This year Chinese New Year is on Thursday 19th February 2015 and is the year of the sheep (or goat). Last year we made these simple Chinese New Year lanterns but the Little Tots needed a lot of help with them. This time round they could do it themselves with just a bit of support for those that needed it with the cutting.

Chinese new year lanterns

We got the idea to make lanterns after reading this simple book about Chinese New Year – Lanterns and Firecrackers: A Chinese New Year Story (Festival Time)
(affiliate link). These simple Chinese New Year lanterns are a great way to introduce the celebration to young people and we followed it up reading a book and watching some videos on YouTube (links below).

You will need:

  • Two different coloured pieces of paper – we used gold and red
  • Glue
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Stapler


How to make lanterns:

1. Firstly we decorated the piece of paper we wanted to use on the outside with glitter. You could also decorate with pens, stickers or whatever you have.Chinese new year lanterns

2. Once dry we folded in half lengthways and then cut off a strip of paper from the end to use as a handle.


3. The Little Tots then made snips in the paper from the folded part to the top, younger children may need more support with this depending on their scissor skills.

4. When finished we opened up both pieces of paper and bended round to make a cylinder shape stapling at either edge.


5. Finally we added the handle, which was the first strip of paper we cut off.

We then hung up on some string in the playroom and of course they asked to make more so we could decorate the whole room!

More Chinese New Year Activity Ideas:

Ways to further extend this activity could include:

  • Watch the Let’s Celebrate videos about Chinese New Year
  • Read our favourite book Firecrackers and Lanterns
  • Set up some messy play with noodles and chopsticks
  • Visit a Chinese supermarket
  • Try these Chinese New Year dragon masks or colouring sheets from Twinkl
  • Try some Chinese food.

Chinese new year lanterns


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