Chinese Fan Painting

I love these Chinese fans on sale in Daiso or any Chinese culture-themed shops. They are great canvas material for painting Chinese motifs, and creating awareness of the Chinese Culture.

First off, I showed my daughter some images of Chinese painted fans from the web, and asked her some questions like:

1. What objects do you see on the fans? (flowers, phoenix, peacocks, butterflies, goldfish, etc)

2. What are some of the colours you can see? (red, pink, yellow, blue)

3. Are the colours dull or vibrant?

4, Are the objects outlined with black? Do you see some Chinese characters written on the fan? What do you think it says?

5. If you can paint on a Chinese fan, what will you like to draw?

Once I tickled my girl’s interest in Chinese fans, she was eager to start working on it.
Given her fetish with flowers and butterflies, she readily shared her ideas with me about painting this motif on the fan.

First, she drew out the outline of the flowers and butterflies using simply a pencil.


With these lovely paint pots, she was presented with an array of subtle colours from which she could choose the colour from.


What I love about this project is observing how she focuses on filling the objects with colours, and training her fine motor skills of the pencil grip through holding the paintbrush.

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While painting, she was also narrating her own imaginative scripts of how the butterflies first met each other among the flowers, and soon became good friends and played as they fluttered in the sky. I love just being present through the art process and hearing out her own thoughts and ideas on the subject matter. It allows me a glimpse into her thinking process and creates a great opportunity for me to encourage her to express her ideas into words. The process of art includes not just visual, but also verbal expression of ideas. I could think along with her, and ask her leading questions to help her deepen and develop her ideas, and in turn add complexity and depth to her artwork.


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After a process of concentration and focus, my girl thoroughly enjoyed the creative process, and loved her end product. That’s the unspeakable joy of art-making! And it makes a perfect artpiece for display!

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Painting on Aluminium Foil & Cardboard Box

This week, given its a rainy season and we are kept indoors, we started exploring painting with different mediums and with different materials. First material that got my little preschooler girl curious was playing with aluminium foil. Her initia observation of the foil was that it is shiny and silver in colour. It is also easily manipulated and malleable with the fingers. When I told her that we were going to paint on it, her eyes opened wide with curiosity as she had never tried it before!

Upon using the paint brush to dab some paint on the foil, she quickly took to the painting and started mixing colours on her own and creating a collage of colours across the foil material. She also started using her imagination and drafted different pictures such as rainbow, castle and princess. It became her little canvas for her to create different images of her own imagination!

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Another little art activity we embarked on was painting on the cardboard box with a little sponge roller. It was a great activity to engage my little one while she touched up the dull boxes with strokes of vibrant colours! She insisted she wanted to recycle her new masterpiece into her jewellery box for all her accessories. I was elated that the idea of recycling came from her and it was a great opportunity for her to learn about recycling!

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Owl Lantern

Another craft work we did with the lantern was to make an owl! The idea came from one of Rae’s favourite books- Book of Sleep. Just paint the paper lantern with paint!

Thanks to Daddy who created the paper cut-out for the eyes! This owl is way too cute!! Rae loves her new pink owl!

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Chinese New Year Lantern

Tired of painting on paper? Try painting on 3-dimensional objects like the paper lantern! One of my Favorite places for inspiration is Daiso! I was straightaway attracted to the $2 Japanese paper lanterns that come in all shapes & colours! 

Rae was excited to get started the moment she saw the lantern! It was Chinese New Year season & I thought it will be great to make a CNY lantern! When mixing the red and yellow colours, she exclaimed, ” Mummy look! It’s orange!” It was a moment of discovery for her.

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On the first day of our Chinese New Year visit, Rae decided to give her handmade lantern to her grandparents! What surprise when she greeted them with the red lantern with the inverted Chinese Character which means “Spring is here”.

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