Since my daughter was born in Hong Kong, she considers herself Chinese so Lunar New Year is a big deal in our house. She’s 5 years old and beginning to understand the zodiac order along and meaning of certain traditions. I scoured the internet to find her some fun printables. Here are our favorites.
Zodiac Calendar By Nick Jr
Thanks to Kai-lan, most young kids now know how to say “hello” in Mandarin. Therefore, Nick Jr. offers several Chinese New Year crafts, but this one is by far the best. The first page shows the complete Chinese Zodiac in a very clear and cute manner. Each of the twelve signs are printed on a separate page with years listed, the Chinese character, and a quick description of what people born in those years might be like. Kids can color the 12 pages and staple it together like a book or arrange them into a mural to hang in their room. So far, the is our favorite printable. Download the zodiac calendar (pictured above).
My daughter was born in Year of the Golden Pig. Learn about this auspicious year, especially if your baby was born between February 18, 2007 and February 6, 2008.
Chinese New Year Animal Worksheets
Send kids on a little fact-finding mission by printing these 12 worksheets, one for each zodiac sign. They’ll answer questions related to diet, appearance, habitat and behaviors of each animal (or dragon). My kindergartener needs help with these, but has been quietly working on them for an hour this morning. Download the Chinese New Year animal worksheets.
Learn To Write Numbers In Chinese
Though not directly related to Chinese New Year, this printable shows kids how to write the numbers 1-10 in Chinese. Trust me, it takes practice! Download Chinese numbers.
Chinese New Year Zodiac Masks
Though it’s year of the snake, it might be fun to print out a mask corresponding to the year each child was born in. Remember that late January and February babies require a bit of research. For example, a baby born on February 1, 2013 is a Year of the Dragon baby, not Year of the Snake. Download zodiac masks.
Chinese New Year Word Search
I like this one because it’s a bit harder than most others I saw online. If I’m going to the trouble of printing something, I’d like it to entertain for a while. Download Chinese New Year word search.
It’s probably better if you laminate these but I think it’s a cute idea. Have your kids make playdough in the shape of each zodiac sign’s Chinese character and more. Download playdough mats.
Use these homemade playdough recipes.
DIY Red Envelopes
Red envelopes are pretty inexpensive even in the U.S., but there are options if you want to make them. Try Martha Stewart’s envelope template, or this adorable red envelope template with lanterns. Just print them on red paper (unlike what I did above)!
Kai-lan’s Cleaning List
This printable had absolutely no impact on my daughter’s willingness to clean, but it’s cute nonetheless. It is very important in both Chinese and Japanese New Year celebrations to start the year with a clean house–out with the old and in with the new. Go ahead and explain to your young children that Kai-lan and her family will be cleaning and organizing their home from top to bottom. Print Kai-lan’s cleaning list and see if they buy it. Good luck.
Want to make a kid-friendly Chinese New Year cake? Try this nian gao recipe courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai.
And, learn the history, legends and traditions surrounding Chinese New Year food and what’s being served at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Asia.