STREAM Activity: Chinese New Year

Celebrate the Year of the Ox!

Activity best for children age 3 and up

Chinese New Year is celebrated around the world. Many of the festivities last for about 15 days and include visiting with family, eating lots of special foods, lion dances and fireworks. How does your family celebrate the New Year?  Each new year a different animal becomes the symbol for the year.  The Chinese calendar uses a zodiac animal as the symbol for the year. The 12 Chinese zodiac animals are: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

It is believed that the animals all have different personalities. That means if you are born in that animal’s year, you will have the strengths and purpose of that animal. This year 2021 is the year of the Ox. The Ox personality is supposed to be hardworking, faithful and helpful. Do you help around the house? Do you work hard when given a chore to do? What is your favorite New Year’s tradition? Today we are going to make a fun folded paper ox to place on a corner of a book. Get some paper, some glue and let’s start folding!

Materials you’ll need:

Square piece of paper

Markers or colored pencils

Glue stick

Colored paper scraps

Guiding Questions:

What should my ox look like?

What kind of personality should my ox have?

How does my family celebrate the New Year? Is it the same way that Chinese New Year is celebrated or different?


Have a grown up help cut out  6×6 inch square piece of paper.

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Fold the square into a triangle.

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Take one corner to the top of the triangle and fold, repeat with the other corner.

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Open it up and bring the middle of the triangle down.

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Take one folded edge  and tuck in under the triangle. Repeat with the other edge.

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Have a grown up help you cut out Ox face pieces like eyes, ears, horn and nose. Glue them down. Now you have an Ox that can be a corner bookmark!

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Grown ups, are you looking for more ways to extend your child’s learning? Check out these extension activities to build upon today’s STREAM activity!

Reading Connection
Lion Dancer: Ernie Wan’s Chinese New Year  by Kate Waters & Madeline Slovenz-Low
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Math Connections
The number 8 is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture. Can you find 8 of the same things in your house?

Real-World Connections 
A popular food to eat for Chinese New Year is noodles. The noodles need to be long to promise a long life. What is your favorite noodle dish to eat and are those noodles extra long?