Saturday 28 January 2017

Using motor skills to make lanterns

Chinese Lanterns

We did this great activity yesterday at the Me Too & Co play sessions making lanterns for Chinese New Year. This is a great motor skills development activity for kids at any stage looking develop them.  It works on cutting and bilateral motor skills with gluing and sticking.

To make your Chinese Lantern you will need:
  • Coloured A4 paper - or colour your own if you like some extra pen control practice
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Things for sticking, eg glitter, paper etc
  • Battery tealight or tealight in tall glass (optional)
Help get ready for cutting by folding your coloured paper in half length ways and drawing on some guide marks.  You will need to cut a strip off the end of your paper to make the lantern handle later and then make short slits along the length of your paper - like in the photo below.  Once you have drawn the lines you can get your kiddie to cut along the lines.  

red paper and easigrip scissors

I've drawn some arrows but go with what works for you - make a road or anything you like.  If your kiddie is finding the scissor action a bit difficult you might like to try Easigrip scissors like we have. They help develop the closing technique and also spring open so no fingers get caught. 

decorating the lantern

After it's been cut, open the paper back out and decorate how you like. We used stickers, feathers and lots of glitter!  I love the way Jane calls the glitter 'sprinkles' - it sounds like she's decorating a cake. This activity would be a great way of using up left over pieces of Christmas paper too.

Put the bowls of things around the table to encourage your kiddie to cross their midline while getting their decorations - crossing his mid-line was one of the things my eldest autistic son really struggled with. They will also need to use both hands together (bilateral motor skills) to hold and glue the paper. 

Hanging our Chinese lanterns

After they are finished with their masterpiece stick the two short ends of your paper together to make the lantern shape and use the leftover strip from the beginning to make a handle.  Hang them outside or like along some string on the window too.

If you are very careful, you can drop a tea light into a tall glass and place your lantern over the top for a real life lantern effect.  Using battery operated/flameless tea lights also does the trick.

What things are you making this weekend?


  1. "Sprinkles" is an adorable way to describe glitter. Love these Chinese lanterns, what a fab craft activity. Thanks for sharing with #ftmob :-)

  2. Ahhh I'm so glad I visited your blog today! My little girl who is 4 and in Reception is learning all about Chinese New Year, she is going to LOVE making one of these at home to take in and show the teacher x

  3. Oooh fantastic idea!! I love arts and crafts but not imaginative enough to make something interesting haha.. this is a great idea and one I'm defo going to use for next year as CNY is almost over now (last day today!) #MarvMondays

  4. These are just brilliant! Thanks for linking up to #TheListLinky x


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