Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chinese Rattle Drum Craft

Do you know what a Chinese rattle drum is?

The rattle drumis a traditional Chinese toy that's often found at festivals. 

I've always found that one of the best ways to teach my kids about another culture is by doing a craft. So we decided to make our own version of a Chinese rattle drum

Make a simple Chinese Rattle Drum craft with your kids. It's a fun craft for Chinese New Year.

This kids craft version is fun to make and opens the door to discussions about Chinese culture and Chinese New Year. Keep reading and I'll tell you how we made it.

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Supplies Needed:
Heavy cardboard (from a shipping box)
Lid (we used a sour cream container lid)

To start, I used the plastic sour cream lid to trace three circles. 

I traced one on the cardboard and two on the red construction paper

Then we cut them out. The cardboard is hard to cut, so an adult may want to tackle this part of the project.

While I was cutting the cardboard, Miss Preschool decided to decorate the red circles with the gold paint pen

We talked about a few Chinese designs she could draw and she opted to decorate her drum with gold coins. They were joined later with a few friendly dragon faces.

After I cut out the cardboard circle, I poked a hole in each side. We needed the holes to tie our beads to the drum. 

Meanwhile, Miss Preschool colored our beads with the gold pen.

Once our decorating was done, we glued a red circle to each side of the cardboard. 

Then we took the string and tied it through the two holes in the side. (Note: We found using a needle made this step much easier.) 

We then tied a bead to each string. The strings need to be short enough that the beads will hit your large circle.

To finish off our drum, we glued a large craft stick to the back of our drum. We happened to have a red craft stick, but any color will do. 

I also added a dot of glue to each knot. Without the glue, we had problems with our knots coming untied while we played with the drum. Once we added the glue, our knots have stayed strong.

To play the drum, hold it by the stick and rotate your drum back and forth. The bead will swing up and hit your drum. Then, grab your sister (or brother, or friend) and go dancing through the house!

For more learning fun:
  • View a Chinese drum performance. I found the Jigu! Thunder Drums of China quite fascinating. Click here for the video.
  • National Geographic Kids is always a great source for facts and pictures. Here you'll find plenty of facts, a slideshow, a map, and even a short video.
  • If you're looking for some good books to read about China, No Time for Flashcards has a great round-up of books about China and Chinese New Year.
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More fun crafts about China:

Straw Painting and Paper Lanterns

Panda Bear Masks

Chinese Character Printmaking Project

35+ Ways to Learn About China

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  1. An adorable idea. Children could also draw their own Chinese zodiac animal on the drum.

  2. My girls loved it. We used a pencil instead of the craft stick and it's easier to play with because you can roll it between your hands. Thanks for this!

  3. Glad to hear that Aris! Using a pencil instead of the craft stick is an awesome idea!


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