Chinese New Year Activities

For Chinese people, Chinese New Year is most important celebration of the year. There are many Chinese New Year activities, it is time to cleaning and decorating the house with Chinese New Year craft, Chinese lantern, flowers, and cumquat/kumquat (a fruit like a very small orange).

There are fireworks, red envelope, dancing dragon and special food etc. All Chinese in the world celebrate this festival. Chinese New Year is the beginning of spring so it also known as Spring Festival. It is time for the farmer it means time to plant.

The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar year, Chinese New Year usually happen between January 21st and February 19th, so the date of the Chinese New Year changes every year. And next Chinese New Year will be February 3, 2011. Based on Chinese horoscope it will be the year of Rabbit.

What are the objective ?

In preschool Chinese New Year theme, children may learn :

  1. Chinese New Year celebration.
  2. Chinese New Year special food.
  3. The purpose of celebrating Chinese New Year.
  4. Chinese New Year symbols.

What are the concepts for the children ?

  1. If your students are not Chinese ancestry, your student will learn that different groups of people celebrate holidays unique to them, they will learn another culture.
  2. Chinese New Year is time for gathering with family.
  3. Chinese New Year is the beginning of spring.
  4. Chinese New Year is a festival in February (sometimes January).
  5. Chinese New Year symbol : red envelope, some Chinese character “fu”,”chun”, dragon, fireworks, gold fish, Chinese zodiac, the color red and gold, Chinese lantern, cumquat/kumquat (small orange) etc .
  6. Family and group of friends get together to celebrate Chinese New Year. Dumpling, peking duck, steamboat, sweets etc are eaten during Chinese New Year dinner.

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Learning Center Activities


Red Envelops Lantern. Make this beautiful lantern then hang it. How to make it.

Chinese Coin. Make this chinese coin , then stick them on the wall or hang it for celebration at school.

Chinese Dragon. Make this colorful dragon , it would make a great class decoration. Attach the finished dragon to a stick to play with. How to make it.

Find another wonderful project for preschool art activities.


Build a China Town. Using blocks, hollow blocks or discarded milk, snack boxes and toy cars, build a a China Town.

Go to block center to find another activity.


Chinese New Year Celebration. Gather materials for a special family meal. Collect bowls, cups, napkin, chopstick, and plastic food or food items cut from magazine. Let children have a Chinese New Year meal.

Find another great activity for symbolic play.


Chinese Horoscope.

Skill : Sightword

Introduce the animals in Chinese zodiac chart. Makes configuration games where the shape of the word will help children identify what the word is.

Chinese Character.

Skill : Visual Discrimination

Make two cards of each Chinese character (a new window will open) for each Chinese zodiac. Ask children match up those that are alike.

I provide the pinyin (Pinyin is a Romanization system that allows you to express the sounds of Chinese characters using letters) and the meaning for every Chinese character. It is for your information only, it is not the objective for the children. And you can Learn Chinese with ChinesePod, it is convenient way to learn Mandarin, they make it very fun.

Wonderful idea for preschool language activities for you to learn about and share with your children.


Skill : Washing and Scrubbing

Clean The House. Chinese New Year right in the corner, it is time to clean the house ! Fill a tub with soapy water. Allow children to wash toy dishes, doll clothes, small towels, handkerchief, etc. Provide a small brush, let children scrub the toys.

A list of fine motor activities


Skill : Shapes

Fraction. Introduce the concepts of parts and whole. Draw Chinese lantern, dragon, any other Chinese New Year-related picture and cut in half. Let children match halves to make whole.

Variations : Cut oranges in half to introduce the concepts of parts and whole.

Preschool math activities can be used to teach children math.


Sink the Orange. Float an orange in a bowl of water and challenge a student to make it sink. Now peel the orange. Put it back in the water and watch what happen.

Teacher hint : Why the orange sinks. Orange skin is full of trapped air bubbles. This makes the orange light for its size, so it floats. Without its skin and the air bubbles inside it, the orange weighs a lot for its size. The peeled orange is denser than water, so it sinks.

Includes all of preschool science activities for the young scientist.


Chrysanthemum Tea

30 gr dried Chrysanthemum flower
4 cups water
Rock sugar or honey

Method :

  1. Rinse the dried Chrysanthemum flower and drain the water from flower.
  2. Put the flowers in water and bring it to boil. Let the water boil for 10 minutes
  3. Remove the tea from heat. Allow tea to stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the chrysanthemum tea through a strainer and discard the chrysanthemum flowers.
  5. Pour tea into cup and allow to cool slightly before drinking.
  6. Add rock sugar or honey and stir till dissolves .
  7. Enjoy your chrysanthemum tea !

If you can not find dried Chrysanthemum flower you can use Instant Chrysanthemum Tea Granule Packs. It ready to use, just add water and serve!

Chrysanthemum tea would be a perfect drink for kids. This tea is excellent in easing a sore throat.

Look at another recipes in kids recipes for young chef.


Go to Grocery Store. Tour a grocery store and find the orange section. Let children observe the type, color and size of orange.

Go to China Town. If possible, go to China Town few days before Chinese New Year. Let children observe the environment, the decoration, the activity and the food they sell for celebrating Chinese New Year.

This is a good idea for preschool field trip.


Chinese Horoscope Gossip.The children sit in a circle. The teacher or the leader whisper one of Chinese zodiac animal in one child’s ear. He or she whispers what they have heard to the next child and so on around the circle. The last child must tell everyone what he or she has heard. The leader then repeats what was really said.

Contains exciting fun games for gross motor skill.


Red Lantern
(sing to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”)

I’m a lantern, red and round
Red and round, red and round
I’m a lantern, red and round
Hanging on ceiling

Clean The House
(sing to the tune of “The Mulbbery Bush”)

This is the way we sweep the floor
Sweep the floor, sweep the floor
This is the way we sweep the floor
So early in the morning

This is the way we clean the house
Clean the house, clean the house
This is the way we clean the house
So early in the morning

Contains song and rhymes related to your themes.

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