Chinese Zodiac signs to celebrate Lunar New Year for Kids
What’s your Chinese Zodiac sign? 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit!
A few years ago, our neighbor, who is from Hong Kong, introduced us to Lunar New Year for kids. She brought in oranges and other Chinese treats, we read Chinese books, and we created some Lunar New Year crafts.
After that session, my daughter and I went to the library to learn more about Lunar and Chinese New Year. Here’s what we learned:
- People clean their houses and buy new clothes.
- The color red is for good luck.
- Firecrackers are lit to celebrate the New Year.
- Lion characters scare away last year’s bad luck.
- Chinese New Year ends with a big parade featuring a dragon.
- New Year celebrations last for fifteen days.
- Eating oranges, dumplings, and fish brings good luck.
- Family is the most important part of the New Year celebrations.
- “Gung Hay Fat Choy!” means “Happy New Year” in Chinese.
If you’re looking for new kids yoga class ideas, why not try Lunar New Year yoga poses!
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Chinese New Year Books for Kids
We took out a stack of Chinese New Year books from the library, and here are our top five favorites:
Bringing in the New Year
by Grace Lin
This beautifully illustrated book is a simple look at a Chinese family preparing for the New Year’s celebrations. Check out other titles by Grace Lin, like Dim Sum for Everyone. Ages 3+
Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas
by Natasha Yim and Grace Yong
This fun story follows the same pattern as The Three Little Bears as a little girl takes a plate of turnip cakes to her neighbors. Ages 4+
Chelsea’s Chinese New Year
by Lisa Bullard and Katie Saunders
This early-reader chapter book that follows Chelsea and her family getting ready for the New Year. She gets to stay up late as she watches the fireworks and the dragon parade. Ages 4+
My First Chinese New Year
by Karen Katz
This book’s bright illustrations and simple text are the perfect introduction to Chinese New Year for toddlers and preschoolers. Ages 2+
What the Rat Told Me: A Legend of the Chinese Zodiac
by Marie Seller, Catherine Louis, and Wang Fei
We found a number of Chinese Zodiac books, but this one was our favorite. The story explains how the order of the animals was decided for the zodiac. Ages 4+
Other Chinese New Year books that you might like:
Max Celebrates Chinese New Year
by Adria Klein and Mernie Gallagher-Cole
This early reader book would be great for children who would like to read about Chinese New Year themselves. Ages 4+
Sam and the Lucky Money
by Karen Chin, Cornelius Van Wright, and Ying-Hwa Hu
A boy is given money from his grandparents for Chinese New Year. He learns that a gift to a stranger from his heart brings him more joy than buying himself something. This would be a good book if you’re planning to talk about values and the true meaning of the holiday. Ages 5+
Chinese New Year
by Rebecca Pettiford
This holiday book is part of a non-fiction series with real photos and simple text to learn about Chinese New Year. Ages 4+
Chinese New Year Poses for Kids
Download our Chinese New Year Yoga Cards for Kids to act out the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac or create your own yoga poses for any number of the animals. Here are five zodiac signs:
1. Downward-Facing Dog Pose – for the year of the Dog.
How to practice Downward-Facing Dog: Step back to your hands and feet in an upside-down V shape, with your buttocks up in the air, and stretch like a dog.
2. Hero Pose – for the year of the Rabbit.
How to practice Hero Pose: Come to rest upright on your heels with your palms resting on your knees. Pretend to be a rabbit sniffing the air for food.
3. Cobbler’s Pose – for the year of the Monkey.
How to practice Cobbler’s Pose: Sit on your buttocks with a tall spine, bend your legs, place the soles of your feet together. Pretend to be a clever monkey.
4. Cobra Pose – for the year of the Snake.
How to practice Cobra Pose: Lie on your tummy and place your palms flat next to your shoulders. Pressing into your hands, lift your head and shoulders off ground. Hiss like a snake.
5. Child’s Pose – for the year of the Rat.
How to practice Child’s Pose: Sit on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest on the floor in front of your knees, rest your arms down alongside your body, and take a few deep breaths. Pretend to be a rat in the barn.
Tell us your Chinese Zodiac sign and matching yoga pose in the comments below!
Gung Hay Fat Choy!