Celebrating Chinese New Year with Preschoolers

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Chinese New Year is a fascinating and colorful holiday that can be a great way to bring excitement and learning to your preschool classroom. This celebration is not only a time of happiness and togetherness but also a perfect opportunity to teach young children about Chinese culture, history, and traditions. With the right activities and resources, preschoolers can have a blast learning about the Chinese New Year and participating in the festivities. Here are some ideas for celebrating Chinese New Year with preschoolers in your classroom.

Make Decorations

Making decorations is a great way to get preschoolers involved in the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Encourage the children to make lanterns, paper chains, and red and gold banners to decorate the classroom. You can also make a large dragon or lantern to hang from the ceiling. Let the children use their creativity and have fun making decorations that they can be proud of.

Enjoy Chinese Food

Tasting Chinese food is a great way for preschoolers to experience the flavors and culture of China. You can bring in Chinese food for the children to try, such as dumplings, fried rice, and noodles. Alternatively, you can cook simple dishes together with the children, such as stir-fried vegetables or egg-fried rice. This is also a great opportunity to talk about healthy eating and the importance of trying new foods.

Play Chinese Games

Playing games is a fun way to get preschoolers involved in the celebration of the Chinese New Year. You can play traditional Chinese games such as Mah Jong or Chinese Checkers. You can also play simple games such as "Red Envelope Treasure Hunt" or "Dragon Dance Relay". These games not only encourage physical activity but also teach the children about Chinese customs and traditions.

Watch Chinese Performances

Watching Chinese performances is a great way to introduce preschoolers to Chinese culture and traditions. You can watch videos of dragon and lion dances, acrobatics, and other traditional performances. You can also invite a local performer to come and perform for the children. This can be a great way for the children to experience the excitement of live performances and to learn about Chinese culture first-hand.

Make Red Envelopes

Making red envelopes is a fun and educational activity for preschoolers. Red envelopes are traditionally filled with money and given as gifts during Chinese New Year. Encourage the children to make their red envelopes and decorate them with Chinese characters or symbols. This activity can help develop their creativity and fine motor skills and also teach them about the importance of giving and receiving gifts.


Learn about the Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac is a fun and interesting way to teach preschoolers about Chinese culture and history. Each year is represented by one of 12 animals, and people born in that year are said to have certain personality traits associated with that animal. You can teach the children about the different animals and what they represent, and also help them to determine their zodiac sign based on their birth year.

Create Chinese New Year Crafts

Creating Chinese New Year crafts is a fun way for preschoolers to get involved in the celebration. You can make paper lanterns, red envelopes, and other Chinese New Year crafts. You can also create "wishing trees" where the children can write their wishes for the new year on paper and hang them from the tree. These crafts can be a great way for the children to express their creativity and learn about Chinese New Year traditions.


Celebrating Chinese New Year with preschoolers is not only fun but also immensely educational. It opens up avenues for learning about cultural traditions, the significance of family, and the beauty of diversity. Through crafts, storytelling, music, and food, children can get a glimpse of the rich cultural shades that the Chinese New Year represents, fostering a sense of global awareness and respect from a young age.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to celebrate Chinese New Year in preschool?

Celebrating Chinese New Year in preschool provides a great opportunity for children to learn about a different culture and to experience new customs, traditions, and foods. It also promotes diversity, helps children to understand and appreciate other cultures, and fosters creativity and learning.

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