long, thin rectangle.
  • Snip a bunch of cuts long the fold line (kind of like long fringes), but don't cut all the way to the edge of the paper.
  • Unfold the paper and glue, tape, or staple the short edges together.
  • Cut another piece of paper and attach as the handle. 

5.  Chinese Fan - Sure, it looks like an ordinary fan, but add some glitter (which I did not do), use red paper (which I ran out of), and it comes in mighty handy to hide behind when Mom asks you to put away your arts and crafts supplies. You'll need paper, crayons, and tape.
  • Decorate the paper.
  • Start folding, alternating the direction of the fold. 
  • Bring the bottom together and tape so you can hold 
  • Find the nearest menopausal woman having a hot flash and start fanning.

Want to learn about the Chinese New Year and make even more stuff? Here are some additional resources you might like:


Thanks for reading!

Hmmm...Diva recently joined our local gymnastics team and I've been researching sites for gymnastics-related merchandise as well as ways to help a child cope with competing. It's not just about the scores. Anyway, please come back and I'll share what I've found.

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