Chinese New Year

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By Jenni Tavenerearly years teacher and writer

Celebrate Chinese New Year festival in your setting with these colourful activities.

Chinese lanterns

Dragon puppets

Expressive arts and design

Go to Google to look at pictures and photographs of Chinese New Year festivities with the children. Focus on the magnificent models, puppets and images of the Chinese dragons. Talk about the colours, patterns, shapes and textures on the models. Invite the children to design and make a Chinese dragon puppet using recyclable materials such as boxes, tubs, tubes, coloured wrapping paper, bubble wrap, shiny foil, tissue paper, fabric, feathers, sandpaper, beads, braid, sequins and glitter.

Encourage the children to consider ways to create a dragon’s head with a mouth that opens, or with 3D features such as colourful flames that flutter out of the dragon’s nostrils; a long, red tongue that pokes out of its mouth or pointed teeth along its jaw. Share ideas about how to create a long body using strips of fabric, paper or card. Discuss ways of decorating the body to create a textured surface, for example, bumpy skin made from scrunched-up tissue; a smooth belly from silky fabric or rough scales from discs of sandpaper. Let the children use their puppets for imaginative play based on Chinese New Year.

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  1. Multitasker
    on 9 February 2017

    Chinese New Year

    Good apart from the fact that 2017 is the year of the rooster!

    Scholastic: Thank you for bringing it to our attention that this page had not been correctly updated. We would like to apologise for this and have now updated the page.

    1out of 5
  2. rolley
    on 29 January 2014

    Chinese New Year

    Very quick and easy activities to do. Thanks.

    4out of 5
  3. carol
    on 10 February 2010

    chinese new year

    Very informative an easy to follow, thanks

  4. savannah
    on 8 February 2010


    im he dragon boo i wanted to be the dog i love dogs my sis was the monkey and my bros the tiger hes 1998 and my mommy is the rat LOOOL

  5. Kay
    on 3 February 2010

    Chinese New Year

    Very useful and practical ideas for reception class. Thank you

  6. Anna B
    on 26 January 2010

    Very useful

    Very good info thank you

  7. Fayej
    on 12 January 2010

    Very helpful, thanks!

    I’m passing these ideas on to the NQT in Year R that I’m mentoring. Great ideas, thank you.

    4out of 5