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Chinese New Year Crafts for Kids

Kick-off your Spring Festival celebrations with over 50 creative Chinese New Year crafts for kids! Printables, projects, books, and activities with Chinese lanterns, drums, dragons, and more!

Plan a fun Chinese Family Dinner Night and serve some of our favorite Asian-inspired dishes – Orange Chicken and Rice Bowls, Sausage Pesto Wontons, and Asian Chicken Salad.

chinese new year red envelopes with gold candy coins
Red Envelopes from 1 Dog Woof

What is the Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is one of the most important and festive holidays in Chinese culture. This holiday is a time to honor both ancestors and heavenly deities, and a time to bring families together.

Festivities include:

  • parades
  • performances with people dressed in traditional clothes
  • feasts
  • fireworks to scare away any evil spirits
  • red envelopes with money inside given to children

The celebrations continue for two weeks and finish with a special lantern festival.

chinese paper lanterns
Chinese Paper Lanterns from Handmade Charlotte

What are the Chinese Zodiac Animals?

The Chinese zodiac is represented by 12 zodiac animals, each with its own characteristics or attributes. – the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

It is traditionally believed that a person’s horoscope, personality, and a couple’s compatibility are related to their Chinese zodiac sign, the year they were born.

One fun thing to do with your kids is to read about your Chinese Zodiac Sign. It’s fun to see how close your zodiac animal matches your personality.

  • I was born in the year of the dog, which at first sounded lame. But according to an article I read, “The Dog is the most likable sign in the Chinese zodiac” … which means I’m pretty much loved by everyone. (wink) 
  • It also says the Dog and Horse are compatible, which is a good thing ’cause I am married to a horse! (Yet, his personality doesn’t match that of the Chinese Horse, so go figure!)
collage of 4 images showing chinese new year crafts for kids

50+ Favorite Chinese New Year Crafts for Kids

First, we’ll share some general Chinese New Year Crafts for fun celebrations in your home and classroom! Next, we’ll share some specific ideas for each of the 12 Zodiac animals.

Chinese New Year Crafts

  • Paper Fortune Cookies are a fun surprise and memorable keepsake, and they’re super simple to make!
  • DIY Chinese Rattle Drums are a fun craft that kids will love! From Artsy Momma
  • These Lucky Red Envelopes are not filled with money, they’re filled with CHOCOLATE! from 1 Dog Woof
  • Chinese Paper Lantern Craft come together in 4 easy steps! From Handmade Charlotte
collage of pictures showing mice and rat crafts

2020 The Year of the Rat

  • Wooden Spoon Rats are fun Chinese New Year activities the kids will LOVE! From I Heart Crafty Things
  • Paper Mice Puppets just might be my favorite finger puppets! From Red Ted Art 
  • These Origami Mice are not as tricky as they look and they are super cute! From Red Ted Art
  • Transform ordinary paper plates into darling little mice/rats! From Housing a Forest
collage of ox and cow crafts for kids

2021 The Year of the Ox

  • Paper Bag Puppet, from DLTK Kids
  • O is for Ox papercraft, from All About Learning Press
  • Ox Corner Bookmark, from Red Ted Art
  • Ox Paper Headband, from Oriental Trading
collage of 4 tiger crafts

2022 The Year of the Tiger

  • Handprint Tiger Craft, from Simple Everyday Mom
  • Cardboard Tigers, from In the Playroom
  • Tiger Play Dough Playtime, from Pre-K Pages
  • Toilet Paper Roll Tigers, from Creative Family Fun
collage of rabbit crafts for kids

2023 The Year of the Rabbit

  • Paper Bunny Treat Bags, from Hello Wonderful
  • Bunny Finger Puppets, from I Heart Crafty Things
  • Giant Origami Rabbits, from Oh Happy Day
  • Rabbit Hand Puppets, from Purl Soho

2024 The Year of the Dragon

  • This fire-breathing paper roll Chinese dragon craft is so fun! From One Little Project
  • This awesome cupcake liner dragon makes good use of random leftover cupcake liners. From I Heart Crafty Things
  • I love this Chinese dragon puppet – the straws make moving it so clever! From Made with Happy
  • Here’s a simple dragon craft that kids will love – Pipe Cleaner Dragons! From Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls.
collage of kids snake activities

2025 The Year of the Snake

  • Moving Paper Snakes, from 123 Easy Paper Crafts
  • Paper Chain Snakes, from The Craft Train
  • Bubble Snake Activity, from Somewhat Simple
  • Curled Paper Snake, from Our Kid Things
collage of 4 different horse crafts

2026 The Year of the Horse

  • Finger Puppet Horse, from Happy Paper Time
  • Toilet Paper Roll Horse (with a special gift inside) from Handmade Charlotte
  • Sock Horse, from Tuts Plus
  • Horse Handprint Craft, from Simple Everyday Mom
collage of 4 goat crafts

2027 The Year of the Goat

  • Paper Goat Craft, from SheKnows
  • Goat Marionette, from Parents
  • Paper Plate Goat, from Education
  • Paper Bag Goat, from Simple Everyday Mom
collage of monkey crafts for kids

2028 The Year of the Monkey

  • Monkey Stick Puppets, from Rainy Day Mum
  • Monkey Face Mask, from Simple Mom Projects
  • Pipe Cleaner Monkey, from Frugal Fun 4 Boys
  • Toilet Paper Roll Monkey, from Ocean Child Crafts
collage of rooster crafts for kids

2029 The Year of the Rooster

  • Handprint Rooster Craft, from Simple Everyday Mom
  • Rooster Paper Hat, from Papermelon
  • Roll a Turkey (or Rooster!) Game, from Somewhat Simple
  • Egg Carton Rooster Cups, from Red Ted Arts
collage of dog crafts for the chinese new year

2030 The Year of the Dog

  • Puppy Ears Pull Card, from Skip to My Lou
  • TP Roll Dog Craft, from Frugal Fun 4 Boys
  • Craft Stick Dogs, from ABC’s of Literacy
  • Make your own Slinky Dogs, from The Pet Gourmet
year of the pig collage of crafts for kids

2031 The Year of the Pig

  • Cereal Box Pigs, from I Heart Arts and Crafts
  • Popsicle Stick Pig Puppets, from Big Family Blessings
  • Toilet Paper Roll Piggies, from Artsy Craftsy Mom
  • Paper Plate Spiral Pigs, from Kid’s Craft Room

I hope your spring celebrations are amazing!

Have fun!

Collage of 5  chinese new year crafts for kids

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