The Best Chinese New Year Traditions and Activities to Do with Your Kids

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Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) is the most important traditional festival for the Chinese. This is also an essential festival for families and friends to get together to give blessings and fortune to each other. For me, it has always been my favorite holiday throughout my life. During the Chinese New Year, I usually have a longer holiday (besides the summer break), new clothes to wear, fun days traveling with my family, and tons of good food to eat.  I would also receive red packets and candies when I went to visit family and friends. Isn’t this like another Christmas for kids?

However, when I married and had two kids living in the United States, I found that keeping a traditional Chinese New Year at home was difficult without any support from outside. Also, my kids were so young that I was always wondering if it was worth having it. I thought maybe I should wait until they were older, so I just bought some Chinese dresses, put some chocolate gold coins in their red packets, and prepared a Chinese dinner on the Chinese New Year. Honestly, I didn’t really enjoy it as much as when I was a child in Hong Kong, but I knew it was a good start for my kids to learn about Chinese culture.

 

 

 

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*This post contains affiliate links.

 

Fortunately, my husband was willing to move us all back to Hong Kong, so we are excited to have our 3rd Chinese New Year here. Since I’m homeschooling my kids, I would love to share some traditions and activities that we have done in the past and we are planning to do in the next few weeks to celebrate Chinese New Year.

NOTE: I strongly recommend for those who are not Chinese or have little to no prior experience with Chinese New Year resources and materials to pick and choose from the following activities. You don’t need to do everything that the Chinese traditionally do during the New Year. You can simplify these traditions to meet your needs as you plan your activities. Simple things like throwing a Chinese New Year party at home, or learning and experiencing the Chinese New Year for a few days will still be super fun but not overwhelming.

 

Traditions that You can Try

  1. Decorate your home
  2. Buy and wear Chinese clothing
  3. Use chopstick to eat in a Chinese restaurant
  4. Check which Zodiac animal you are
  5. Attend Chinese New Year event if possible
  6. Visit a Chinese temple
  7. Give red packets to pass on fortune to others
  8. Deep clean your house

 

Activities You Can Easily Do

  1. Make some Chinese New Year Crafts and decorate your home
  2. Learn and make some Chinese food and throw a Chinese New Year party with your neighbors
  3. Read or listen to some Chinese New Year’s stories – You can also act them out {e.g. The Story of Nian – A Chinese New Year Story, Story of the Chinese Zodiac Animals (in English), (in Mandarin Chinese), and (in Cantonese).
  4. Listen to Chinese New Year music
  5. Watch Lion Dance in person or on the internet
  6. Go to a Chinese restaurant and try something that you haven’t tried before (e.g.: chicken or duck feets, seafood, and fish, etc.)
  7. Learn how to use chopstick correctly and hold a chopstick competition with your family

 

FREE Chinese New Year Crafts

Making and decorating with Chinese New Year banners is one the most common activities during the New Year. People buy them in the store, make their own, and even make them for others. The Chinese believe we can receive all kinds of blessings and fortune if we put these banners on the walls and doors of our home. And of course, if you know this is the traditions come from the Chinese New Year myth as well.

 

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Since I personally love making banners, I created 2 sets of Chinese New Year Crafts – 1 for free and a full version. You can try the free version first, and if you love them and want more banners to decorate, you can consider purchasing the full version.

I think it is much more fun to make the banners yourself, so the banners are all traceable (perfect for little kids and beginners), and they are very affordable. See how amazing they look. I’m sure they will bring the spirit of Chinese New Year into your home.

 

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There are 4 different language versions of the Chinese New Year Craft sets: Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese with Pinyin, and Simplified Chinese with Pinyin.

It also includes

  • 6 banners
  • English translations
  • English instructions

 

How They Work

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You simply need to print them off, and then your kids/students can trace the Chinese characters on the banners with black markers, Q-tips & black paint, glitter, or even a Chinese paintbrush and ink.

After all the Chinese characters are filled, the banners can be cut out and hung on the walls and doors.

* We usually put TWO banners side by side, because it is not really fortunate if you only hang a  single banner on its own. Also, we love to match the meaning of the banners and put them in an auspicious place. For example, Chinese people loves putting “出入平安” (Safe Travel) on the front door to have a safe travel, and “財源廣進” in the living room or front door so they can get rich, and “學業進步” on the wall by the kid’s desk, so their kids will have better grades. You are free to use your creativity to place right banners for your family in your home.

 

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 Traditional Chinese                     Traditional Chinese with Pinyin

 Simplified Chinese                       Simplified Chinese with Pinyin

 

 

Other Style of Chinese New Year Decorations that You May Like

 

       

        

You Might Also be Interested in

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What is your favorite Chinese New Year traditions or activities?

What is your favorite Chinese New Year banner that you always hang on your wall?

 

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