diy chinese paper lanterns and egg carton dragons

Happy New Year! February 3rd is Chinese New Year, so today the boys and I decided to whip up a couple of cute little decorations to celebrate. While we were making our jeweled paper lanterns and egg carton dragons we talked a lot about the Chinese Zodiac and what it actually means to begin a new year. It was the perfect opportunity to sneak in a little cultural lesson as well as working some more on our calendar skills (which has been a super popular topic around here since we got our Melissa & Doug calendar – love it!).

chinese paper lantern craft for kids
First we started by making these paper lanterns out of colored cardstock.

kids cutting paper for lantern
First, cut a 1″ strip from the short side of the paper and reserve it for later. Fold the rest of the paper in half lengthwise and cut 1″ strips along the folded edge making sure to stop about 1″ away from the opposite edge. You can see here that I marked the places to cut and included a “stop cutting here” line as a guide for my kids.
kids cutting paper for homemade lanterns
Working on scissor skills is always a big hit around here.child adding decoration to chinese lantern craft
Open it up and decorate along the uncut edges. To finish the lantern, roll it up and secure with glue or double stick tape. Use your reserved piece of paper to make a handle. All done, easy peasy!
child painting egg carton
To make the dragons we started with the bottom of an egg carton, cut in half lengthwise and with one of the cups removed from the end.

little hands painting egg carton craft for kids
Paint the entire top of the egg carton and the single cup piece.
painting egg carton dragon red and yellow
Paint the inside of the cup black. This will be your dragon’s mouth.

kid painted diy dragons
Glue the head on to the body, then add googly eyes and a long dragon tongue.
cute diy dragons for chinese new year celebrations
Hello, there Mr. Dragon!
fun chinese new year crafts
Two super quick and easy crafts to celebrate the day!
year of the rabbit emblem
Here’s hoping that the year of the rabbit brings health and good wishes to everyone!
signature from Heidi, Happiness is Homemade

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  1. oooh, I LOVE that you posted these early…just for me!! We will be doing BOTH of these ideas soooon, thanks to you!!

    🙂 Cheri
    PreK and Kinderg teacher