Adele has been a youth services librarian for 25 years and a mother to a daughter from China for 20 years.
Chinese New Year Crafts for Kids
February 1, 2022, will herald the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese zodiac cycle. Below you will find a collection of printable patterns for lucky red envelopes and bookmarks to celebrate the holiday. You can use these craft items with a large group or one-on-one. They are suitable for preschool (with some help) or elementary-age children to color, cut, and assemble. If you teach at a daycare or a school--or if you are looking for a quick and easy craft for your children to do at home--these simple patterns allow you to print and color simply.
Every template includes the Chinese characters for the phrase “Happy New Year” and the pinyin version. Pinyin is an alphabetic system that shows us how to pronounce the words that are represented by the Chinese characters.
You can also find articles with more printables by searching for “Adele Jeunette” and “Year of the Tiger.” I have articles that offer templates for greeting cards, lanterns, coloring sheets, and other projects.
Year of the Tiger: Red Envelope Templates 1–11
Here is the link to the document with all the envelope templates: Envelope Templates for Year of the Tiger. You can see thumbnail photos of each template below. To enlarge a photo so that you can see it better, simply click on the image.
If you want to have children make their own envelopes as a craft project, you can print the patterns below onto red paper. Then they can cut the envelopes out and assemble them.
You can also print the templates onto white paper and let the children color the background red. They can use different colors to fill in the design. For the words and characters, it’s nice to use a metallic gold marker or a gold crayon since gold is a traditional color used for writing on Chinese New Year envelopes.
Customs Related to Lucky Red Envelopes for Chinese New Year
Because red is a lucky color in China, people often give friends and relatives red envelopes with money enclosed to celebrate Chinese New Year or other special occasions. The envelopes are often embellished with gold since gold signifies wealth.
In the Mandarin language, these envelopes are called hong bao (meaning "red envelope"), while in Cantonese, they are called lai see (meaning "good luck"). In China, the official language is Mandarin, but many of the people in the south speak Cantonese, a related language.
Customarily, people give out these envelopes—especially to unmarried children in the family and to the children of close friends and acquaintances—at the new year. Many workplaces will give them out to their employees on the last working day before the holiday, making them sort of like a bonus.
Year of the Tiger: Bookmark Templates 1–15
Here is the link to the document for the bookmark templates: Bookmark Templates for Year of the Tiger. Each features a picture of a tiger and the Chinese character for tiger and the phrase "Happy New Year!" written in English, pinyin, and Chinese characters.
It’s a good idea to print these images onto card stock so that the bookmark will be sturdy. Cut along the heavy black lines on the page to separate the bookmarks.
Page 10 of the document features bookmarks that have the top left blank so that you can paste your own image there to decorate it. You can find some printable tiger images to use at the end of the document. You can also have children draw a tiger in this space or cut out a photo to attach there.
The photos below show the templates. After that, you will see photos of the finished projects to give you some ideas for how to decorate the blank bookmarks.
Ideas for Bookmarks With Toppers
The 10th template in the above documents is blank to affix whichever graphic you would like to the top of the bookmark. I've included four different designs that you can cut out and use in the documents link. Alternately, you can have children draw a picture and then glue that to the top of the bookmark.
© 2021 Adele Jeunette