The Chinese New Year is the celebration of the new year based on the traditional Chinese calendar. The date moves each year. In 2020, it is on January 25 and is called The Year of the Rat. I thought it would be fun to put together a collection of Chinese New Year activities you can use for a fun little mini study.
Don’t be intimidated by the term “unit study” and think it has to be long and complicated. It doesn’t! It is a great fit with relaxed homeschooling and delight directed homeschooling. The important thing is simply doing some learning activities around a theme and having fun in a way that helps your children.
If this is new to you, I have a post called How to Create a Unit Study that gives all kinds of ideas and ways you can easily put together a themed unit for your family.
I also have a Unit Study Planner and Printables in my shop that can be used with many different themes.
If you read that post and look at the activities below, you will see how easy it is to put together an interesting, fun, and informative Chinese New Year unit study.
As always, please preview all of the resources to make sure they align with your family’s values.
Chinese New Year Videos for Kids
For the visual learners in your home (and just for fun!)
Explanation of Chinese Zodiac
You can see a detailed explanation of the 12 zodiac animals in this article, including the dates when each one will cycle through.
From the linked article, the animals are in order:
- rat (鼠—shǔ)
- ox (牛—niú)
- tiger (虎—hǔ)
- rabbit (兔—tù)
- dragon (龙—lóng)
- snake (蛇—shé)
- horse (马—mǎ)
- goat (羊—yang)
- monkey (猴—hóu)
- rooster (鸡—jī)
- dog (狗—gǒu)
- pig (猪—zhū)
Chinese New Year Books
Here are some picture books to add to your family library or read aloud time.
- Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Chinese New Year: With Fireworks, Dragons, and Lanterns
- Chinese New Year Wishes: Chinese Spring and Lantern Festival Celebration
- Dragon Dance: A Chinese New Year Lift-the-Flap Book
- My First Chinese New Year
- Bringing In the New Year
- Chelsea’s Chinese New Year
- A New Year’s Reunion: A Chinese Story
Spelling and Vocabulary Words
If you use the unit study pack, here is a list of Chinese New Year words you can use for many purposes (spelling, vocabulary, word search, etc.).
- Chinese New Year
- Lunar New Year
- red envelopes
- lucky coins
- good luck
- lion dance
- spring rolls
- red packets
Chinese New Year Foods
Two articles with recipes for learning about the foods associated with the celebrations.
- Chinese New Year Recipes – Understanding the Symbolic Meanings of Food Special to this Holiday
- 10 Of The Best Chinese New Year Dessert Recipes
Chinese New Year Decorations
If your family really wants to celebrate, here are some inexpensive decoration packs from Amazon.
Chinese New Year Learning Printables
Here are some fun learning activities your family will enjoy! These are downloads in my shop. Click on any cover to see the details.
I hope your study is fun!