Lunar New Year (also sometimes called Chinese New Year) is coming up (January 22 in 2023), and it’s a great opportunity to get kids interested in a bit of Asian culture.
One of the most common symbols of Lunar New Year is the dragon, which is said to bring luck in the new year.
Adventures in a Messy Life has a great tutorial for an upcycled dragon craft made with egg cartons and other things you might have lying around the house.
Messy Little Monster has a printable dragon mask and a printable dragon puppet, both of which would be fun for kids to cut out, color and play with. The puppet can even be folded in the middle to look like the long dragons that might be used in a parade this time of year.
Of course it’s not just about dragons, and making and playing musical instruments is another fun thing to do when learning about Lunar New year.
Chinese drums are fun and easy to make with minimal materials. Here’s a version using a wooden spoon and an old CD from Activity Village. I also have one on my blog where we made a monkey drum (bolang gu) out of paper plates and a paper towel roll.
Add some movement into your learning by coming up with yoga poses or other moves to mimic the animals of the Chinese zodiac (this idea is from Carrots are Orange). 2023 is the year of the rabbit, which is a pretty easy one. You can find more on the zodiac and which animals represent which years, here.
We’ve also got a collection of Chinese New Year books to read with kids, and you should also check out this fun, easy, classic paper lantern craft. Here’s another good roundup of Chinese New Year crafts for kids if you need more ideas!