Adele has been a youth services librarian for 25 years and a mother to a daughter from China for 20 years.
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. For more easy ideas, see these coloring sheets. If you click on my name above, you will find additional articles with printables for lucky red envelopes, greeting cards, and bookmarks.
Printable Templates Batch #1
Here is the link: Printable Templates, Batch #1. Immediately below, you will see examples of the finished crafts. (If you don'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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Printable Templates Batch #2
Here is the link: Printable Templates, Batch #2. 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. Take a look at the thumbnailed images to see samples of the finished projects.
© 2019 Adele Jeunette
Annie on February 04, 2020:
thank you so much!
Yun on January 17, 2020:
Thanks for the sharing.
Mae Lin on December 30, 2019:
Great idea and thank you for the templates!