Chinese New Year Unit Study for Kids

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with this Chinese New Year unit study with these printables, crafts, and recipes.

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Chinese New Year Unit Study for Kids

Chinese New Year is a very important holiday celebrated in China every January or February. People celebrate the new year as a way to bring luck and good fortune to themselves in the coming months. There are 12 animals on the Chinese zodiac. Each year a new animal becomes the forefront for that year. During Chinese New Year, people try to eat their way to good luck by eating a food considered by many to be lucky, fish. Children often receive gifts of red envelopes filled with money from various relatives. And of course, there are fireworks, fairs, dancing, and singing galore to welcome in the New Year!

This Chinese New Year unit study is perfect for those wanting to learn a bit more about this festive time of year! Learn all about Chinese New Year traditions, bake a few delicious recipes, and decode the secret messages telling your fortune for the New Year. Also includes directions for making your very own lucky red envelopes, a couple of craft project ideas to try, and a word search to test your word-finding skills! After reading all about the most important holiday in China, you can also try your luck at the Chinese New Year trivia game! Kids will love learning about this important holiday with these fun activities!

Grab the Chinese New Year unit study here for only $2.50!

Chinese New Year Foods To Try:

Dim Sum

Lovely steamed dumplings filled with meats and vegetables, topped with a flavorful sauce. 

Sweet and Sour Pork

Fried pork tossed in a sweet and tangy sauce that is flavored with bell peppers, onions, and pineapple. It’s better than takeout!

Peking Duck

A simple peking duck recipe that would pair wonderfully with some savory plum sauce on top.

Springrolls with Peanut Sauce

This vegetarian recipe is simple and packed full of fresh vegetables and a savory, peanuty flavor.

Chow Mein

This stir-fried noodle dish is a Chinese food must-try! After you get comfortable with the basic recipe, it is easy to create your own amazing variation!

Crispy Tofu

This is one of the fastest and easiest crispy tofu recipes out there! Its simplicity makes it a great stand-alone or addition to a stir-fry, curry, or rice dish. 

Book Recommendations:

Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges

Most girls that little Ruby knows just want one thing–to be married. Ruby, however, has other aspirations. She wants to grow up and attend university like her brothers. The only problem is, going to college isn’t something girls usually get to do. This sweet story was one of my childhood favorites.

Fortune Cookie Fortunes by Grace Lin

A great way to introduce the history of fortune cookies and their integral part in Chinese culture. Mei Mei discovers that her fortunes, as told by the cookies, are really coming true!

Dia’s Story Cloth: The Hmong People’s Journey of Freedom by Dia Cha 

Dia’s aunt and uncle created a story cloth to help them remember their journey as refugees leaving China and fleeing to a camp in Thailand in the 1950s. Forced to leave everything behind after their city was invaded and bombed by communist forces, Dia’s relatives remain true to their heritage, even while being pushed from place to place. The story cloth helps Dia remember that the spirit of her people, the Hmong (which means “free people”), cannot be broken. 

Mei Li by Thomas Handforth

Mei Li is upset when her brother, San Yu, gets to go to the New Year’s Eve party and she is forced to stay home just because she’s a girl. She bribes her brother into taking her along, and while in the city Mei Li competes against her brother multiple times, proving that girls are just as capable as boys. When she gets home, the kitchen god is waiting for her, much to her delight. 

The Empty Pot by Demi

A young boy named Ping had a reputation for being able to grow flowers just about anywhere. Wherever he tossed a few seeds, gorgeous blooms would soon appear. The Emperor, who also loved flowers, passed out a single seed to each child in the kingdom, promising that whoever could cultivate the best flower in a year’s time would inherit his throne. Ping plants his seed in a pot, but for the first time, nothing grows. As spring arrives, Ping must bring his empty container to the Emperor. This is one of my FAVORITE character-building picture books.

Check out these picture books about China!

Movie Recommendations:

Although not entirely accurate, Disney’s original Mulan (not the awful live-action one) is a fun watch. Grab my movie guide for a Chinese-themed movie night.


My Chinese New Year Booklet – English and Spanish

This free booklet is perfect for emerging readers and comes in both English and Spanish.

Chinese New Year Unit Study

For older students, this Chinese New Year unit study is a perfect fit. It includes information about the holiday, a lucky red envelope craft, a steamy pork bun recipe, and more. Grab it for only $2.50 in the store!

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