Printable Year of the Rat Craft Projects for the Chinese New Year

Updated on November 27, 2019
Adele Jeunette profile image

Adele has been a youth services librarian for 25 years. She has been a mother to a daughter from China for 20 years.

Here are some fun and easy craft projects for kids pertaining to the year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac.
Here are some fun and easy craft projects for kids pertaining to the year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac.

Easy Printable Craft Projects for the Year of the Rat

Here are some quick templates, patterns, and craft ideas for the year of the Rat in the Chinese New Year zodiac cycle. The rat patterns here will be of use to parents, teachers, scout leaders, librarians, and anyone who is putting together craft programs for preschoolers or children in elementary school.

How Can I Print These Craft Templates?

These craft templates are all sized for paper that is 8.5" X 11". Below, you will see orange links that will take you to .pdf documents that include the templates for all the crafts in this article. You will find one link for all the templates in portrait orientation and one for everything in landscape orientation. If you want to print only one page of the templates, be sure to select that page specifically in your printing menu.

Index Photos of the Crafts in This Section

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Here is a photo of the first 9 pages you will find in the .pdf document you can access with the orange link below.Here is a photo of the second 9 pages you will find in the .pdf document you can access with the orange link below.
Here is a photo of the first 9 pages you will find in the .pdf document you can access with the orange link below.
Here is a photo of the first 9 pages you will find in the .pdf document you can access with the orange link below.
Here is a photo of the second 9 pages you will find in the .pdf document you can access with the orange link below.
Here is a photo of the second 9 pages you will find in the .pdf document you can access with the orange link below.

Printable Templates Batch #1

Here is the link: Printable Templates, Batch #1. Immediately below, you will see examples of the finished crafts. (If you didn't see the craft you were looking for in this batch, keep scrolling down for another orange link to batch #2 which has printable templates for finger puppets, an envelope, a "Happy New Year" sign, and a lantern.)

Drawing and Tracing Pages

The first few printable pages, which you can access through the "Printable Templates, Batch 1" link above are designed to help children relate the English and Chinese words along with pictures.

Below, you will see a series of thumbnail pictures that show you what each page looks like. The first one has a blank space in which kids can draw a picture of a rat. Others include the Chinese character for rat, which they can trace to get an idea of how Chinese characters are formed.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
A child has drawn a picture of a rat on this sheet, which is the first printable page in the document you can print using the orange link earlier in this article.This sheet provides children a way to trace the Chinese character for "rat" as well as the English word.On this sheet, children can trace the Chinese and English words for "rat."Children can practice the Chinese character and the English word for "rat" by tracing them here.Here is a page with the Chinese and English words for "rat" written four times. Children can cut these words out and paste them next to a drawing they have made of a rat.
A child has drawn a picture of a rat on this sheet, which is the first printable page in the document you can print using the orange link earlier in this article.
A child has drawn a picture of a rat on this sheet, which is the first printable page in the document you can print using the orange link earlier in this article.
This sheet provides children a way to trace the Chinese character for "rat" as well as the English word.
This sheet provides children a way to trace the Chinese character for "rat" as well as the English word.
On this sheet, children can trace the Chinese and English words for "rat."
On this sheet, children can trace the Chinese and English words for "rat."
Children can practice the Chinese character and the English word for "rat" by tracing them here.
Children can practice the Chinese character and the English word for "rat" by tracing them here.
Here is a page with the Chinese and English words for "rat" written four times. Children can cut these words out and paste them next to a drawing they have made of a rat.
Here is a page with the Chinese and English words for "rat" written four times. Children can cut these words out and paste them next to a drawing they have made of a rat.

Finger Puppets and Rats From Simple Shapes

The next few pictures show several printable patterns that are available through the "Printable Templates, Batch 1" link earlier in this article. Each template includes Chinese characters along with the associated graphic. You can click on each of the thumbnail photos below to see what each sheet looks like.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A simple rat finger puppetThese rats are made from folded heart shapes and have the word "rat" printed in English and Chinese.Here is another variation of rats made from folded heart shapes.This template has shapes to color, cut, and assemble to make to rat faces along with the Chinese character and English word for "rat." Use for decorating things like greeting cards or bookmarks.This little rat is made from a pointed strip, ears, whiskers, and a tail. You can't see it from this angle, but the Chinese character for "rat" is printed on its back.This little fella is made from a teardrop shape that is folded over.For this rat, a half-circle is fashioned into a cone. Add ears and tail, and he's complete.
A simple rat finger puppet
A simple rat finger puppet
These rats are made from folded heart shapes and have the word "rat" printed in English and Chinese.
These rats are made from folded heart shapes and have the word "rat" printed in English and Chinese.
Here is another variation of rats made from folded heart shapes.
Here is another variation of rats made from folded heart shapes.
This template has shapes to color, cut, and assemble to make to rat faces along with the Chinese character and English word for "rat." Use for decorating things like greeting cards or bookmarks.
This template has shapes to color, cut, and assemble to make to rat faces along with the Chinese character and English word for "rat." Use for decorating things like greeting cards or bookmarks.
This little rat is made from a pointed strip, ears, whiskers, and a tail. You can't see it from this angle, but the Chinese character for "rat" is printed on its back.
This little rat is made from a pointed strip, ears, whiskers, and a tail. You can't see it from this angle, but the Chinese character for "rat" is printed on its back.
This little fella is made from a teardrop shape that is folded over.
This little fella is made from a teardrop shape that is folded over.
For this rat, a half-circle is fashioned into a cone. Add ears and tail, and he's complete.
For this rat, a half-circle is fashioned into a cone. Add ears and tail, and he's complete.

Various Images for Crafts

The next few documents show the images on the "Printable Templates, Batch 1" link earlier in this article. You can print them and cut them out to add to other projects. For example, you can use them to decorate a greeting card or a bookmark. You can also use some of them for the pipe cleaner rat and the folded paper rats that are pictured later in this article. Below, you will see thumbnail images that show what each sheet looks like. Click on the image to see it magnified.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
These red circles have the word "rat" in Chinese and English. You can use them for the pipe cleaner rat and folded paper rat crafts described later in this article.Rats in Chinese paper-cut style—I placed them in an oval to make them easier to cut out. Use to decorate cards or bookmarks.Round rat motifs—I placed them in an oval to make them easier to cut out. Use to decorate cards or bookmarks.Child in rat costume motifs—use to decorate cards or bookmarks.The Batch #1 templates also includes this information sheet that tells a little about the year of the Rat and includes the Chinese character for "rat."
These red circles have the word "rat" in Chinese and English. You can use them for the pipe cleaner rat and folded paper rat crafts described later in this article.
These red circles have the word "rat" in Chinese and English. You can use them for the pipe cleaner rat and folded paper rat crafts described later in this article.
Rats in Chinese paper-cut style—I placed them in an oval to make them easier to cut out. Use to decorate cards or bookmarks.
Rats in Chinese paper-cut style—I placed them in an oval to make them easier to cut out. Use to decorate cards or bookmarks.
Round rat motifs—I placed them in an oval to make them easier to cut out. Use to decorate cards or bookmarks.
Round rat motifs—I placed them in an oval to make them easier to cut out. Use to decorate cards or bookmarks.
Child in rat costume motifs—use to decorate cards or bookmarks.
Child in rat costume motifs—use to decorate cards or bookmarks.
The Batch #1 templates also includes this information sheet that tells a little about the year of the Rat and includes the Chinese character for "rat."
The Batch #1 templates also includes this information sheet that tells a little about the year of the Rat and includes the Chinese character for "rat."

Pipe Cleaner Year of the Rat Craft

I came across this adorable little mouse made from chenille stems, and knew I needed to create a year of the Rat craft from it somehow. I decided to give the mouse (rat) a little red ball to hold—one that has the Chinese character for rat. You can find a printable sheet for the red ball by clicking the orange link to the printables near the beginning of this article. Here is the link to the directions on how to make the pipe-cleaner rat.

Here is a finished rat made from pipe cleaners. The red circle with the "rat" character is available on the "Printable Templates, Batch 1" link earlier in this article.
Here is a finished rat made from pipe cleaners. The red circle with the "rat" character is available on the "Printable Templates, Batch 1" link earlier in this article.

Paper Folded Mice

The Chinese use the term "paper folding" rather than origami to describe their art. I like to do relatively easy pieces, and these little guys are not too difficult. Take a look at these origami mouse video instructions and you'll soon get the hang of it. The little red circles I put at the center of the mouse can be found in the documents link listed near the front of this article.

A rat made with paper folding—the red circle with the "rat" character is available on the "Printable Templates, Batch 1" link earlier in this article.
A rat made with paper folding—the red circle with the "rat" character is available on the "Printable Templates, Batch 1" link earlier in this article.

Printable Templates Batch #2

Here is the link: Printable Templates, Batch #2. Here you will find links for a cone finger puppet, a rat-ears envelope, a stand-up year of the Rat sign, and a rat lantern. Keep scrolling down to see samples of the finished projects.

Index Photo of Crafts in This Section

Here is a photo which shows the craft templates available through the "Printable Template, Batch #3" link.
Here is a photo which shows the craft templates available through the "Printable Template, Batch #3" link.

Samples of Finished Crafts From This Section

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Here is a little cone-shaped rat that can be used as a finger puppet.One of the templates above includes the pattern for this Chinese New Year card and rat envelope.This pattern for a "Happy New Year" sign includes a pattern for a little stand so you can set it upright on a surface.The template for this craft has two pages: one for the lantern and one for the details you attach to make the rat face.
Here is a little cone-shaped rat that can be used as a finger puppet.
Here is a little cone-shaped rat that can be used as a finger puppet.
One of the templates above includes the pattern for this Chinese New Year card and rat envelope.
One of the templates above includes the pattern for this Chinese New Year card and rat envelope.
This pattern for a "Happy New Year" sign includes a pattern for a little stand so you can set it upright on a surface.
This pattern for a "Happy New Year" sign includes a pattern for a little stand so you can set it upright on a surface.
The template for this craft has two pages: one for the lantern and one for the details you attach to make the rat face.
The template for this craft has two pages: one for the lantern and one for the details you attach to make the rat face.

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    © 2019 Adele Jeunette

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