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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.


  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!

Special Days

December Holidays
Hanging Holiday Symbols
Peppermint Candy
Handprint Plates

Holiday Treats Gift Bag
Holiday Scrapbook
Gingerbread Man Notepads
Holiday Card
Decorative Gift Tags
Holiday Card Stand
Holiday Candle Holder
Holiday Snack Sticks
Celebration Candle
Candy Cane Ornament

January Holidays
“I Have a Dream” Quilt
Party Masks
New Year’s Hat
New Year’s Rocket
Sharing the Dream of Dr. King

February Holidays
Presidents’ Day Puppet & Poem
Giant Valentine
Valentine Mobile
Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year Drums
Handprint Heart Frame Photos
Valentine’s Day Door Wreath
Valentine’s Day Card
Valentine Tic–Tac–Toe
Love Bug
Valentine Mailbox
Cup of Cocoa Valentine’s
Day Card

Valentine Necklace
Valentine Caterpillar
Valentine Learning Centers
Patriotic Pencil Holders
Presidents’ Day Masks

March Holidays
Shimmering Shamrocks
Shamrock Door Hanger
Leprechaun Hunt
Leprechaun Hat Pencil Holder
Saint Patrick’s Day Pop-Up Card
Rainbow “Pot of Gold”
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
“Red Fish, Blue Fish” Fishbowl

Earth Day
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Recycled Robots
Caterpillar Garden Critters
Reusable Earth Day Bags

Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day Puzzle Photo Frame
3-D Mother’s Day Card
Mother’s Day Tea
Mother’s Day Bouquet
Mother’s Day Teacup Cards
Mother’s Day Card
Bear Hug Mother’s Day Card
May Day Basket

Father’s Day
Shirt & Tie Father’s Day Card
Father’s Day Card
Father’s Day Trophy
Father’s Day Frames
Father’s Day CD Photo Coaster

Patriotic Holidays
Independence Day Drum
Fourth of July Firecrackers
Uncle Sam Hat
Star-Spangled Shaker
Stars & Stripes Place Mat
Star-Studded Napkin Rings
Patriotic Noisemakers
Foam Star Paper Chains
A Flag Day Parade

September Holidays
Grandparents Day Card

October Holidays
Spooky Spiders
Halloween Countdown Calendar
Handprint Bat Hats
Jack-O’-Lantern Jars
Giant Pumpkin

November Holidays
Giving Thanks Centerpiece
Turkey Trot Relay Game
Fall Table Settings
Turkey Plate
Veterans Day Flag
Pattern Block Turkeys
Being Thankful Sunflowers
Native American Rattles
Colorful Napkin Rings
Pilgrim Hats
Turkey Place Card Holders
Colorful Cornucopia
Turkey Handprint Apron
Turkey Memory Match-Ups
Remember the Day in Photos
Pin the Tail on the Turkey
Thanksgiving Table Art
“A Festive Feast”
Brain Teaser Game

Terrific Turkey Centerpiece
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