My toddler and I crafted this DIY fortune bamboo potted plant to decorate our home for Chinese New Year (CNY). It's eco-friendly (made from recyclables), everlasting and easy to store and re-introduce every CNY.
It was also particularly meaningful as I shared with my toddler CNY childhood memories. Exposing her to Chinese traditions and beliefs provides her with a stronger appreciation of her roots, culture and identity.
Why are Fortune Bamboos Popular During CNY?
It is a tradition to visit the flower mart and buy fresh blooms as well as fortune bamboo. They are auspicious plants known for strength due to its rapid growth and resilience, and the presence of home is thought to improve people's luck.
As the bamboo grows, their iconic twisting shapes can look like numerals. The numeral 8 is believed to be "super lucky" / "huat". The number of bamboo in each pot is also symbolic of different things.
One of my CNY childhood memories involve my mother adorning the plant with red strings/ribbons as well as red packet ornaments.
Fortune Bamboo Toddler Craft for Chinese New Year!
This fortune bamboo craft is also wonderful for fine motor development and is an outlet for children to unleash their creativity.
- Big cardboard for drawing the bamboo on
- Colouring materials (paint, markers)
- Red string/ribbon/pipe cleaners
- Brown kraft paper bag + rocks OR twine + upcycled paper container + double-sided tape + small cardbord piece
- Illustrate bamboo plant (desired height) on the big cardboard piece (include stem and leaves, roots optional)
- Paint in green, outline and detailing in black marker ink
- Cut out the bamboo illustration
- If using kraft bag pot, place bamboo craft in the middle and prop to stand with rocks
- If making twine pot, place double-sided tape around the plastic container, twirl the twine rope all around until container is fully covered. Flip container upside down and trace its circular outline on small cardboard piece. Cut it out and trim until it fits into the container. Then, make a slit in the round cardboard piece to insert the bamboo craft.
Ways to Involve Toddler in the Crafting
- Show a real picture of a bamboo and invite toddler to illustrate on cardboard
- Involve toddler in painting and colouring
- If you chose thin cardboard, you could invite your toddler to help cut/trim certain parts of the illustration, the grown-up might need to assist and lead remaining of the cutting
- Add rocks into the pot (Also to pick the rocks on nature strolls)
- Decorate plant with red string/ribbons/pipe cleaners
I hope you enjoy this craft activity with your little one! Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Chinese New Year!
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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.