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Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Happy Chinese New Year

Unfortunately, we don't usually have lots of time to celebrate the Chinese New Year at our school; especially when you have a snow day every other day:). This year though I had some specialty paper laying around and it just screamed Chinese Paper Lanterns. I wanted to share them with you in case you may be looking for an easy way to decorate.

The lanterns are pretty much based on the same concept as the "jack-o-lantern." The only difference really is the type of paper I used. I always think of Chinese decorations to be very colorful and have lots of flair. Well I had some papers in the closet that are already fancy and decorative, so I used those.

You will need:

fancy paper
regular construction paper

Before I begin, as I said, I used some special paper I had, but if you would like, let the children choose some construction paper and decorate it with markers or glitter glue, or anything fancy you would like.

When your paper is ready, fold the paper in half long ways. Now you cut slits in the paper from the fold toward the edge, but stopping about an inch before you reach the edge.

Open the paper up and then make a cylinder out of it. The slits that you cut in the paper will give it a lantern look. I then staple the edges together--it's easy and quick. If you like, use some good glue and maybe paperclip the top and bottom until the glue is dry.

The last stet is to add a handle. I just used a piece of paper 9 x 1 and stapled it to the top. I then took some twisties to hang the lantern for decorative purposes. I thought they looked very festive--if I do say so myself.

Another activity one could do is a dragon hat. I actually make these hats during my dinosaur camp, but I got the idea from a Chinese New Year dragon project. I don't have specifics for the craft as I was winging it myself--the pattern I have is very simplistic.

You will need:

construction paper--12x18
decorative material:
glitter, glitter glue,
sequins, markers, etc.

I let the children pick a piece of construction paper they like. I then cut out a dragon shape--to the best of my ability. I put two staples just behind the dragons head, then measure around the children's head and put two staples right before the "tail."

You may let the children decorate the hat before you actually staple it together. I think that would work best. After all the decorative aspects dry, size it and staple it.

I was thinking you could even add some crepe paper to the back to make the tail more dramatic. Have fun with it!

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Miller Moments said...

Great ideas!

Mariana said...

Lovely idea! And a good way to teach young children about celebrations in other countries.