· ·

Chinese Pellet Drum Craft and Chinese New Year Bundle

Note: Thank you to Daria Music for providing a book and craft stipend. All opinions are my own.

Bringing in the New Year Bicultural Mama

A Book and A Craft Series

Bicultural Mama is proud to be the first blog to participate in A Book And A Craft series by Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou of Daria Music. The idea of her series is to help a great multicultural children’s book “come alive” by adding a related craft. In this way, kids can create their own version of a musical instrument and extend the learning and exploration that starts with the book.

Daria’s TPT site “World Music With Daria” (Teachers Pay Teachers) gives parents and teachers tools to teach from diverse books written by authentic authors about world cultures. Her TPT site has won a Parent and Teachers Choice award and includes lots of freebies. It’s a fun place for parents and teachers to explore who want to enrich their child’s lives through music and diversity.

For Bicultural Mama, we wanted to tie in a Chinese theme into our post since that is our background. It’s also timely with Chinese New Year upon us. As such, we got the book Bringing In The New Year by Grace Lin which is currently the #1 Best Seller in the Chinese Children’s New Year Books category on Amazon. It’s a great book for teaching kids about this popular holiday. We also created one of Daria’s crafts from her TPT site, the Chinese Pellet Drum (Bolang Gu).

Here’s a video of the book and the craft in action. Read the next sections for more details about Bringing in the New Year and how we made our own version of the Chinese Pellet Drum.

Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin

One of the easiest and best ways to teach kids about Chinese New Year is through picture books. In Bringing In The New Year, author/Illustrated and Newbery Honoree Grace Lin tells the story of a Chinese American family preparing for Chinese New Year which is also known as Lunar New Year. The holiday lasts for 15 days, but before the celebrations begin, the family needs to clean the house (sweep out the old year), decorate the house with good luck symbols, and make delicious dumplings.

Bringing in the New Year Cover

Once the celebration begins, the family gets together with lots of food, fireworks, lion dancers, and more. Colorful and bold illustrations capture the festive atmosphere. Red plays a dominant role as it’s the Chinese traditional color of good luck. This book is a wonderful way to introduce Chinese New Year to kids.

Make Your Own Chinese Pellet Drum (Bolang Gu)

Chinese Pellet Drum Bicultural Mama

Daria posts many types of crafts on her TPT site, and one of them is the Chinese Pellet Drum, or Bolang Gu. My daughter and I followed her basic directions and then customized it to make it our own. I’ve posted pictures below of how we did it, but for more detailed instructions go to Daria’s TPT site HERE. This craft is also part of the Chinese New Year Bundle that we’re giving away (scroll to the end of this post to enter the giveaway).

For crafts, one of Daria’s goals is to make sure they are flexible enough for families to use “on-hand” materials. She wants parents to be able to create something wonderful without extra shopping for supplies and for teachers to create a classroom full of hands-on crafts with recycled or basic materials. She hopes it inspires people to see how things can be reused or reworked by adding their own creativity.

Here’s what we did for our craft:

Chinese Pellet Drum Cover Handle

Use a paper towel roll to create the drum’s handle. We used red construction paper to cover the handle because red is the color of good luck for Chinese New Year.

Tape the paper around the roll.

Next, we decorated the plates. Since 2020 is the Year of the Rat, I went online to find Chinese New Year rat images to print out. I then cut them into the shape of the plate. My daughter used a glue stick to adhere the images.

Chinese Pellet Drum Stickers

I had Chinese New Year stickers on hand with images of dumplings and hong bao (lucky red envelopes with money that adults give to kids). My daughter used the stickers to decorate the edge of the plate. You can decorate your drum any way you like. If you don’t have stickers, try making your own designs with markers, glitter, or anything else you have on hand.

Chinese Pellet Drum Staple Plates

Place the two plates against each other so that the decorations are facing the outside. Staple around the plates to keep them together but leave space at the bottom to insert the handle.

Chinese Pellet Drum Beads

Compress the top of the handle and tuck it in between the two plates. Seal it with tape. I used clear packing tape but if you have decorative tape you can use that, too. Use a hole puncher to punch a hole in the middle of the left side of the plate. Do the same on the right side. Use string to tie one end around the bead and the other around the hole in the plate. Repeat on the other side.

For our beads and string, I found them in an old craft set my daughter had in the closet. The string happened to be shiny and gold – perfect for Chinese New Year as gold is one of the other colors popular with this holiday.

Chinese Pellet Drum Completed

Here’s our finished Chinese Pellet Drum. The drum looks beautiful, and it is a nice good size for my daughter to play with. It is also very easy to make!

Enter the Chinese New Year Bundle Giveaway [CLOSED]

Chinese New Year Bundle Cover

Enter for a chance to win Daria’s digital Chinese New Year Bundle which includes 11 products such as songs, craft instructions, coloring pages, zodiac symbols information, and more! Here are the items in this bundle:
You can also purchase the Chinese New Year Bundle on Daria’s TPT site HERE.

The giveaway is open to readers internationally who are age 18+ years old. The prize will be emailed to the winner. Please enter via the entry form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *