Make Your Own Chinese New Year Decorations!
Over the last few weeks, students throughout Yew Chung International School of Beijing have been busy making Chinese New Year decorations for the Temple Fair and upcoming festival. Ms Andrea Kang, Years 9-11 Learning Community Chinese Team Leader, shares some arts and crafts ideas that you can do at home!
Chinese New Year is all about coming together as a family. Even if you do not celebrate Chinese New Year in your own home, doing arts and crafts with your children is a wonderful way to connect.
Clay Zodiac Animals (for ECE children)
Online it’s easy to order modelling clay such as Crayola Air-Dry Clay and Model Magic. This is great for kids. For Chinese New Year, try making models of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac and practise saying their names in Chinese!
Rat 鼠shǔ, Ox 牛niú, Tiger 虎hǔ, Rabbit兔 tù, Dragon龙 long, Snake 蛇shé, Horse 马mǎ, Goat羊 yang, Monkey 猴hóu, Rooster 鸡jī, Dog狗 gǒu, Pig 猪zhū
Traditional Paper Cutting (for Primary children)
Paper cutting is a very traditional Chinese activity and paper cut-outs make beautiful decorations. Take a piece of square red paper, fold it twice diagonally into a triangle, sketch out some patterns with a pencil and cut around them. When you unfold the paper, you will have a beautiful pattern that you can then stick on your windows for light to shine through.
Brush Pen Calligraphy (for Lower Secondary students)
Students in Lower Secondary are familiar with written characters and will be able to try their hand at some traditional calligraphy! Using ink and a brush pen (again, Taobao is the place to look!), try writing fú (福) meaning “fortune” or chūn (春) meaning “spring” on some red paper. If you’re feeling ambitious, take a longer strip of paper and try writing a chengyu (a four character idiom). These can be stuck to doors, cupboards or walls. My family home is filled with them!
Lantern Decorating (for Upper Secondary)
You can buy undecorated paper lanterns online. These are a great thing to decorate. Using your brush pen and ink, try writing characters on these lanterns, then put a light inside and suspend around your home.
Activities for the family
Aside from arts and crafts, there are many wonderful ways to enjoy Chinese New Year with your family this year. Try making and folding dumplings at home! You can take a look at some videos online to learn how to fold the wrappers, and the fillings are really very simple. I can also recommend exploring some of the temple fairs that will be taking place in the parks around Beijing. Near us, Chaoyang Park hosts a family friendly temple fair every year. Last but not least, make sure you wish your Chinese colleagues and friends a “xīn nián kuài lè!”