Chinese New Year activities: Make your own Chinese hand drum

Celebrations are all about making a little noise – especially when it comes to Chinese New Year. Give the kids a noisemaker to rival firecrackers with this homemade hand drum to herald in the New Year!

What you need:

  • popsicle stick
  • black cardboard
  • red paper
  • gold glitter
  • string or wool
  • 2 x beads
  • PVA glue
  • hole punch
  • scissors
  • tape

Number of players:


According to the Chinese calendar, 2018 is the year of the Dog (2019 is Pig and 2020 is Rat). A lot of noise is made at Chinese New Year celebrations to scare away any evil spirits from the old year.

Here’s how to create and decorate a Chinese hand drum to make noise to herald in the new year.

Step 1. Gather your supplies.

Step 2. Using the black cardboard, draw a 10cm diametre circle and then cut it out.

Step 3. Using the red paper cut out some shapes to decorate your drum (we’ve made a horse) and stick them to the black cardboard.

Step 4. Using your hole punch, punch out a hole on opposite sides of the circle.

Step 5. Measure out 2 x 9cm of string. Tie your string where you’ve punched the holes. Tie beads to the end of the string. When tied on, the bead should be able to reach the centre of the drum. Decorate the drum with some glitter and glue.

Step 6. Tape the popsicle stick onto the drum. Make sure it is centred. Now holding the drum’s handle, use a twisting motion to make the beads “beat” onto the drum.

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