Thursday 23 January 2020

Making lanterns for ChineseNewYear

Chinese Lanterns

We did this great activity at a Skylarks 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, a Chinese dragon or anything you like to encourage cutting along the mark.  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 it. 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 and sensory materials.

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 door handles or like along some string.

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?

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