Here's a roundup of the exciting and engaging crafts and activities I tried with Miss 21 months to celebrate the Chinese New Year!
I hereby declare that there's no better way to introduce young children to Chinese heritage, culture and traditions than these hands-on craft-making and learning activities.
Afterall, Dr Maria Montessori believed that “the hand is the instrument of the mind". By doing with their hands, their minds are remembering, learning and engaging in multi-sensory exploration.
12 Exciting Chinese New Year Toddler Crafts and Activities for Toddlers!
These were the easy crafts I made with Miss 21 months for Chinese New Year. Making these really got me into the festive mood!
- Firecracker Craft
Chinese New Year firecrackers are lit in many parts of the world to usher in the new year with loud bangs. Chinese myth has it that firecrackers chase away the "Nian" monster to keep families safe.
To introduce this interesting custom to Miss 21 months, I worked on this DIY Chinese New Year firecracker toddler craft project with her.
- Interactive Blinking Dragon Craft
In Chinese culture, the dragon is a symbolic creature held in high honor and it is common to see the dragon dance performed during Chinese New Year (CNY).
My toddler and I crafted a dragon craft with interactive, blinkable eyes, inspired by the custom to 'open up' the dragon's eyes prior to the dragon dance ceremony.
- Interactive Blinking Lion Dance Puppet
The Chinese lion dance is one of the most important Chinese New Year traditions and they are typically performed to bring prosperity and good luck for the new year.
I made this Chinese Lion Dance Puppet Craft to introduce this Chinese tradition to my toddler and we had fun doing puppet play!
- Mandarin Orange Patterned Folding Fan Craft
I made an adorable mandarin orange patterned Chinese paper fan with Miss 21 months in the spirit of Chinese New Year.
The paper fan makes for beautiful home decoration and I tried teaching my little one fan dancing too!
- Classic Red Chinese Lantern
Made classic Chinese red lanterns with Miss 21 months. Made a small tweak to the lantern-making in an attempt to familiarise my toddler with Chinese characters and teach Chinese.
All in the name of making our play environment a Chinese print-rich one!
- Auspicious Handmade Red Banner
Designing Chinese New Year banners with my toddler is one of my favorite rituals for the holiday! It fosters cultural appreciation, preserves Chinese traditions and gives my toddler a sense of achievement to decorate the house in a festive way.
More details here.
- Chinese Rattle (Pellet) Drum
Crafting a Chinese rattle (pellet) drum tops my Chinese New Year activity to-dos with my toddler as it helps her connect to Chinese traditions and be exposed to traditional music instruments.
Explore, learn and have fun with these Chinese New Year inspired activities:
- Dragon Assembly TP Roll
This activity is a fun game for toddlers to literally make head or tail of Chinese dragons and assemble these imaginary oriental creatures so that they can soar into the sky! A fun pre-CNY activity that works on fine motor skills.
More details here.
- Chinese New Year Sugar Free Tart Baking
I made a healthier version of Chinese New Year (CNY) tarts with Miss 21 months which are sugar-free! These sugar-free tarts sweeten my toddler's CNY without the added sugar, so I can rest easy when she cannot resist snacking on them (just like me!)
- Chinese New Year Cornflake Cookie Baking
Cornflake Chinese New Year cookie making requires just a simple 3-ingredient recipe! Miss 21 months could help me out so much with this easy peasy recipe.
These cornflake cookies are crispy, crunchy and sweet. It is no surprise that cornflake cookies are often a favorite with young children (and even adults!)
- Chinese Character Bottle Cap Matching
I created this simple bottle cap matching toddler activity to help Miss 21 months with Chinese character recognition, so she would not feel out of touch with seeing her mother language in its written form.
- 12 Zodiac Animal Learning Board
Chinese New Year is a great time to tell the exciting Chinese Zodiac ranking race story. I made this 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals Interactive Learning Board for Miss 21 months to relate to the story visually and also for early teaching of Chinese character recognition.
Other Amazing Chinese New Year Ideas to Try
- Best 20 Chinese New Year Activities and Crafts for Home and School by CHALK Academy
- 50 Chinese New Year Crafts and Activities by Buggy and Buddy
- Chinese New Year Crafts and Activities for Young Children by Tot Schooling
- Montessori-inspired Chinese New Year Activities by Living Montessori Now
- Chinese New Year Themed Learning Shelf Activities by Happy Tot Shelf
Now we are all ready to ring in the Chinese New Year! I hope you and your little ones are every bit as excited as we are! 新年快乐!
To follow our play adventures, check out @miraculove_sg (Instagram), save our pins or join A Toddler Activity A Day Facebook Group.
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.