This morning I awoke to my son asking, “Mommy, can we make something today?” We haven’t been doing as many crafts at home since school started. They bring home tons of artwork each week so on the weekend I try to get them outside instead. This past week we have been making Chinese New Year decorations and the kids are having a lot of fun being creative. So while my husband took the kids to the park, I designed a Year of the Rat Banner we could make together when they got home.
- craft blade (for adults)
- ribbon or twine
- red card stock or print on white and color with crayons or markers
- white card stock
Free Printable Templates
Print 2 copies of the rat bodies on red card stock or print on white and color in with crayons or markers
Print one sheet of the text and ears in Traditional or Simplified Chinese characters. If you don’t want to color in the ears and text you can print this version in Traditional or Simplified with the ears and text printed in black.
1) Print the template files. You will need 2 copies of the rat bodies. Please note, you’ll end up with 2 extra rats. The kids can get creative with these. Print one sheet of the text and ears.
2) This step will vary depending on which files you selected and if you chose to print on colored paper. Color the rat bodies red. Color the ears and text black. Another option is to print this on gold paper then fill in the text with black ink.
3) Cut out the shapes along the inside of the dotted line. This way you won’t see the dotted lines on the finished banner.
4) For the pointy nose rat, glue on the circles with the character for rat. Next glue on the ears.
5) For the round mice, adults, please use the craft knife to score the hands and feet of the rat as shown below. Then place the circles into the slots.
6) Glue the ears to the back of the body. Cut ribbon or twine desired length for the rats’ tails. Tape the tale to the back as shown below.
7) Cut a long piece of ribbon or the twine to desired length. You can cut 3 feet to be safe. Tap on your rats and your banner is ready to be hung!
For children that are not ready to write or hating writing practice, tracing or coloring Chinese characters is an effective alternative. Tell them what the character is while they are coloring it in. You’ll be surprised what they remember and there’s no struggle like with writing practice sheets!
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