Integrating Multicultural Curriculum – Introducing Traditional Chinese Freehand Paper Cutting

Professional development (PD) Auckland

Posted: 13 March 2019
Notice reference #: 1H9s2E

As an Intangible Cultural Heritage listed by UNESCO, Chinese paper-cutting has a history of over 1500 years as a popular art integral to people’s daily life.

Freehand paper cutting refers to paper-cutting without folding or drawing by using scissors only – no pencil, no scalpel or blades are used at all.

Yao Bingyue and her colleagues spent the past 21 years working with kindergartens teachers in China to incorporate this ancient form of art, which is traditionally only mastered by skilful artists, into early childhood curriculum. The purpose of this art activity is not only about the skills acquired during the process of making, which are important for children’s brain development, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, concentration level and later their readiness for writing.

The significance of freehand paper cutting for young children is far beyond these mentioned skills. It emphasizes a holistic educational approach, in which the child expresses his emotions and cognitive thinking creatively through representative languages.

The programme/the process aligns with Te Whāriki’s image of a child as confident and competent. It celebrates each child’s uniqueness by giving freedom, time and space for individualised meaning making and problem-solving.

Session 1 – offers an insight into the values and principles of Chinese feehand paper cutting by looking at:

  • How we can begin freehand paper cutting with young children?
  • From “dots” to “patterns” – encourage multiple expressions
  • Basic components and the variations

Date: Monday 1 April. 

Session 2 – makes explicit the essential elements and methods of this creative art making process by demonstrating

  • How to evolve from shapes to images
  • Making connections within the elements
  • Integrating artists’ work as inspirations
  • Creating your own master piece

Date: Monday 8 April.

Events summary


01 April 2019 – 08 April 2019

Further information

Contact: Selena Shan

 (022) 560 6800