Crafting with Kids - Chinese Calligraphy Canvas

An easy and inspiring art project to celebrate Chinese New Year!
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My kids love drawing Chinese calligraphy. At the Indianapolis Children's Museum, there is an exhibit called Take Me There China with a couple of different spots where you can practice Chinese calligraphy. Children seem to easily take to Chinese calligraphy from what I’ve seen – even those who are not old enough to write letters yet. Kids (and adults) can find it relaxing and fun to draw the sweeping lines in Chinese calligraphy. Seeing how interested my kids were in calligraphy gave me the idea to try an art project for Chinese New Year.

Practicing Chinese Calligraphy at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Each of my kids created their own personalized, colorful canvas showing off their calligraphy style and representing some of the things that are important to them. Using “My Little Book of Chinese Words”, a children’s book full of Chinese calligraphy (I'm sure you can find something like this at your local library), I asked my kids to pick 4 different words that somehow represented themselves. For example, my son chose “water” since he’s a swimmer, “spring” because that is when he was born, “draw” as it is a favorite hobby of his and “dog” to represent our family dog.

First, the kids used painter’s tape to tape a long strip across the canvas and a strip down the canvas, making four sections. It doesn’t have to be exact squares. My daughter chose to make her lines diagonal which I think shows her unique personality. Using tempura paint, the kids painted each of the four sections a different color of their choice. We then let the canvases dry and removed the painter’s tape.

Chinese Calligraphy Canvas

Once the tape is removed, it leaves four colorful sections with a white border. Finally, I let the kids choose white or black paint to write the four words they had picked. Make sure to pick a paint brush with a fine-tip.

Chinese Calligraphy Canvas

The kids were so proud of their colorful calligraphy canvases. I couldn’t wait to hang these up in their rooms – each unique and special just like they are.

Chinese Calligraphy Craft

You can find my original post on the Children's Museum Indianapolis Blog.

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