I discovered a great new book that is a must-have for any parent or educator looking to introduce Chinese culture to kids through crafts. The recently launched Lucky Bamboo Book of Craftsoffers over 100 projects for kids to celebrate Chinese culture.
Written and illustrated by Jennifer DeCristoforo, the book began as a labor of love for her adopted daughter from China as a way to integrate her heritage into family life. DeCristoforo applied her ideas and artwork, inspired by Chinese culture, to projects, teaching opportunities and celebrations in this resourceful book.
Lucky Bamboo Book of Crafts is a beautiful, hard cover, gift-quality book that has easy to follow, illustrated step-by-step instructions. Each project features tool icons so parents and kids can visually know which supplies are needed, such as tape, scissors, paper, etc.
Projects are broken out by skill level for 3-6 year olds, 6-9 year olds, 9-12 year olds, and 12-15 year olds. As a side note it would have been great if an index by Skill Level existed for parents to quickly find projects for their child’s age, but it was still fun to browse through all the pages to see what was available.
The book includes craft ideas for:
- Traditional Fine Arts
- Chinese New Year
- Other Festivals & Holidays
- Performance and Dance
- Chinese Folk Toys and Games
- Simple Asian Crafts
The book also provides templates for easy replication of illustrations for many of the projects.
The art of paper folding is traditionally Asian. My daughter and I made the Rattan Folded Bracelet. We had the supplies on hand, and it was a Level 1 — perfect for the skill set of my daughter. Here are instructions for readers to make at home.
Rattan Folded BraceletRed and gold are traditional Chinese colors, so these are recommended. You can also use shiny gold or patterned paper to create a more festive look.
Supplies: Scissors, tape, colored paper 8.5” x 11”
Cut red and yellow/gold paper into 1.25” x 11” strips. You can adjust the size of the bracelet by cutting different widths of paper. For example, since my daughter’s wrists were small, I cut ½” strips of paper instead.
Tape each color of strip lengths together in 3’s or 4’s (depending on wrist size) so you have very long strips of red and yellow/gold.
Place just the ends of the strips over each other into a big “L” 90 degree corner shape, and tape the ends together securely. Fold one side down over the square to start alternating the folds.
Fold the strips over one another in turn, making squares of each color in an alternating pattern.
When you finish, fold in the ends and tape together to form the bracelet.
Overall I would highly recommend this book for families and teachers who want to expose children to Chinese culture. Kids love crafts and they’ll be having so much fun with the projects, they won’t even know they’re learning!>
For more information or to purchase the book, please visit www.luckybamboocrafts.com.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book to assess for the purpose of this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
Book Image Credit: Jennifer DeCristoforo; All Other Photos in Post: Maria Adcock