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Chinese New Year Drums
Chinese New Year Drums
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Chinese New Year Drums

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Ring in the Lunar New Year with these fun and festive drums!

This activity is appropriate for:
pre-k - 3rd grade / 4 - 8 years

You will need:

Before you begin:

  1. Cover a table with recycled newspaper or butcher paper and set up a painting station to accommodate five to six students at a time.
  2. Pour red glitter paint into several painting bowls and place the bowls on the table along with some paintbrushes.
  3. Print out two copies of the Chinese character template for each student.

Directions

  1. Invite several students at a time to join you at the painting station, and give each student two paper plates.
  2. Instruct students to turn the plates upside down on the table and paint the surface of the plates with red paint.
  3. Allow the paint to dry for a few hours. (You may wish to ask parent volunteers to assist younger students with steps 4–8 below.)
  4. Give each student a Jumbo Craft Stick. Have students tape or staple their two plates together so that the red sides of the plates face outward, with the craft stick between the plates as a handle for the drum!
  5. Provide each student with two copies of the Chinese Character template. Have students cut out the circles and glue one to the outside of each plate.
  6. Help students punch a hole in the outer rim of each side of the plates.
  7. Give students lengths of yarn (two per student) and help them tie a jingle bell to one end of each piece of yarn. Have students tie the other end through each hole on the plates.
  8. Show students how to make some noise by turning the handle of the drum rapidly, making the jingle bells beat against the outside of the plates!

Learning Extension

Select a children’s book about Chinese New Year to read aloud to your students, such as D Is for Dragon Dance by Ying Chang Compestine or Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin. Point out that people often celebrate holidays with happy festivities that include parades and music. Then host your own classroom Chinese New Year parade, inviting students to march around the room and make festive noises with their new drums!
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