A fun way to teach kids about the Chinese New Year red envelopes tradition is to let them make their own lucky red envelopes. In Chinese culture, the color red is associated with good luck. A popular Chinese New Year tradition is to give red envelopes filled with “lucky money” to family and friends.
Lucky for us in the United States, the Chinese New Year is celebrated close to Valentine’s Day so it was easy for me to find red envelopes at the store. If you can’t find red envelopes, the kids can use red markers to color a white envelope or fold a red piece of paper to make an envelope. -OR-
You can even do something as simple as fold a red piece of paper in half and staple, glue, or tape it shut around the edges to make an envelope. Just remember to leave one side open so you can put your lucky money inside the envelope.
Once your envelopes are decorated, fill them with “lucky money!” You can use real money, foil gold chocolate coins, or toy gold coins. We put gold chocolate coins in our lucky red envelopes. Kids will think any of those “lucky money” ideas are a lot of fun.
TIP: Gold chocolate coins can usually be found in the bulk candy bins at the grocery store. Another place to check is the dollar store. I have also seen them at Cost Plus World Market. You can order them online from Amazon and Oriental Trading Co.
Get creative with this easy Chinese New Year craft for kids. All you need are red envelopes and metallic gold markers or gel pens. If you really want your envelopes to sparkle, pull out the gold glitter and glue! See my list below for suggested craft supplies, along with links to products similar to what we used to make our Chinese New Year red envelopes.
The basic craft supplies you need for this project are 1) red envelopes, 2) metallic gold gel pens and black markers, and 3) “lucky money.”
Chinese New Year Red Envelopes Craft Supplies:
- Red envelopes
- Lucky Money (Real money, Gold Chocolate Coins or Toy Gold Coins)
- Gold Metallic Gel Pens or Gold Markers
- Black Markers or Brush Pens
- Gold Foil Alphabet Stickers
- Gold Glitter and Glue
- Use gold pens, gold glitter, and/or stickers to decorate the outside of red envelopes. Use a black marker or brush pen to draw Chinese “good luck” symbols on the outside of the envelope.
- Fill red envelopes with “lucky money.”
We looked online and found examples for how to draw Chinese New Year symbols for “good luck” and did our best to draw the symbols on our red envelopes with a black brush pen. We used stickers to spell “Good Luck” in English and talked about how many letters it takes for us to write “good luck” compared to the Chinese symbol for good luck.
Chinese New Year red envelopes is a tradition the kids think is a lot of fun, plus it is an interesting way to learn more about Chinese culture. See more about how we celebrate Chinese New Year with traditional potstickers at my blog post, Celebrate Chinese New Year with Potstickers.