To celebrate the New Year, and bring good karma to all, I have this fun, kid friendly, age appropriate for everyone, nearly free, recycled craft.
Here's what you need: Empty wrapping paper tubes, (or tp rolls, or paper towel tubes), excess wrapping paper, ribbon, leftover candy or other filler. This should all be stuff you have around the house--scraps of any paper, tissue paper from gifts, leftover treats of any kind--remember the goal is to keep it simple.
Cut the tube (if necessary) to desired length.
Then put tissue paper (or a napkin or a bit of paper towel) in one end of the tube and fill it--we used coins, candy and New Year's horn/streamers left over from last year. And since we are a family where some speak Mandarin--we added a fortune for the year. We want to encourage the children to learn the culture and the language (or at least some version of it). Plus it's a great Chinese New Year idea for February 2014, this year's Chinese New Year.
There is a random Fortune Cookie Saying generator here.
Secure all the prizes inside by capping off the open end of the tube with more tissue (or whatever) paper. Wrap the paper around the tube like a taffy and tie with ribbon. On New Year's Eve each person can choose a random "New Year's Fortune Firecracker" and ring in the New Year in style!