One of the best things about living In New York City is the opportunity to experience diverse celebrations from around the world. It seems almost every culture is represented here and has a parade, party, festival, street fair, or other opportunity for New Yorkers to not just witness but join in. Chinese New Year is one of my favorite cultural celebrations to introduce to young students. From exploration of the food, the colors, the lions and dragons, there is so much appeal for children of all backgrounds.
This week I’m sharing one of my favorite Chinese New Year projects. It’s super simple and can be done with children as young as two years old yet always produces such a beautiful result. Whether it’s a craft or a reading a book, introduce your children to the holiday at home. I then encourage you to take them out to witness the celebration firsthand. Go to the parade in Chinatown or at least out for a walk, to eat some dumplings, and a stroll around Pearl River Mart. Allow them to enjoy the rich culture of the Chinese… it’s unavoidable here in NYC and provides a perfect opportunity for a lesson in cultural diversity.
Gung hay fat choy!
Continue to shine your light –
Aaron Goldschmidt, founder & director
- Red construction paper
- toothbrushes for painting
- black paint
- black and/or gold glitter
- black yarn
- Chinese tassels
- Masking tape
- Hole puncher
- Paint designs on paper using toothbrush dipped in black paint. We like using toothbrushes for this project because they don’t hold too much paint and create wispier designs that seem more Asian in style. Feel free to use whatever brushes you have lying around.
- Shake some black and gold glitter on the wet paint. We like to use mostly black with just a hint of gold.
- When dry, used rolled masking tape to attach the two sides into a cylinder.
- Using a hole puncher, punch two holes across from each other on the top and the bottom of cylinder.
- Loop tassels through the bottom two holes and string the yarn through the top holes tying it off at desired length. Our trick: once the yarn has been strung we trim a straw to fit perfectly inside the lantern. We then slice it down the middle and put it over the yarn inside. This helps the lantern keep its shape.
- Hang these lanterns in your home to celebrate the Chinese New Year!
By Aaron Goldschmidt, Founder & Director, Shine