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  • Writer's pictureTracy Tristram

Make, craft & bake: Chinese New Year activities for little dragons

The Year of the Dragon is almost upon us (10th February 2024 to be precise) so we're celebrating the Lunar New Year with not only a big pile of our favourite dim sum, but also with these Chinese New Year craft and activity ideas for kids...

Chinese New Year Sensory Bin

Chinese New Year activities
Photography: Happy Toddler Playtime

Textiles, colours and plenty of sensory fun are the name of the CNY game thanks to this lovely activity by Happy Toddler Playtime.

Bunny bobble head

Chinese New Year crafts
Photography: Fireflies and Mudpies

Fireflies and Mudpies bobbed onto our arty radar with this 24-carrot-gold (see what we did there?) craft idea that's perfect for saying goodbye to the Year of the Rabbit.

Pineapple tarts

Chinese New Year activities
Photography: Asian Food Network

One of our favourite part of Chinese New Year? Pineapple tarts! This recipe by Asian Food Network makes for a sweet treat the whole family will love. Did you know that not only are these yummy small parcels of pastry with a pineapple filling wonderful to eat, but they also are said to bring good luck and prosperity to the house? All the wins.

Chinese New Year scavenger hunt

Chinese New Year activities for kids

We created a FREE printable especially for CNY, so click here, print and off you go!

Paper fortune cookies

Chinese New Year activities
Photography: Crafts by Amanda

Kids will love making these little parcels of luck using instructions by Crafts by Amanda. We're also well on board with the fact that these fortune cookies require minimal materials... Scrapbook paper, glue dots and white paper and voila: super-duper fortune cookies!

Chinese dragon puppets

Chinese New Year activities
Photography: Kix Cereal

Chinese dragons are the very epitome of CNY, and never more so than for the Year of the Dragon, so this Kix Cereal tutorial is a winner. Paper plates and cup cake wrappers never looked so cute!

Dragon Ang Paos (aka Ang Pow, Hong Bao and Lai)

Back to our dragons with this adorable video tutorial by Busy Bee Crafts. If ang paos are not something you're familiar with then a quick 101 just for your: Known as red packets to many of us, giving an ang pao is a Chinese New Year tradition that's meant as a gesture of sharing your own blessings. While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how much cash you should be filling the packet with, the amount should never be in fours and nor should the number four appear in the amount. (In Mandarin and Cantonese, the word ‘four’ is similar to the word ‘death’ and is considered unlucky.) Also, the amount of money in the envelope should contain a digit that ends with an even number: odd-numbered packets are associated with funerals. For all the ang pao rules, try this guide by August Man.

Lion dance puppets

Chinese New Year activities
Photography: Raising Veggie Lovers

We have our Chinese dragons, but we also need a lion dance puppet or two to really get in the Lunar New Year feels, so this is an easy one to try by Raising Veggie Lovers. Traditionally lion dancers perform in front of houses and businesses to chase away ghosts, evil spirits and bad luck and to welcome in prosperity. This is all accompanied by gongs, cymbals and drums to provide extra scare tactics against nasty ol’ beast, Nian. Want to get in on the act? Then have a look at this cute beginner’s guide to lion dances by Ireny Draws.

Chinese zodiac colouring sheets

If your little ones don't know the story of the Chinese zodiac why not combine the tale with a free printable by Coloring Home. Not too clear yourself on how the zodiac came about? Well, in a nutshell, and according to ancient folklore, the Jade Emperor (an important god in Chinese religion) organised a race and invited animals from all over the world to take part. As a reward for the ones that showed up, he named each year in the zodiac after each animal. The zodiac would then be based on the order these animals finished in the legendary race.

Chinese lanterns

Photography: The Purple Pumpkin Blog

Chinese lanterns are a huge part of CNY festivities, so we think these pretty ones using instructions by The Purple Pumpkin Blog make the perfect Chinese New Year activity.

Kuih Kapit

Chinese New Year activities for kids
Photography: What to Cook Today

Get into the kitchen for this Chinese New Year activity idea and whip up these crispy, gluten free sweet treats aka Kuih Kapit or love letters. We like this tutorial by What to Cook Today.

Origami Chinese dragon

Chinese New Year Activities for kids
Photography: Red Ted Art

There can never be enough dragons for CNY so we're loving this origami version by Red Ted Art.

You're all set, folks! Now go make, craft and bake your way to a very Happy New Year!

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