What could be a more lovely welcome to the Chinese New Year than plum blossoms? Why plum blossoms? According to Chinese tradition, the plum blossom symbolizes the end of winter and new beginnings. On a seemingly lifeless branch, all of a sudden appear the most beautiful and delicate blossoms!
Chinese Art For Children
Here is an art activity that children of all ages can do. In addition to promoting cross-cultural understanding, this art activity can also be used to foster in children the appreciation of Chinese art. The end product here will be soft and dreamy and intricate – just like Chinese art.
- Black paint
- Brown paint
- Red fingerpaint
- Pink fingerpaint
- Drinking straw
- Fine-tipped brush
- Art paper
Prepare by spreading the art paper out over newsprint or another surface. Mix the brown and black paints individually to a somewhat watery consistency. (You may need to experiment with this.)
Have the child drop a small amount of black paint onto the paper. Using the straw, the child will now blow the paint around***. The idea here is to create “branches” for the plum blossom. Add a little of the brown paint and have the child do the same with the straw. (This will add “texture” and depth to the painting.) Let dry.
(Supervise carefully, especially with very young children who may not understand the concept and may inhale!)
Now that the branches are created, it’s time to add the blossoms. The blossoms will be the child’s own fingerprint. The child simply dips their finger in the pink and red fingerpaints and dots them onto the “branches”. Using a variation of pink and red paints again adds depth to the painting. Let dry.
To make the blossoms look more realistic, the child may dot the blossoms with a fine-tipped black brush. Go easy on this step. (You may wish to skip it altogether with very young children.)
The finished result should look delicate and almost abstract.