Preparing for the Chinese New Year 过年了?!

It might have been over 10 years that we have not celebrated Chinese New Year back at home. In the past, it was due to exams, then work.

TH’s company always have their annual kick off on the 1st week of Feb.

And since we are living overseas, we do still want the children to learn about why we celebrate it. The history behind it, as well as what is the Chinese zodiac.

Together with books, art and craft, and other activities, together we learn about the Chinese New Year.

The year of Pig ?? – the last animal in the race.

Chinese New Year Theme set up

Over the last few weeks, we have been doing arts and crafts that involved pigs.

Chinese New Year Card 

Tools required:

Finger paint

Pipe cleaners (or ribbons/ strings)


Goggly eye

Making the card

Every year, we sent a home made finger printed card to the family and pig is the hardest to make and also it took the longest too.

Top left to right: 1st the palm, then the thumb for the nose, followed by the pointer as the legs.

Middle left to right: goggly eye, pinkie as the ear, cut the pig out and stick it only colored paper.

Bottom left to right: cut 福 (fu) from red packets, use pipe cleaner to curl a tail.

Our finger printed card

Big J cut all the pigs out. Some of them has part of the ear, nose or limbs trimmed. It is totally fine. Cutting skills need lots of training so don’t worry when part of it gets chopped off.

Practice makes perfect! So just allow them to cut. As long as they are happy, we are happy as well.

TIP: make more and choose the best to mail out.

Piggy bank 

Most of us has made a paper mache ballon before.

Duration: at least 3 days

Tools required:

Old newspaper cut into stripes or bits

Starch (mixture of water and cornflour)

Toilet paper rolls (for the legs, ears and nose)

Goggly eyes


A balloon


  1. Blow up a balloon to size
  2. Dip newspaper in starch mixture
  3. Paste it all over the balloon
  4. Repeat steps after covering the balloon with at least 3-4 layers.
  5. Let it dry (very dry)
  6. Pop the balloon and remove it from the dried case

Covering balloon with newspaper

Front view

Cut 5 rings (approx. 5-6 cm tall) from the Toilet rolls.

For the nose: cover it with a piece of paper and glue it to where the opening(hole) of the balloon.

Use rest of the toilet roll to cut 2 ear like shape object.

The legs

Stick the 4 rings at the base of the ball.


After all the body parts are attached, time to beautify the


Never a dull pig
The end product

After the paint dries up, add the goggly eyes, cut a slot so that we can start saving!!!!

Making cherry blossom tree/ Sakura /梅花

This is something that I actually wondered why? Chinese New Year falls during the winter season. And in winter, you don’t see cherry blossom or any sort of blooming tree.

My mom always buy the plastic Sakura and stick on the branches… and since we do not have them here, we shall DIY some.

Items required:

A branch

Pink paper

Hot glue gun


Sharpie or similar (to draw the pollen)

Artist impression of Sakura

I folded the paper and cut them into shaped.

A Sakura has only 5 petals and it’s hard to cut the exact 5 petals.

So this is our version of Sakura.

Big J draws the pollen inside the flower.

Stick the flower individually on each twig.

Tip: find a more compact branch

Lion dance 

Items required: 

Yellow paper (at least 210gsm)

Black clay

Goggly eyes

Colorful feathers

Cupcake/ muffin liners

A piece of red rubber sponge (moosgummi) or red paper

Red streamers/ ribbons/ crepe paper



This lion dance mask idea is from toucan box. I used to subscript it then I stopped.

Here is a simplified version.

To remake it, simply cut 1 big circle and fold it in half.

Cut another piece of rectangle for the eyes. Make sure it’s big enough for ur muffin liners, if not just trim them to fit.

Stick the colorful feathers behind the eyes.

Use black clay to form the nose and the base for the goggly eyes.

Cut streams and stick them at the base of the semi circle.

And you have your lion dance mask!!!

If you are interested in trying the #toucanbox, please use my referral Code: claire-c5kq. Thank you.


Dragon dance 

Tools required: 

Dragon printable (source: Red ted art)

Any old cardboard or paper to be cut to shape like a dragon.

Sticky tabs or dot-a dot

Colored marker (to draw the colored circle)

I made 2 dragons. One I plan to let him use the sticky tabs. Practicing colors, his motor skills as well as concentration and patience for removing the tabs.

The other dragon was for dot-a dot. So that we can have a more beautiful body.

The zodiac race

I bought this book because it’s the only one available in Germany’s amazon with prime shipping.

The book basically tells the story of how the 12 animals come about. And why the cat is not inside….

I, personally don’t like the illustration other than that it’s a simple book.

I have made 13 animals on sticks for the race in our house.

Just to test if Big J is listening… while I read.

His task was to move the animals while I read.

Here are some activities you can try to reconstruct at home. They are all fun and easy to remake.

Wishing all of you a Happy lunar new year. 新年进步 万事如意!

These are the materials I used, available on amazon. If you use these links to get them I will earn a small commission from the purchase.

The story about the 12 animals of the chinese zodiac
stamping markers
Finger paint

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