Looking for Chinese New Year crafts and activities to help ring in the Lunar New Year? This Chinese New Year drum craft for kids makes a great activity that will keep little ones quite engaged.
This craft re-creates a traditional Chinese instrument called the Bolang Gu, or pellet drum. This instrument is used in Chinese ritual music and as a children’s toy. The pellet drum is double sided with two heads (front and back) and two pellets connected to the sides. It is played by turning the stick between two hands such that the two pellets swing back and forth and hit the two drum heads. When done correctly, it makes a wonderful rhythmic sound.
To do this craft, you will need two paper plates. We decided to paint ours red and gold, since those colors are considered by Chinese people to be good luck. Note that you will need to paint the back of the plates, not the front.
Once the paint on our plates were dry, we taped a wooden dowel to the inside of one of the plates. (We bought the dowel at the hardware store and used a saw to cut it down to size. The dowel was very sturdy and made a great handle. But I imagine you could also use a straight tree stick or a chopstick in lieu of buying something at the hardware store.)
Next, the kids made the pellets by tying bells to a string. They then used tape to attach the string to the sides of their plates.
This is what the drums looks like after attaching the wooden dowel and pellets.
We then used a stapler to attach the second plate on top. I made sure to have the kids staple where the pellet strings were attached to help secure them in place.
This is how you hold the stick to turn the drum. By rubbing the stick back and forth in your hands, the pellets will swing, hitting the drum faces.
We tested out our drums, and were pleased to see that they worked really well!
Finally, we decided to decorate our drums with some Chinese New Year stickers we had laying around.
Beautiful drums all ready for Chinese New Year!
More Chinese New Year resources
More Chinese New Year posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Chinese New Year Printables Pack
- Books about Chinese New Year
- Chinese New Year drum craft
- Chinese New Year Do-a-Dot Printables
- Chinese New Year lantern
- Chinese New Year Bingo
- Chinese New Year sensory bin