Get into the (festive) spirit of things with these fun activities! Keep those little hands and big minds busy with these easy Mid-Autumn crafts.
Festivals gained new meaning after my daughter, Isha, was born. I was born and brought up in Mumbai where we celebrated most Hindu festivals, but now in a global city like Hong Kong, and with Isha, I’m getting the opportunity to learn about and participate in the rituals of so many more festivals. We’ve adopted the saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, so we like to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in our own little way.
I’ve always been very fond of crafts, drawing and making things. Pinterest is by far the most visited app on my phone. Thankfully, my enthusiasm is contagious and has helped introduce art to my daughter. She loves to join me in whatever way she can. Here are a few things we have made and experimented with. Try it with your children and you may just find that you have a “Little Miss or Master Maker” at home!
Get Inspired For Your Mid-Autumn Crafts
When you think about Mid-Autumn crafts, naturally you will think of lanterns. Find out where the most beautiful lantern displays are this year and take your child there for some inspiration. After that, you will be happy to come home and try to recreate some of that at home.
- A must-visit is the lantern display at Victoria Park.
- Stroll through Lee Tung Avenue to gawk in amazement at the intricately decorated lanterns.
- There’s also a 3.5 metre-tall Golden Autumn Lumiere interactive lantern installation at Temple Mall in Wong Tai Sin.
Check all the fun and family-friendly activities that are on this Mid-Autumn festival and pick and choose where to draw your inspiration from.
Mid-Autumn Crafts: Paper Lanterns
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Mid-Autumn Festival is lanterns. Naturally, I suggested we begin there. I let Isha do the research (it’s such a relief when they start reading on their own, isn’t it?) and she started making one on her own similar to this one from Origami-Club. This is the most basic and easiest lantern design available and takes less than 10 minutes to make. Though it didn’t turn out quite as neatly as we expected it to, it gave Isha a great sense of accomplishment! Using the scissors confidently definitely helps with her fine motor skills.
Still in search of the perfect lantern, I wanted her to understand how the same idea can be executed in many different ways. Hence, when I came across her secret stash (she is quite the hoarder!) and found cardboard roll from toilet paper, we followed instructions and made this lantern by Spend with pennies even faster! The cardboard roll makes the lantern a lot more stable and you can then go about decorating it with stickers, paints and streamers.
Mid-Autumn Crafts: Bead Lantern
The more you make, the more ideas you get, and that’s when we thought of looking beyond paper and making a lantern with the Pyssla Beads that we recently bought from Ikea. These beads are great for developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. They’ll also keep your little ones busy for hours. Ours look so pretty as a decoration, proudly hanging up in our house!
Mid-Autumn Crafts: Egg Carton Dragon
Eggs are an absolute favourite and essential in our home. Not just for eating, but also for the wonderful cartons they come in. These weirdly shaped boxes are very versatile when it comes to craftwork and it feels good to be using materials that would otherwise just end up in the trash! We really enjoyed making this easy and fun egg-carton dragon from I Heart Crafty Things. The best part? Dragon designs are always useful when it comes to celebrating all Chinese festivals, so save this idea for your Chinese New Year craft activities as well!
Mid-Autumn Crafts: Playdough Mooncakes
Mooncakes and the mid-autumn festival are synonymous with each other. Playing with playdough has a calming effect on children and helps improve their pre-writing skills. We didn’t have mooncake stencils like the ones on chalkacademy, so we decided to improvise and add our own touch to it. Isha led the way and showed me different ways of designing mooncakes such as pinching the edges or using the end of a pair of scissors.
Making things with my daughter and experimenting with craft activities gives me insights into how she thinks and processes things. It also gives her an opportunity to think outside the box and come up with new ideas.
While you’re here, take a look at what our clever sister site in Singapore did with playdough and a mooncake mould from a local bakery store. This is definitely one to try at home!
Mid-Autumn Crafts: Paper Plate Drum
We weren’t quite finished yet. Last but not least – kids love noise (no matter how much of a headache it gives us!). No festival is complete without some noise and music. Though this is normally popular during Chinese New Year, we thought we could make a Chinese drum from spare paper plates that were left over from her birthday celebration. Ideas like these make us realise that don’t need to spend money on expensive materials. All we need is the imagination to use what’s available at home. A fun activity and an important lesson in frugality: win-win!
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and updated in September 2021.