10 ways to celebrate Chinese New Year with kids

Chinese New Year

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Friday marks the start of Chinese New Year and the beginning of the year of the horse. Those born this year will be clever, kind, animated and energetic. They are likely to be popular and while they may talk too much, they will have a good sense of humour. If your bub is due this year get them enrolled in acting classes as those born under the year of the horse are talented and love being the centre of attention.

Chinese New Year is a 15 day festival which celebrates many traditions. Here are 10 activities to get you and the kids celebrating Chinese New Year in your house.

1. Paint the town RED!

Red Lanterns craft

Decorating with the colour red protects from evil spirits and bad fortune. The kids can help with this easy peasy red lantern craft from Red Ted Art.

2. Year of the Horse

Hobby Horse

Those born under the year of the horse are strong and stable. They are able to make decisions and will be successful both professionally as well as personally. Celebrate the new year with some horsey fun and games. For those serious crafters pop over to A Beautiful Mess for instructions on how to make stick horses. They are not only beautiful but perfect for backyard horsey races!

If simple is more your go … use a brown paper bag to stitch up this horse from Sprout.

3. Kid friendly ‘fireworks’

Party Poppers

Fireworks are a Chinese New Year tradition but kids and fireworks don’t really mix. Make these DIY confetti-filled ‘poppers’ instead, made with toilet rolls. Super cute, fun and much safer than the real thing. They don’t quite have the cracking noise factor, but the kids will enjoy pulling them to bits and spraying the confetti around. Decorate them in red to match the occasion.

4. Mandarins for luck

Mandarin craft

Mandarins are placed around the home to bring happiness during Chinese New Year. It is important the leaves are still intact and keep the numbers in bowls even as uneven numbers bring unhappiness. It’s not really mandarin season here, though, so for an easy craft idea Buggy and Buddy has instructions for making your own paper mandarins for luck.

5. Scrub the place clean

Kids Cleaning

It is an important tradition you start the new year with a clean house and that all your debts are paid off. So get the kids cleaning. Ha! Funny. Perhaps you can get them motivated with some great ideas from Childhood 101.

6. Let’s eat!

Dumplings

Celebrating New Year with a great feast for the family  is a must. Whip up some Chinese-style dumplings with the kids. Salty soy-sauce dipping is usually a big hit with little diners.

7. Unleash the dragons

Dragon Hand Puppet

Dragons symbolise good luck, long life and wisdom. The dragon dance is performed to scare away evil spirits, so why not get your kids doing the same? Baa Baa Beep has the step by step guide to making a dragon puppet using your tiny dragon’s handprint.

8. Make your own fortune cookies

Make your own fortune cookie

Is there anything better than a fortune cookie? I think not! Try making your own and let the kids write their own fortunes. Check out the recipe at Kleinworth & Co.

9. Throw a party!

Chinese New Year Party

If you want to put the kids to bed and enjoy a more upmarket affair, what about throwing a New Year party? Check out this divine party at Bird’s Party Blog for inspiration. Add a full barrel of rice to ensure prosperity in the year to come.

10. Red envelopes

Red Envelope

Younger members of family are given red lai-see (‘lucky money’) envelopes. Make your own by downloading a template from diy + fyi. Let the kids decorate them themselves, then slip in some cash.