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Chinese New Year Tuff Tray Ideas

Shanoon Cox
Shanoon Cox
Originally published Jan 19, 22, updated May 20, 24
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The New Year is an exciting day celebrated all around the world. The Chinese New Year kicks off with an additional exciting event which is the Spring Festival. It happens at the beginning of February and is invited with vigor and joy.

Amongst the many activities that will keep you busy during the Spring festival, one of them is a tuff tray activity. Tuff trays are also called Tuff Spot and have endless possibilities when you start thinking of how to decorate them.

What better way to make your children learn more about the Chinese culture and traditions than a fun tuff tray playtime? Move on with this blog to understand more about how to use Tuff trays effectively.

Spring Festival and Chinese Tuff Tray Ideas

The Spring Festival’s date changes as it depends on the movement of the moon. There are many little rituals performed during the Spring Festival, one of them is decorating a tuff tray. It helps children understand Chinese culture with hands-on experience.

Tuff tray activity is a great way to make this day even more special. The whole process of decorating and planning the tuff tray is adventurous and fascinating for little ones. Children come up with unique Chinese New Year tuff tray ideas, you will also find some great ideas in this blog.

What do you need for the tuff tray activity?

You need the following things to do the tuff tray activity:

  • A Chinese New Year tuff tray
  • Chinese Collection
  • Tissue paper
  • Rice

Get creative during the activity, you can use chopsticks to make patterns in rice. Children who are learning to eat with chopsticks find it fascinating and it is guaranteed to spark a conversation on the history of chopsticks during the activity, increasing the kids’ knowledge.

Chinese New Year TuffTray Decoration

It is a great learning activity because children get to play around with bowls and understand how measurements are done. A large bowl can be used to place inside the tray and play around with the space left.

You can even create a fun game out of it by displaying the tuff trays at the end and giving children some type of reward.

This is a great time to strike up a conversation about the animal signs of your loved ones. These Chinese animal signs will help you decipher the main traits of your friends and family that are similar to the animal.

Ask your kids to cut out their animal signs and paste them in their tuff trays. Children love to do such art and craft activities.

While they’re busy with the tuff trays you can make some delicious food for the festival. During the Spring Festival, you will also get to try a lot of Chinese food and street food such as dumplings and spring rolls.

Chinese Tuff Tray Ideas

There are a lot of topics that children can learn through play. A Chinese tuff tray is an exciting tool that builds creativity in children and will help them gain more confidence in their learning abilities.

A Chinese tuff tray decorated to learn about Pandas

You can design tuff trays to teach children about China, such as the national animal of China. The giant panda is the national animal, and the Chinese take pride in having many centers that help to take care of these endangered species.

It really shows the creativity individuals put into it, the green playdough depicts a ground and artificial bamboos are used to create an area where Pandas are resting.

Chinese tuff tray ideas are also a great idea for teachers to inspire and motivate students. There are many tuff trays with a teacher's guide present that can be helpful for the teachers to get students’ attention and teach them.

A tuff tray with different tags of animal names.

Tuff Trays are a great way to give children a beginning point from where they can use their own imagination to create something personal. Here are some tuff tray ideas that involve products that you can easily find inside your house.

Tuff Tray Ideas for Chinese New Year

  • Kids love toys and they will be more than happy to use some of their toy animals for this activity. Ask kids to put their stuffed toy animals on the tray and draw an outline around it.

Once the shape of the animal is created, you can teach them about the Lunar New Year and how each year marks a different animal.

  • Another Chinese New Year tuff tray idea includes using building blocks. Leave the blocks on the tray so that the children can draw an image of the spring festival or how they see it.
  • A very simple yet cultural way is to use red and gold paper to create an origami dragon that you can decorate the tuff tray with.
  • If you have a garden around your house, then you can also use natural grass to decorate the tuff tray. It will look very real and will be fascinating for the kids too.
  • Use vegetable peelings to decorate the tray, this can also be a way to teach the children about all the varieties of foods that are cooked during the New Year celebrations.
  • Set up toys in the tuff tray and ask children to tell their toys the story behind the Spring Festival. This will help them remember what they learned and is also a very fun activity.
  • You can create your own little shop using coins on the tuff tray. It can be one of the shops at the Spring Festival.
  • Boil some spaghetti and put them on the tuff tray, kids can learn how to use a chopstick while eating spaghetti.

While you organize these activities for the Chinese New Year, keep in mind that there are great books on this topic too. You can read these books to the kids as well, for example, the Dragon Dance by Joann.

Chinese Tuff Tray Kits

You will also find some Chinese tuff tray kits in the market that are an excellent way to keep children engaged in fun activities. These kits have trays that are pre-decorated and often have coins hiding in all the glitter used to embellish the tray.

Chopsticks are used to pick the coins and see who wins at the end. What better way than a glamorous tuff tray to teach kids how to use chopsticks?

Chinese New Year Tuff Tray Kit


Chinese New Year Tuff Tray ideas are a great way to enjoy the holidays while also learning about the rich culture of China. You can invite elders over and have a game with tuff tray kits or let children play around using their creativity.

If you don’t have a tuff tray, you can use a large bowl for the same purpose as well. The idea behind this unique Chinese tradition is to bring joy to play and increase knowledge. Feel free to choose one of the tuff tray ideas mentioned in this blog to celebrate the Spring festival.

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