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Chinese New Year Activities for Preschool/Kindergarten/Adults

Shanoon Cox
Shanoon Cox
Originally published Jan 19, 22, updated Jun 12, 24
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Chinese New Year Fun Activities

Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivals in China. It is also known as the spring festival or the beginning of the Zodiac year. People clean houses for a fresh start at this time of year. Also, it is a time of Chinese New Year activities for kids, preschool, and adults.

People cover entrances with auspicious red color decorations to signify good fortune and happiness. They welcome good luck and see a New Year as an excellent opportunity to leave ill memories and past behind.

People follow many old traditions or rituals like throwing old clothes, buying a new wardrobe, and even getting a new haircut. Moreover, they give presents to family and friends and organize parties with music, food, and firecrackers.

Let us know more about Chines New Year activities for preschool, kindergarten, and other adults.

Part 1. Chinese New Year Activities for Preschool

Lunar New Year Preschool Activities

Chinese New Year is almost there and kids are very excited about it. So, it is the right time for parents and teachers to teach children about the importance of the lunar New Year. There are various ways to do this, including Chinese New Years' activities for preschool kids.

These activities enable kids to know about the rich culture and learn crafting and coordination skills. Setup the below creative Chinese New Year 2020 preschool activities:

· Red Envelopes

Making and Giving Red Envelopes

During New Year parties, Chinese people wear red color clothes. Red is a symbol of fire, and Chinese people believe in using red color to drive bad luck away. Children receive money in small red envelopes from elders as good luck blessings.

So you can teach children how to make red envelopes or give them good luck money.

Feast of Lantern

Decoration with Lanterns

Chinese people celebrate the feast of a lantern on the third day of the New Year. These lanterns are of different shapes and sizes. People decorate outdoors and indoors of their homes with these lanterns.

So, you can do craft activities with kids and teach them how to make these lanterns with colorful paper.

Dragon Dance

Dragon Dancing

Many cities in China hold parades led by a huge lion or dragon. Chinese people have a great belief about dragons that they symbolize good luck. According to Chinese legends, dragons are protectors from evil spirits; they are not monsters.

Dragon is a symbol of goodness, luck, and strength. In contrast, Lion is a symbol of protection. It is a guard against dangers.

Children love watching and joining the dragon parade. So, you can teach them how to perform dragon dance and take them to participate in the fantastic Dragon Dance.

Chinese Ribbon Dance

Chinese Ribbon Dancing

Attach crepe paper streamers to a pencil or chopstick. Then, play Chinese music and let children dance on it. Finally, show them how to move with the ribbons and make them children copy your moves.

· Shades of Red

Making Shades of Red

Gather red and white paint, paper plates, paint brushes, and blank white paper sheets. Give each child a paintbrush with red and white paint on a paper plate. Ten teach them how to make different shades of red.

They will enjoy making their own shades of red.

· Give Fortune Cookies

Giving Fortune Cookies

Chinese New Year celebrations are incomplete without fortune cookies. Kids love them most. They find it exciting to break and open them to find their fortune. Moreover, they are not expensive. So, give fortune cookies to children.

Part 2. Chinese New Year Activities for Kindergarten

It is valuable for children to learn about the culture and traditions. The following are some Chinese New Year activities for kindergarten for an excellent experience:

· Chinese Calligraphy

Chinese Calligraphy

Teach children Chinese calligraphy to create Chun Lian. It is a special decoration used for New Year. Pass the Chinese calligraphy reproducible, red paper, gold crayon, and black paint to each child.

Let kids fleck their red papers with gold crayons, then copy the characters from the Chinese Calligraphy Reproducible with black paint. Then, turn these red papers into diamond-shaped. Finally, post their messages around the classroom door as greetings for visitors.

· Dragon Symbolism

Dragon Symbolism

Chinese dragons represent strength, benevolence, wisdom, and good fortune. Invite students and teach them about this symbol. You can do this by creating a miniature version of Chinese dragons. You can also tell them stories about dragons.

· Chinese New Year Banners

Happy New Year Banners

One of the most popular decoration items for the Chinese New Year is red Chinese banners. So, you can create banners with kids or give them banners with information sheets so that they can learn more about their culture.

· Missing Character Game

It is a fun and interesting activity that helps children improve their observational skills and memory. You can adjust the difficulty level depending on the abilities and age of the children.

The main point is creating a hard game that children find challenging but not making too over-complicated.

Part 3. Chinese New Year Activities for Adults

To celebrate the New Year this time, get your seniors involved in traditional festivities. Below are some Chinese New Year activities for adults:

· Play Chopstick Game

Playing with Chopsticks

You can put the chopstick skills of all seniors to the test. It is a fun and exciting game in which participants will race with each other. They must transfer the maximum number of sweets from one bowl to another with chopsticks.

To play this game, each player needs pair of chopsticks, two plastic bowls, and a handful of mini marshmallows or sweets. Follow the instructions mentioned below to play this game:

  • Give each participant two plastic bowls and a pair of chopsticks. Fill one of their bowls with a handful of sweets. Ensure that each player has the same number of sweets in the bowl for the fair competition.
  • Then, start the timer. Players have to transfer the maximum number of sweets in one minute from one bowl to another using their chopsticks.
  • The player who transfers the maximum number of sweets in a minute is a winner of the game.

· Chinese Blindfold Food Tasting

Blindfold Food Tasting

Hold a session where seniors have to guess the Chinese dishes or ingredients by tasting them. To do this, prepare some dishes in advance. Then, make adults blindfold and let them taste and guess the dishes.

Whosoever guesses maximum items correct will win the game.

· Chinese New Year Dancefloor

Dancing on Chinese Music

Create a playlist with traditional and festive Chinese music. Then, host a dance party and invite all friends and family members. Play the list and enjoy Chinese music while dancing with near ones.

· Organize a Chinese Checkers Tournament

Chinese Checkers

Gather all adults and guide them on how to play Chinese checkers. If there are a good number of people who want to play, set up several tables for a checker tournament.

Encourage the winners from all the tables to play with one another.

Part 4. Chinese New Year Activities for Elementary Students

The lunar New Year is the world's most celebrated and significant holiday in the Chinese calendar. Celebrating the Chinese New Year with a class allows exploring various topics. Elementary school teachers can use it for cultural awareness, symbolism, and more.

People from different parts of the world participate in this 15-day festival with symbolic rituals and traditions to celebrate good fortune and prosperity. You can organize different activities with the class exploring the symbolism and traditions.

The following are some exciting Chinese New Year activities for elementary students:

· Wear in Red and Use Decorations

Wear and Decorate in Red Color in School

The red color symbolizes good fortune and wealth in China. So, encourage all students to wear red dresses in the New Year. Some Chinese people see red as a weapon for scaring monsters.

· Clean the Surroundings

Cleaning the Surroundings

Though cleaning is not the most exciting Chinese New Year activity, it is important as per Chinese traditions. So, teach students the importance of cleanliness and Chinese beliefs behind it.

Indulge them in cleaning the classroom. According to Chinese traditions, cleaning surroundings is a way to sweep away negativities and bad luck. But Chinese people avoid cleaning on an actual day for fear of washing out good luck.

· Landscape Scroll Paintings

Landscape Scroll Paintings

Invite students to paint landscapes. It is a fun and exciting way to introduce geography to students. Share pictures of places like the Great Wall in Alison and the Himalayan Mountains.

Then help kids to follow the steps mentioned below to create their own paintings:

  • Dip a paintbrush into water and blot on a towel. Then, dip the pen into ink, and make a spot again.
  • Paint the white sheet. Do not draw first. Traditionally, people paint landscapes directly.
  • Mount the painted sheet on construction paper. Add a flat stick at the bottom and top. Then, attach a piece of string to hang.

You can also let students draw mini-versions of paintings on the sticky notes. Then, make them post on a map of the region where they can find landscapes.

· Play Dominoes

Playing Dominoes

On New Year, children like to play games. Chinese invented the dominoes game back in the 12th century. From then, it becomes a fitting game to spend the holiday. So, guide students on how to play dominoes.

Have all students use dominoes to solve math problems, create patterns, or create chain reactions.

· Discuss Different Cultures and Holidays

Billions of people across the globe celebrate the Chinese New Year every year. But the chances are that some elementary school students will celebrate it the first time.

To introduce holidays on the lunar New Year, try asking some of the following questions to the class:

  • How does your community celebrate the Chinese New Year?
  • How did people celebrate it in the past?
  • How are Chinese traditions similar to yours, and How are they different?
  • What traditions or holidays hold importance in your community?

By discussing these types of questions, you will be helping children to improve their knowledge.

· Dragon Puppet Activity

Dragon Puppets

Usually, Chinese New Year celebrations include dragon dance because the dragon is a symbol of China. In addition, it brings in positivity and So, make dragon puppets with the class.

To make them, give each student a copy of the template, two wooden sticks, construction paper, scissors, crayons, glue. Kids will love to enjoy making the puppets in honor of the lunar New Year.

Part 5. Chinese New Year Early Years Activities

The Chinese New Year Early Years activities include games, quizzes, and parties. In addition, there are different ways to learn about Chinese traditions and celebrate the Chinese New Year. Here is a list of some great Chinese New Year early years activities:

· Chinese Food

Chinese Food Items

During lunchtime, take the opportunity and let children try some unique and special Chinese dishes and expand their taste buds. Try various pick 'n' mix bowls with typical Chinese food.

Prawn crackers, sweet and sour chicken, spring rolls, rice, or tofu, are some common Chinese dishes.

· Chinese New Year Writing

Chinese New Year Writing

Children may be working on numbers, phonics, or even animals, use these subjects in the Chinese writing activity. Younger children can simply perform an activity with black paint, while older children try a look-and-copy activity.

Some children can use laminated sheets for tracing the Chinese letters. Don't forget to display children's work.


The Chinese New Year is a special time in China. It is an important tradition for every Chinese family to thoroughly clean their house. They do it to remove ill-fortune and make way for good luck. On this significant day, many families reunite, eat special food items, light fireworks, and children receive red paper envelopes as blessings.

Hopefully, the Chinese New Year activities for kindergartens and adults listed below can help you enjoy this special day.

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