Adele has been a youth services librarian for 25 years and a mother to a daughter from China for 20 years.
The Year of the Ox
In 2021, the Year of the Ox begins on February 12. The ox is the second animal in the Chinese zodiac. Below is a roundup of printable patterns for simple crafts you can make to help lend a festive atmosphere to your surroundings. You can use these patterns either with a group or as a one-on-one activity.
They have been designed to be suitable for children in preschool (with some help), kindergarten, and elementary school. Most of them just involve coloring, cutting, and assembling. If you teach at a school or daycare, or if you are looking for a craft for your children to do at home, these simple patterns allow you an easy way to print and get started.
I have lots of other articles that include more printable Year of the Ox craft project templates for things like coloring sheets, bookmarks, lanterns, and lucky red envelopes. Do an internet search for “Adele Jeunette” and “Year of the Ox,” and you will find them.
1. Drawing Sheet
Children can draw a picture of an ox in the blank area, or they can cut out a picture of an ox and paste it there. The words say “Happy New Year!” in English, pinyin, and Chinese. Pinyin is a system of writing Chinese words that indicates how they are pronounced. You can get pronunciation guidance from this video about how to say "Happy New Year" in Mandarin.
If you print these bookmarks onto card stock, they will be sturdier. The blank space at the top is a place that children can draw their own picture of an ox. They can also cut out a picture of an ox and glue it to the top.
3. 2021 Card
This card leaves a space where the “0” would be printed so that children can draw the face of an ox there. Fold the card along the dotted line.
4. Envelope and Card
Cut out the envelope, then fold it along the lines and glue it. Add the ears and horns to make an ox face on your envelope. The card you put inside says “Happy New Year” in English, pinyin, and Chinese.
5. Finger Puppets
Color these finger puppets, then cut them out and glue or tape them in a circle to make a finger puppet.
6. Sack Puppet
Color and cut out the ox facial pieces, then glue them to a small paper bag to make a puppet that can open and close its mouth.
7. Papercut Ox
Paper cutting is a traditional Chinese art. Line this template up on a colored piece of paper and fold in half to cut out this picture of an ox. Us an Xacto knife to make the fine details.
8. Standup Craft
Here is a little ox you can color and cut out to use as a table decoration. Print it onto card stock, then use a folded strip of paper to make the stand.
9. Paper Plate Craft
Color and cut out these ox face pieces and attach them to a paper plate. The gold character in the red circle is the character for “ox.”
Use scissors and tape to cut out these headband pieces and attach them together. You will have a headband with a colorful ox graphic and the Chinese word for “ox.”
Link for Printable Templates for Projects Described Above
Download and print these Year of the Ox Project Templates. Remember that you can print just one or two of the pages if you like. Just be sure to choose those pages in your printing menu.
Below, I've included photos of what all the templates look like. To see one of the photos, just click on the thumbnail to enlarge it.
Motifs to Use in Year of the Ox Projects
You can use these motifs for a variety of craft projects. Cut them out and attach them to greeting cards, use them to make ornaments, use them as bookmarks, or use them for any other creative thing you can come up with.
Download and print these Motifs to Use in Year of the Ox Projects. Remember, you can choose to print any of the pages you wish, Just be sure your printer is set to print the specific pages you would like.
I’ve included photos of each of the pages below. Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the photos.
Additional Facts About the Year of the Ox
- Every 12 years, the Year of the Ox occurs in the Chinese zodiac. Here are some Years of the Ox in the 20th and 21st centuries: 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033.
- Be aware that the year starts at the beginning of the Chinese New Year for that year, and that date changes every year. For example, a baby born in 2021 will have been born in the Year of the Rat if they are born before February 12, but they will have been born in the Year of the Ox if they are born on February 12th or after because that is when the Chinese New Year starts in 2021.
- Some recommended occupations for oxen include office clerk, teacher, doctor, technician, and lawyer.
- Oxen are considered to be the most compatible with rats, snakes, and roosters. They are considered to clash with goats, horses, and dogs.
- The only animal that comes before the ox is the rat. The animals that follow the ox are tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig—in that order.
Famous People Born in the Year of the Ox
- Napoleon Bonaparte
- Barack Obama
- Walt Disney
- Wayne Gretsky
- Rosa Parks
© 2020 Adele Jeunette