Chinese New Year is coming and I have the perfect, simple craft for your students to make in the classroom in celebration of this annual event: paper lanterns! When I taught first grade, we celebrated Chinese New Year in the classroom and this was one of my favorite crafts to make during our China study.
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The best part of this paper lantern craft is how few supplies it requires. All you really need is 12×18 sheets of red construction paper, a ruler, a pencil, and a stapler. I like the idea of decorating the paper ahead of time with yellow tempera paint and cookie cutters shaped like stars (mine were included in this pack of 101 cookie cutter shapes) because it references the flag of China.
To begin, I prep each sheet of paper ahead of time by folding them in half (taco style). I then use a pencil and a ruler to draw parallel lines that are 1″ apart and extend from the fold to 1.5″ away from the edge of the paper.
I know that it may seem a bit confusing so here is a quick diagram that should clarify how to draw the lines on the construction paper.
Once the lines are drawn with a pencil, the paper can be opened and the stars can be stamped onto the paper.
After the paint has dried fully, refold the construction paper and cut with scissors along each of the lines previously marked with a pencil.
The completed paper will look like this.
As a final step, reopen the construction paper and form it into a tall and skinny roll. Overlap the edges by 1 inch and staple the ends together at the top and bottom of the paper.
When your lantern looks like this, you are nearly finished!
As a final step, take a 2×12″ strip of red construction paper and form a loop along the top of the lantern so you can easily carry or hang it in the classroom.
And there you have it – a simple Chinese lantern paper craft.
It’s the perfect decoration to create and hang in the classroom while your students celebrate the Chinese New Year!