Chinese (Lunar) New Year is nearing and I'm leveraging this festival to organically introduce more Chinese language and culture learning.
For some reason, our favourite dimsum restaurant started giving complimentary fortune cookies once again, so my toddler recently got acquainted with her first fortune cookie. I was inspired to try a fortune cookie paper craft when she asked for more (but we had run out).
This crafting opportunity also sets the stage for print exposure, which promotes language development.
Fortune Cookie Craft For Chinese Language & Culture Learning
Fortune Cookies 幸运饼干
Appearance: The fortune cookie is a crispy cookie with an iconic shape that has a piece of paper hidden inside inscribed with a prediction or affirmation.
Origin: Interestingly, while fortune cookies are prevalently served as a dessert/thank you gesture in Chinese restaurants in the United States (US) and other countries, they might not be not Chinese in origin. It is believed that they originate from Japan, and are popularised by Asian immigrant groups in the US in the late 19th or early 20th century.
Symbolism: The fortune cookie symbolises good luck to the recipient. Some people feel that it shares wisdom through prophecies and affirmations.
- Round, brown paper pieces
- Thin, white rectangular strips of paper
- Dot stickers
- Permanent markers for writing on dot stickers
- Write "fortune slips" on the rectangular strips of paper. I simplified the messages to be Chinese idioms that convey positive wishes like 身体健康 (Shēntǐ jiànkāng / Good health) and 天天开心 (Tiān tiān kāi xīn)
- Write corresponding Chinese characters on dot stickers (1 character for each dot sticker)
- Invite toddler to match dot sticker with Chinese character on the paper strips (idea by Chalk Academy)
- Demonstrate how to make fortune cookie crafts - Position paper strips in middle of round paper piece, fold both sides in, secure overlapping area with tape/glue, fold into half, secure the edges with more tape/glue. Evite has a clear visual for the steps.
Play Extension Ideas
- Pretend tea party of fortune cookies and tea
- Color learning reinforcement (e.g. make red fortune cookies containing slips using Chinese idioms with the word "red" in them like 红红火火 (hóng hóng huǒ huǒ / Overflowing with vibrancy))
- Make a DIY cardboard market (by Chalk Academy) to sell the fortune cookies
- Fortune cookie decoration
- Turn the fortune cookies into 3D festive cards for family and friends
Have lots of fun with this fortune cookie craft and language learning activity! Happy New Year to all!
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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.