Thursday, February 3, 2011

Let's Celebrate Chinese New Year

The Year of the Rabbit begins today, February 3, 2011. To celebrate Chinese New Year, I think we should go fly a kite!

If kite-flying doesn't appeal:
I love what kite flying has to offer kids. Kite-making can be a great opportunity for dads and kids to get together for some special time. Kite-flying is a sport in its own right and may well be something your teens, tweens and adult children will all find an interest in. Just creating a kite of one's own, decorating it and experimenting with ways to make it fly can be an absorbing project. And examining different kites from around the world can be an excellent way to gain an inkling of other cultures.

Crayola have some instructions for kite making and safety tips for kite flying. They suggest decorating the kite with one of the 12 animal zodiac signs. This first Crayola kite seems purely ornamental. The second one is simple but should fly. Here's a third Crayola kite, the air-flow, and they also have a more difficult Maori kite.

Gomberg Kites has a gallery of kites from around the world. The same website has instructions for kite-making under Artistry and Craftsmanship.

Song suggestions for your kite-flying:
Decorate a kite cupcake at Family Fun.

Book suggestion:
I am fascinated by mini-kites. Admittedly, it doesn't take much to fascinate the Chook, but I love the way these things fly! I think your primary and junior high school kids might enjoy experimenting with these incredibly light and manoeuvrable kites. You can see one in action in this video. Don't be put off by the beginning, the guy soon cuts to the chase and shows you mini kites flying and how to make them.

Kiting USA has some mini kite plans,  plus galleries and more information. Here's another mini kite, made of straws and tissue paper,  and a similar kite from eHow. There's also a miniature kite guild, with templates, but you need to register to download.

If your kids enjoy making things fly, you might like to check out my articles Let's Celebrate Australia Day (mini boomerangs)  and Follow and Fly (paper aeroplanes.)

What will you do to celebrate Chinese New Year? Xin nian yu kuai!


  1. Tania McCartney03 February, 2011

    Xin nian kuai le, lovely one! x

  2. The Book Chook03 February, 2011

    Xie Xie!

  3. Marjorie @ PaperTigers03 February, 2011

    Yes, Happy Year of the Rabbit - and I'll join you flying a kite - I think I might manage that better than a boomerang... :) And for some more books that feature Asian kites, here's a Link to a Personal View Aline wrote some time back on PaperTigers. Demi's Kites is one of my favourte kite picture books, and accompanied by her Happy, Happy Chinese New Year! they are perfect for erm, Chinese New Year!

  4. Andromeda Jazmon03 February, 2011

    Xin nian Kwai Le! thanks for all these ideas about kite making & flying. I have a sick child today who loves paper craft so we might just try one in the house. And fly it down the hall Thing One style...

  5. Happy Chinese New Year! To bring in the year of the rabbit, I'll be giving away free digital copies of my book: Covert Youth Agency, The Case of Tangled Love. Just email me through my site: (under "contact"} and say Happy Chinese New Year in your post. Promo good through tomorrow: 2-4-2011.

  6. The Book Chook04 February, 2011

    Oh that sounds like fun! Paper boomerangs are great for indoors too - your child might enjoy flicking a mini boomerang and catching it on return. (See my last paragraph above for the link.) Being sick is lousy so anything in the way of distraction is useful. Oh, and do you know Tammy Yee's Origami page?

  7. The Book Chook04 February, 2011

    Thanks for those links, Marjorie. I should know by now to search Paper Tigers when I research a blog post!

    Boomerangs are so much quicker to make than kites but I must admit those mini kites are calling me!

  8. What fun to celebrate with kites! Last year @Maggieswitz did an inquiry project with her students on making kites, it was a wonderful learning opportunity!

  9. The Book Chook04 February, 2011

    Kite flying is one of those things that's bound to bring a smile to everyone's face I think Kelly!

  10. Thanks for the great resources Susan! My little guys would love celebrating by making their own kites. What a great idea!

  11. The Book Chook10 February, 2011

    Not strictly traditional to fly kites for New Year, Holly, but so much fun!


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