How to plan a Chinese New Year party for kids

Posted by Naureen Aqueel on

How to plan a Chinese New Year party for kids

If you are looking for ideas to throw a fun Chinese New Year party for your kids and their friends look no further! 

We’ve put together a number of ideas and activities that you can draw inspiration from whether you are planning a big Chinese New Year party or just getting a few of your kid’s friends together for some timely and themed fun activities.

Chinese New Year is a 15 day festival which is celebrated annually based on the sighting of the new moon. Also called the Spring Festival, it is a popular occasion that is celebrated by 20% of the world’s population. 

This year Chinese New Year will fall around January 22 depending on the sighting of the new moon. It is usually celebrated with lots of food, festivities and the colour red.

Here are some ideas for your Chinese New year party, get together or educational activity:

Chinese lantern Chinese New Year Party ideas


Chinese Lanterns

The Chinese lantern is an iconic symbol that can be seen dotting the streets of Chinatowns and Chinese restaurants around the world. It’s one of the popular symbols we are familiar with, whether or not  we come from the culture. These Chinese lanterns represent family gatherings and a bright future. 

You can use red Chinese lanterns for decorations at your party or you can arrange a lantern making activity with red paper, scissors, tape and glue. Alternatively, you can have ready made lanterns and get kids to decorate them with various stickers, glitter, washi tape and markers for a fun craft. Which idea you choose depends a lot on who you are hosting. For younger kids and toddlers a decorating activity would be the easiest to execute and for older kids, you can test their dexterity by getting them to make and design their own paper lanterns!

Chinese New Year books:

It’s a great idea to read a story book on Chinese New Year to introduce kids to the festival and its background. Here are some great books you can use to educate your little guests, spark conversation and curiosity and set the tone for the rest of the hours of fun and frolic:

Lanterns and Firecrackers: A Chinese New Year Story by Jonny Zucker

This book tells the story of how a Chinese family prepares for their New Year festivities and details about how the celebration goes, introducing children to this traditional celebration in a fun and relatable way. 

Bringing In The New Year by Grace Lin

This book is an animated story that is perfect for read alouds. It tells the story of a Chinese American family as they prepare to celebrate the Lunar New Year, make decorations and prepare delicious food. 

Chinese New Year party activity for kids dragon and rabbit


All kids are fascinated by the mythical dragon! Here is your chance to include a dragon in your decor or games like feed the dragon or dragon’s tail. 

In Chinese culture, dragons symbolize good luck and prosperity and therefore are an essential element of new year celebrations. Chinese new year celebrations often include the famous dragon dance

You can also get creative and make this dragon craft from recycled egg cartons, paints and pipe cleaners! 


Each Chinese New Year has a unique zodiac animal theme. The Chinese New year in 2023 will be the Year of the Rabbit. This gives a great excuse to incorporate rabbits into your decor, games and activities!

Easy games you can include are pin the tail on the rabbit, chase the rabbit and hopping games for some physical activity. You can also do fun rabbit crafts like making this handprint bunny or stuffed paper bag bunnies.


Chinese New Year party ideas kids activities



Now this may raise a few eyebrows from parents wondering whether it’s even safe to have fireworks in a kids’ party. But fireworks are a Chinese new year tradition and it would be a drag to not be able to accommodate this fun tradition in a Chinese New Year party. 

Luckily, there are safer alternatives available for kids that you can find at your local fireworks stores or party stores. Snakes, cone fountains, ground-bloom flowers, spinners and other novelty fireworks that don’t shoot up in any way are often sold as safe alternatives to conventional fireworks that are considered dangerous for kids. 

Alternatively, you can also do fun science experiments like make fireworks in a jar to still have something to do with fireworks in your party! It’s all about being creative and making it an opportunity for some fun and learning.

Chinese New Year party kids activity red envelopes

Red Envelopes

Gifting and distributing red envelopes is a Chinese New Year tradition. Every year 8 billion red envelopes are exchanged to share joy and love in this warm cultural tradition. The color red symbolizes good fortune and the envelopes are usually filled with cash, chocolates or candies. 

You can give out red envelopes instead of party bags or even have kids create and design their own red envelopes and fill them up with treats and play cash for a fun activity! Lay out a red envelope production line with materials like envelopes, golden tape and markers and items to fill up the envelopes like play money, chocolate coins and other candies. Or better still, make kids make their own currency notes with paper, scissors, stamps and markers! 

You can let the kids choose amounts of their choice and make it an opportunity to learn about money, addition and subtraction. Do remind kids to make the amount of money an even number and avoid the number 4 which is considered unlucky in Chinese culture. Kids can then exchange their red envelopes at the end of the activity or you can put them in a pile that kids get to pick from as they leave the party. 

Chinese New Year Party kids Chinese food

Chinese food:

Who doesn’t love some Chinese food? A Chinese New Year party is a great time to serve Chinese food. 

Mini chicken, egg and vegetable spring rolls are great finger foods to serve at a kids party and kids love the crunchy fried goodies. Dumplings are also another great option to include. Noodles and chow mein are some more kid-friendly food items that your little guests would love. You can also make the kids try the art of eating these items in the traditional way with chopsticks if you aren’t afraid of the mess! 

A feast isn’t complete without a dessert. Sweet rice balls are a great Chinese item to include as a dessert as are sweet sesame balls. 

And who can forget fortune cookies? Although not traditionally Chinese, these cookies have come to be associated with Chinese cuisine. They are a fun item to include on the menu. Kids will enjoy cracking them open and reading the fortune inside! 

Red party bags Chinese New Year party kids The Little Things

Red party bags:

Can you end a party without a party bag? Some of you would argue it’s perfectly ok to not have party bags for your Chinese New Years party, especially if you are handing out the traditional red envelopes. 

You can use the red envelopes as party favors or make separate red party bags to keep the party going and leave kids with some interesting cultural traditions to carry home. 

If you choose to make party bags for your Chinese New Year party, you can go with a red theme and include red candies and stationery as well as small informational printouts educating families about the various traditions in your Chinese New Years celebration. 


Arranging a party or an educational activity for Chinese New Year doesn’t have to be a difficult undertaking. Pick a few ideas that appeal to you and that you can easily execute and give it a shot. 

It’s all about providing kids an opportunity to learn and have some fun! 

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