Looking for ways to keep the kids occupied during Chinese New Year visitation?
Why not set out some simple crafts that will keep them busy and stop them from raiding the joint and scoffing all pineapple tarts!
These quick and easy crafts are all easily made from materials found around the house during Chinese New Year, so they are just perfect for a last minute kid’s craft – especially if you don’t have any little ones but are expecting visitors who do!
1. Make some goldfish!
Fish are a symbol of prosperity in chinese households, as the word for fish, ‘yu’, sounds exactly like the word for ‘abundance’. Goldfish are especially prized for their bright red or golden colours, and of course, their name in chinese sounds exactly like ‘an abundance of gold’.
- Small plastic bottle or cardboard toilet roll – I used a Yakult bottle and a Yoghurt bottle for this.
- Red plastic bag of the wet market variety
- Tape – I used double-sided tape and masking tape but any form of sticky tape will do.
- (Optional)Leftover paper/card/angpows
- First, cut the plastic bag in half and tape one side of it to the plastic bottle or toilet roll.
- Roll the bag tightly around the bottle or toilet roll so that it is completely covered.
- Fix the bag in place using more tape. Then, stuff one end of the plastic bag into the open hole of the bottle or toilet roll. This will be the mouth of the goldfish.
- Add accents or embellishments using a marker or paper. You can use torn or cut pieces of angpow or paper to form fins and eyes.
- Cut a strip of plastic bag and tie it tightly around the bottom of the bottle or toilet roll. This forms the goldfish tail. You can make the goldfish tail appear fuller by cutting it into strips.
(Optional) If the bottle you use has a narrow neck, you can tie another strip of plastic bag around the narrowed area to make the goldfish head more obvious.
2. Make a festive lantern bunting!
Most households will have these hung up as decorations during the Chinese New Year period. The bold red paper lanterns, with gold words or designs painting on them, are symbolic of a wish for a bright future.
- Used Angpows – try to choose angpows with glittery gold designs on them
- (Optional) Red markers/paint/colour pencils
- You can draw a picture of a lantern on a piece of paper, or use this Chinese Lantern Colouring Page as a template (just click to download the file)
- (Optional) Colour the lantern red – we used red tempera paint for this
- Tear up the angpows and glue them onto the lantern. If you have already painted the lantern red, you do not have to use so many angpow pieces!
- (Optional) We just made one and hung it from a length of yarn, but you can make several of these and string them up to make a festive bunting!
3. Make a decorative Chinese New Year banner!
Scrolls and banners with good luck messages are hung up around the household during Chinese New Year, which creates a colourful atmosphere. For our banner, we made a painting of plum blossoms along with the symbol of spring.
- Black and red markers or paint
- Newsprint or plain paper cut into a half ring shape
- Red or brown paper bag cut into a larger half ring shape (we used pink paper)
- Tape or glue
- Using the black markers or paint, draw a few long lines across a piece of newsprint or plain paper – they may crisscross each other. Add extra short lines as branches.
- Using red markers or paint, make red blotches randomly across the lines.
- Use the Black marker or paint to copy the symbol for ‘spring’
- Glue or tape the finished picture to the red or brown paper bag or pink paper.
- Use the red marker or paint to outline your painting.