The Year of the Monkey is kicking off on February 8, so celebrate in style with fab activities that your whole crew will love. From red envelopes to calligraphy and even a dragon or two, we’ve got you covered for Chinese New Year. Read on to find your favorite.

dragon-craftphoto: Happiness Is Homemade

1. Dancing Dragons
The dragon dances performed at Chinese New Year parades scare away evil spirits and help bring good luck. Re-recreate your own parade right at home by whipping up these fun crafts from Happiness Is Homemade. Using egg cartons and bright paint, you’ll be adding a little color and good vibes to your festivities. To get the full instructions, click here.

chinese-lanternsphoto: Marie’s Pastiche

2. Chinese Lanterns
Light up your New Year by crafting bold lanterns to hang throughout the house (it’s like your very own Lantern Festival!) Don’t be alarmed, they come together in no time, using materials like red cardstock and convenient printables from Marie’s Pastiche. Click here for more information on how they’re made.

monkey craftphoto: The Adventures of J-Man and MillerBug

3. Toilet Paper Roll Monkeys
Celebrate the year of the monkey by transforming old toilet paper rolls into petite primates— a great idea from Jeannette of The Adventures of J-Man and MillerBug. Click here to get the full instructions on how it’s done.


photo: Danya Banya

4. Fireworks Painting
If you can’t make it to a fireworks show this year, bring the bright lights home with this toddler-friendly craft from Danya Banya. To get the scoop on how it’s done, click here.

chinese-gongphoto: Kid World Citizen

5. Chinese Gong
Get musical by making a Chinese-inspired gong like this one from Kid World Citizen. You can even experiment with different pan sizes for different types of sounds. Grab the full instructions by clicking here.

chinese-fansphoto: In the Playroom

6. Cherry Blossom Fans
Chinese New Year is also known as a Spring Festival, so what better way to celebrate than by letting the kiddos get messy decorating paper fans with finger-painted cherry blossoms? Click here to see the instructions from In the Playroom.

calligraphyphoto: Tinkerlab

7. Calligraphy 101
They may not be ready to master Chinese characters, but you can still introduce your little ones to the art of calligraphy with Tinkerlab’s awesome step-by-step guide. Click here to get the full guide.

red-envelopephoto: Micah Sittig via flickr

8. Hide and Seek: Red Envelope
Chinese New Year and the color red go hand-in-hand (for good luck in the new year!) It’s easy to set up the popular tradition of having a “Red Envelope” hunt in your home. Let the kids have fun searching high and low for these lucky envelopes. Fill them with traditional Chinese treats like gold chocolate coins or money. Click here to order a pack of 50.

sensory-bin photo: WanYung Chang via pinterest

9. Chinese New Year Sensory Tray
Create a Chinese New Year Sensory Tray for your little one. Color your rice red for an extra look of good luck. You can include all sorts of items, like chopsticks, old Chinese coins, tea cups, beads and more!

fire-crackersphoto: 4malmal

10. Chinese Firecrackers
Don’t worry, these won’t go off in your home. Hang this paper firework in your living room, or in your little firecracker’s space for extra pop . Find out how to make these by visiting mom blog 4malmal. 

good-luck-orangephoto: Julie K in Taiwan

11. Good Luck Oranges
Oranges are a sign of good luck and prosperity, so the time is right to make this cute orange craft from Julie K in Taiwan. They’ll take five minutes to craft, and will look fab stacked in your fruit bowl. Get the full instructions by clicking here.

How do you celebrate Chinese New Year? Let us know in the Comments below! 

— Christal Yuen & Susie Foresman