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Chinese New Year for Kids

Free Resources for Teaching Kids Facts about Chinese New Year and its History

Chinese New Year For Kids
By: Mindy Scirri, Ph.D.

Cultures all over the world celebrate the beginning of each new year, but did you know that not all cultures consider the New Year to begin on January 1? Chinese New Year is somewhere between January 21 and February 20 and is based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar rather than the Gregorian Calendar.

Chinese New Year—also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival—is a public holiday in China, with a festival lasting 15 days from Chinese New Year to the Lantern Festival. The festival includes special food and drinks, clothing and decorations, and dances and activities. Generally, Chinese people have a week off from work to celebrate, but Chinese New Year is also celebrated all over the world.

Do you know which animal of the Chinese zodiac is this year? Is it the Rooster? Dog? Pig? Rat? Ox? Tiger? Rabbit? Dragon? Snake? Horse? Goat? Monkey? Each year, on Chinese New Year, the zodiac animal changes, on a cycle that repeats every 12 years. Each Chinese zodiac animal has its own personality traits, lucky colors, and horoscope.

You can find out more about Chinese New Year using these free resources to create lesson plans, activities, and crafts for your homeschool:

Chinese New Year Facts for Kids

Chinese New Year History for Kids

Chinese New Year Lesson Plans for Kids

Chinese New Year Activities & Crafts for Kids 


Chinese New Year Facts for Kids

The first thing you want to do in your Chinese New Year unit study is get an overview of the holiday. Here are some resources for you to do just that:

Chinese New Year
This is a general website for exploring Chinese New Year, including its food and drinks, clothing and decorations, and myths. Learn about the Spring Festival gala and its festivities and about the Lantern Festival, which ends the 15-day celebration.



Chinese New Year
Your older students can read this Encyclopaedia Britannica entry about the festival, complete with videos and images.

Chinese New Year Around the World
Get some fast facts about Chinese New Year and find out how Chinese New Year is celebrated all over the world.



Chinese New Year: China’s Grandest Festival & Longest Public Holiday
This comprehensive site is provided by Travel China Guide and includes all you need to know about Chinese New Year. Learn how Chinese people celebrate the New Year, and all the do’s and don’ts if you are visiting China or celebrating anywhere in the world.



Chinese New Year Gift Ideas.
Want some ideas for what to give others for the holiday? Just as important, or maybe even more important, you can also learn 10 Things You Should Not give as a Chinese New Year Gift.



Chinese New Year For Kids


Chinese Zodiac
Find out the animal for your birth year and see if the description matches who you really are.



The Chinese Zodiac
If you want to go even further into the Chinese Zodiac, check out this website. Find out how Chinese New Year relates to the zodiac and how your own zodiac animal can give you lucky colors, your horoscope, Feng Shui forecasts, and even ideas for New Year’s resolutions.

How Chinese New Year is Celebrated in Northern and Southern China
Read how different parts of China celebrate their New Year. Find out about food, activities, decorations, and more.



Top 16 Chinese New Year Taboos and Superstitions, Things Not To Do on New Year’s Day
Discover what you should avoid doing on either Chinese New Year’s Day or for the entire Chinese New Year Festival.


Chinese New Year History for Kids

Once you know the basics about Chinese New Year, you may want to explore its history a bit. Here are some resources for learning Chinese New Year history facts:

Chinese New Year
Your older students might enjoy this overview by History.com. An image gallery is also included.

Chinese New Year History
Check out this Travel China Guide summary of the history of Chinese New Year. Whether you travel to China or not, you will have a good understanding of how and why the festival started.



History of Chinese New Year
This is a brief article highlighting how Chinese New Year developed across the dynasties and includes a small photo collection.

The Origin and History of Chinese New Year
Learn about the history of Chinese New Year across the dynasties and enjoy a video telling three legendary stories about the origin of Chinese New Year.


Chinese New Year Lesson Plans for Kids

You may just enjoy jumping around different resources to learn about Chinese New Year, but if you want something more structured, here are some Chinese New Year lesson plans and activities:

Chinese New Year | Education.com
Join for free and access lesson plans on everything from the Retelling of The Monkey King to Lanterns to Chinese New Year’s Great Money Count. Lots of worksheets, activities, crafts, and printables are also available. You can search by grade level, too.

Chinese New Year | Teacher Link
This is a lesson plan for grades 2-3 that teaches students to recognize that different people celebrate unique holidays and have their own traditions. You and your child can experience three traditional Chinese New Year activities and then determine your animals on the Chinese zodiac chart.


Chinese New Year | Teacher Planet
Find lesson plans on the Animals of the Chinese Zodiac, Chinese New Year Celebrations, the Chinese New Year Dragon Parade, and more. There are also activities, coloring pages, clipart, worksheets, printables, and other resources for your study of Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year Classroom Activity | ReadWriteThink
Have your child self-reflect about personality traits and then learn about the Chinese zodiac. Links to informational sites, a Chinese New Year Quest, and a Chinese Horoscopes activity are also included.

Chinese New Year Lesson Plan | Teacher.org
This Art and Social Studies lesson is designed for grades K-2 and should take 50-60 minutes. The lesson looks at the gifting process involved in Chinese New Year and compares traditions with the American New Year, teaching children about symbolism and New Year greetings as well.



Chinese New Year Teacher Resources | TeacherVision
Here you will find a collection of lesson plans, educational videos, printables, and quizzes, as well as subject-specific materials for bringing Chinese New Year into ELA, History, Art, and Music.

A Lesson Plan for Chinese New Year w/ Props and Stories | Kid World Citizen
Teach your kids about this holiday that is celebrated all around the world using the lesson props and engaging content. Books, crafts, and adaptations are listed so that you can use this lesson plan with any grade level.

Lunar New Year Activities and Teaching Resources | Scholastic
Check out this collection that includes a lesson plan for grades 1-3, activity ideas for grades K-3, blog posts for grades K-5 and 3-8, and a video for all students.


Chinese New Year Activities & Crafts for Kids

Once you have learned all about Chinese New Year, you can have even more fun with these Chinese New Year activities and crafts:

10 Chinese New Year Activities | Pre-K Pages
Check out these fun activities that will help you introduce your preschooler to Chinese New Year. Find stories, crafts, and more!



13 Easy to Make Chinese New Year Crafts for Kids | SoCal Field Trips
Make Toilet Paper Tube Firecrackers, a Chinese Rattle Drum Craft, a Pop-Up Homemade Firework Craft, and so much more. Enjoy!



20 Chinese New Year Crafts & Activities for Kids | TotSchooling

Discover arts and crafts, free printables, and Montessori-inspired activities for Chinese New Year. Make Chinese Dragon Masks, a Handprint Dragon Craft, or Chinese Zodiac Boxes. Create Round Folding Fans, an Egg Carton Dragon, or a Chinese New Year Drum Craft.



50+ Chinese New Year Crafts and Activities for Kids | Buggy and Buddy
Find lantern crafts, dragon crafts, and others, as well as Chinese New Year sensory plays, songs and rhymes, yoga, and a math activity. Links to printables and other Chinese New Year resources are also there for you to explore.



Best 20 Chinese New Year Activities and Crafts for Home and School! | Chalk Academy
Make a Cardboard Chinese Market, a Chinese New Year Red Envelope (free printable), a Chinese New Year Drum, and so much more. There are even Chinese New Year math and literacy activities and crafts to include in your homeschool.



The Best 60 Chinese New Year Crafts and Activities for Kids | Artsy Craftsy Mom
This is an extensive collection of Chinese New Year crafts, including crafts for each of the zodiac animals. You can also find information and resources about Chinese New Year, as well as printables, coloring pages, and other activities.



Chinese New Year Crafts & Ideas | RedTedArt
What a collection of dragon art, lantern crafts, fans, origami, and decorations! You can even make your own Fingerprint Animal Zodiac Activity or Paper Fortune Cookies.

Chinese New Year Activities | Teachers Corner
Make a Chinese “Good Wishes” Poster or have a Chinese New Year party. Have fun with a Chinese New Year word search, word scramble, crossword puzzle, or journal.

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However you plan to share Chinese New Year with your child, you can rest assured that your child will benefit from reflecting on your own cultures and traditions and learning about the cultures and traditions of other people. May you have good health and happiness in this New Year!


Have you discovered any other good Chinese New Year resources? Please share them in the comments below….

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