Chinese New Year is a time of celebration and tradition, and it’s a great opportunity to teach your little ones about this special holiday. If you’re looking for ways to celebrate with your toddler, we’ve got you covered! We’ve compiled a list of 20 Chinese New Year activities for toddlers. From dragon dances and lantern making to cooking traditional foods and making crafts, these activities are not only fun, but they’re also educational and can help your child learn about Chinese culture and customs. So get ready to ring in the Year of the Ox with these fun and engaging activities that your toddler is sure to love!
A little about Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a major holiday in China and other parts of East Asia. It is celebrated on the lunar calendar, which means that the date changes each year. This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 12th and marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox. Chinese New Year is a time of celebration and tradition, with families coming together to share meals, exchange gifts, and participate in various rituals and activities. It is also a time of renewal and hope, as people clean their homes and decorate them with red lanterns and other symbols of good luck. Chinese New Year is a vibrant and lively holiday that is enjoyed by people of all ages. Whether you’re participating in traditional activities or simply enjoying the festive atmosphere, Chinese New Year is a time to come together and celebrate the start of a new year. What better than trying a few Chinese New Year Activities for Toddlers than to include kids in party?
20 Chinese New Year Activities for Toddlers in 2023
If you have toddlers in your household, you may be wondering how you can incorporate Chinese New Year activities into their celebration. Here are 20 ideas for Chinese New Year activities for toddlers in 2023:
Make red envelopes
Red envelopes, also known as hongbao, are a traditional Chinese New Year gift that is given to children. Help your toddler make their own red envelopes by cutting out red paper and decorating with stickers or drawings.
Create a dragon puppet
Dragons are a popular symbol of Chinese New Year, and making a dragon puppet is a fun activity for toddlers. You can use paper plates, construction paper, and other craft supplies to create a dragon puppet that your toddler can play with.
Have a lion dance
Lion dances are a common sight during Chinese New Year celebrations. You can create your own lion dance at home by making lion masks and pretending to be lions.
Do some Chinese calligraphy
Chinese calligraphy is an art form that involves writing characters with a brush and ink. You can introduce your toddler to this art form by using watercolor paints and a paintbrush to create their own Chinese characters.
Make paper lanterns
Paper lanterns are a traditional Chinese New Year decoration. You can help your toddler make their own paper lanterns by cutting out circles of paper and attaching them to a string or ribbon.
Play with Chinese yo-yos
Chinese yo-yos, also known as diabolos, are a popular toy in China. You can purchase a Chinese yo-yo or make your own by attaching a string to two paper cups.
Have a Chinese tea party
Chinese tea culture is an important part of Chinese New Year celebrations. You can have a tea party with your toddler by brewing some tea and serving it in small cups.
Dumplings are a traditional Chinese New Year food. You can help your toddler make their own dumplings by using wonton wrappers and filling them with a mixture of diced vegetables and protein.
Play with Chinese jump ropes
Chinese jump ropes are a fun outdoor activity for toddlers. You can make your own Chinese jump ropes by attaching a string to two sticks and having your toddler jump over the rope as it swings.
Decorate the house with paper cutouts
Paper cutouts are a popular Chinese New Year decoration. You can help your toddler create their own paper cutouts by cutting out shapes from colorful paper and hanging them up around the house.
Have a Chinese New Year parade
You can create your own Chinese New Year parade at home by having your toddler dress up in traditional Chinese clothing and carrying a banner or toy instrument.
Play with Chinese finger traps
Chinese finger traps are a toy that consists of a woven bamboo or plastic tube. You can challenge your toddler to try and get their fingers out of the trap without pulling too hard.
Make a Chinese zodiac mask
The Chinese zodiac consists of 12 animals that represent each year in the lunar calendar. You can help your toddler make a mask of their zodiac animal by using paper plates and other craft supplies.
Have a Chinese New Year feast
One of the famous one among Chinese New Year Activities for Toddlers is A Chinese New Year feast is a traditional way to celebrate the holiday. You can have a feast at home with your toddler by preparing a variety of Chinese dishes and setting the table with red decorations
Learn some Chinese words
Chinese New Year is a great opportunity to introduce your toddler to some basic Chinese words. For non-Chinese, You can start with simple words like “hello” (你好) and “thank you” (谢谢) and gradually add more as your toddler becomes more comfortable.
Play Chinese New Year games
There are many Chinese New Year games that are suitable for toddlers. One popular game is “find the red envelope,” where you hide red envelopes around the house and have your toddler search for them. Another option is “red and gold treasure hunt,” where you hide red and gold items around the house and have your toddler find them.
Make a Chinese New Year mobile
You can help your toddler create a Chinese New Year mobile by using red and gold paper and attaching it to a hanger or string. You can also add other traditional Chinese New Year symbols, such as dragons or lanterns.
Do some Chinese New Year coloring
There are many Chinese New Year coloring pages available online that are perfect for toddlers. You can print out a few pages and let your toddler color in the designs with crayons or markers.
Have a Chinese New Year storytelling time
You can share stories about Chinese New Year with your toddler by reading books or telling stories about the holiday. You can also encourage your toddler to tell their own stories about Chinese New Year and their own traditions.
Visit a Chinese New Year celebration
If you have a Chinese New Year celebration happening in your community, take your toddler along to experience the holiday firsthand. They can watch the performances, try traditional foods, and participate in activities.
Chinese New Year is a significant holiday in East Asia that provides an opportunity to teach young children about Chinese culture and customs. The 20 Chinese new year activities for toddlers listed above provide a fun and engaging way for toddlers to celebrate Chinese New Year. These activities include making red envelopes, creating dragon puppets, making dumplings, playing with Chinese yo-yos, and learning some Chinese words. By incorporating these 20 Chinese New Year activities for toddlers into your celebration, children can gain a better understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture and traditions. Whether you’re celebrating at home or in a larger community, Chinese New Year is a wonderful time to come together and ring in the new year.
Yumna is the lead author. She is a mom to two young children and have always been passionate about finding fun and educational activities for them. With her background in early childhood education, she strive to create engaging and age-appropriate activities that promote learning and development in toddlers.
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