Looking for some simple Chinese New Year activities for toddlers?
Chinese New Year is a great holiday celebration to share with your kids and with dancing dragons and bright lanterns it’s one that my kids have always shown an interest in too.
We’ve got loads of ideas including crafts, sensory play, ideas for circle time and lots of free printables for Chinese New Year.
Whether you’re able to see a traditional Chinese Dragon dance or you’ll just be celebrating at home or preschool it’s a great excuse to find out more about another country in a fun way.
What You'll Find on This Page
What Is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year marks the beginning of a new year on a traditional a Chinese calendar and is also known as Spring festival or Lunar New Year.
People will often spend time with family and will celebrate by eating food, hanging lanterns and watching fireworks.
There’s a great article on Children’s BBC about what you need to know about Chinese New Year that can help you learn more, it’s also got a little two minute video showing how kids celebrate Chinese New Year which looks really fun!
What Are The Animals of The Chinese Zodiac?
In 2022 it will be the Year of The Tiger, in 2023 it will be the Year of The Rabbit and 2024 will be the Year of The Dragon.
Chinese New Year Activities for Toddlers
Get the glue sticks out and make this mosaic lantern craft that uses our free template.
I drew out the lantern shapes for these crunched tissue paper lanterns but this would be much easier to set up using our lantern template below. I made these when my son was in preschool and my one year old enjoyed playing with the tissue paper as well!
I love this Chinese lantern suncatcher from The Gingerbread House which would make a great Chinese New Year decoration.
This tissue paper lantern from Me Plus 3 Today looks really easy to make.
Chinese Dragon Crafts
I love this Chinese New Year dragon art for toddlers from Learning and Exploring Through Play
I made this newspaper Chinese lantern craft with my daughter when she was a preschooler and it’s inspired by a post I read about the Waldorf technique.
Grab the egg cartons to make this egg box dragon puppet from Messy Little Monster
No round up of kids crafts ever seems complete with out a toilet paper roll craft and these toilet roll dragons from Learning and Exploring Through Play look fantastic.
This paper plate dragon from Messy Little Monster looks like really good fun to play with.
Make this dragon puppet from Red Ted Art using their free printable.
Toddlers can help paint this paper plate dragon twirler from Red Ted Art.
Thumbprint dragon from Fun Handprint Art
Paper bag Chinese dragon from Fun Handprint Art
Other Chinese New Year Crafts
I made these painted Chinese fans with my kids when my son was a toddler.
Make some Hong Bao (red envelopes) following this tutorial from Danya Banya.
Chinese New Year drum craft from The Gift of Curiosity
Free Chinese New Year Printables
Grab our printable paper lantern template and design and make your own Chinese lantern.
For a super simple activity for toddlers just print out our Chinese dragon template grab some crayons or markers and get coloring!
Our simple Chinese lantern template is also perfect for coloring or painting or try it out with one of our lantern crafts above.
I love the super cute pictures on this Chinese New Year bingo game from One Creative Mommy, it looks like great fun to play too!
Or free tiger template is perfect for year of the tiger activities.
Chinese dragon colouring page from Kiddycharts
Learn about the different Chinese zodiac animals with these 12 Zodiac animal colouring pages from Kiddycharts
Chinese New Year Sensory Play
Anything hands-on with toddlers is always a great idea (as long as it’s supervised of course!) and this Chinese New Year slime and science activity from Little Bins for Little Hands looks like great fun.
This Chinese New Year sensory bin from Gift of Curiosity looks amazing and the perfect way to involve younger kids in learning about the celebrations in a way they’ll really enjoy.
Other Chinese New Year Activities
Try out these Chinese New Year songs and rhymes for circle time from Living Montessori Now
Need something to help you all relax? How about this Chinese New Year yoga for kids from Kids Yoga Stories
Red envelope maths activity from A Little Pinch of Perfect
More Activities For Toddlers
Want more ideas for toddlers? Why not check out our round up of over 40 Valentines Day activities for toddlers with crafts, activities and sensory play ideas.
Get ready for a new season filled with fun with our roundup of over 40 spring activities for toddlers.