We have a lot of horse coloring books in my house. To be honest the only thing my kids will play with comes from the equine family. I xeroxed a "front" and "back" image onto some red construction paper and my daughters cut the images out and decorated them. I accordion folded a body. By adding some popsicle sticks we were able to make some really fun puppets that would make festive party favors. Able to twist, dance, and jump as well as any dragon
May your wealth come to fill a hall.
We started doing lantern walks for the Mid Autumn Moon Festival and it has become a popular request for all other Chinese holidays. I had these red paper gift bags left over from my trip to China. They make perfect lanterns. Again I used an image from a coloring book for the template to do the paper cut. Of course we will use tea lights one of these evenings when the snow melts and it is a bit warmer. I think they will look quite magical.
This is one of our favorite book to read around the Chinese New Year. I always try to make a traditional Chinese dish and this year it was Nian-Gao, a cake made of rice flour and dried fruit. This book has a great recipe. I decided to do the baked version as I feared a steamed rice cake would stick and that my family would not really eat it. Normally I would write the recipe for you but I think that you really have to read the book and then make the cake with your kids. Otherwise it has no meaning for them and there are certainly better tasting cakes. I was pretty impressed with how well the cake turned out. Nice texture and pleasing taste. I halved the recipe as I think a whole cake is too much for a smaller family.
Really simple napkin rings made with, pipe cleaners, air hardening clay and rubber stamps. My four and six year olds were able to do most of the craft themselves.
Place cards made with card stock and painted clothespins. I am sure a bit of glitter was an unplanned ingredient in our take out Chinese dinner.
Too much snow for firecrackers this year, so we will be making a lot of noise with this horse gong made of an aluminum pie tin and cardboard paper towel roll. For something scrounged from the recycling bin it has a pretty authentic sound. Loud enough to certainly scare away bad luck and spirits.
Some more ideas for celebrating The Year of The Horse with your children...
Visit a horse rescue center and make a donation
Go horse back riding on a nice day
Visit your local library and check out books on Chinese culture, traditions and history
Attend your community's Chinese New Year celebration
Learn a new thing this year like Mandarin, bamboo brush painting, or cooking a Chinese dish
Try out acupuncture
Enroll your family in a martial art like Tai Chi or Kung Fu
Oh and here are some crafts we did last Chinese New Year that could be done this year as well
Well there had to be a lion dance...