Chinese Mooncake Origami Craft for Kids
Mooncakes are a real treat at Mid Autumn Festival. It’s the only time of the year where you can buy mooncakes at Chinese bakeries and supermarkets. From the classic golden brown pastry filled with red bean and lotus seed paste to pastel-colored Mochi-like pastry filled with exotic fruity paste, the possibility of a mooncake is absolutely endless. Mooncakes are so popular because they symbolize togetherness, prosperity, and family unity.
For this fun and easy mooncake origami, I've prepared printables that your child can use to learn to write the Chinese character [月 | yuè], which means "month" / "moon". You will discover that almost all Chinese characters have multiple meanings depending on how they are used in context with other Chinese characters. For example, when you add a number like 8 before this character [八月], it the month of August.
This mooncake papercraft is the perfect introduction to the world of origami! I made these origami with my nephew of 3 and half and it was a piece of cake for him, or mooncake I would say. It's definitely the easiest mooncake paper craft you can make with preschoolers and kindergarteners. Not to mention that they get to learn about the Chinese character “month/moon” [月 | yuè] while they are at it!
If you like this craft project, check out the Mid Autumn Festival activity book that has many mooncake activities for kids such as coloring mooncakes, matching mooncakes, and counting mooncakes!
How to Make Mooncake Origami
The shape of this origami mooncake is an octagon, which is super easy to fold. We used pastel origami paper to make our mooncakes to make them look like the snowy skin mooncakes [冰皮月餅 bīng pí yuè bǐng].
1. Fold the square origami paper in half
2. Cut along the folded line
3. Fold the rectangular piece in half into a square (color side on the outside)
4. Fold in each corner of the square to make an octagon
5. Flip over to glue on the Chinese characters in the printout. You can also decorate it yourself with your own drawings.
How to Decorate Mooncakes
To decorate our origami mooncakes, I made Chinese character cards that you can cut out and paste on each mooncake. It’s very common to see mooncakes with 1 to 4 Chinese characters embossed on them. They usually mean good wishes or represent the name of the bakery that makes them. The Chinese character cards are common words used with the character [月 | yuè]. Have you child trace all 月 characters first and then cut the cards out.
Moon Character Short Story
To learn more about this Chinese character [月 | yuè], I wrote a short story about it. I recommend listening to the audio story with your child and when he or she hears the character [月 | yuè], assemble the words together with the paper mooncakes.
Short story of 月
There are twelve months in a year. Every year’s August 15th on the lunar calendar is the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival. On this night, the moon is round and big. Families gather together to gaze at the moon and eat mooncakes. According to Chinese legend, you can spot the moon rabbits pounding medicine on the moon.
Words used in this short story:
Traditional | Simplified | Pinyin | English
月 | 月 yuè | Month / Moon
月亮 | 月亮 yuè liàng | Moon
八月 | 八月 bā yuè | August
月餅 | 月饼 yuè bǐng | Mooncakes
月兔| 月兔 yuè tù | Moon Rabbit
Practice writing and recognizing these Mid Autumn Festival Chinese characters with our Character Minibook series. These delightful minibooks are filled with interactive activities that make learning Chinese characters an engaging experience for your little ones From tracing the strokes in the correct order to practicing writing independently, they’ll develop confidence in their penmanship effortlessly.
More mooncakes activities
Discover more about mooncakes and Mid Autumn Festival on this post.