Our friend Caitie recently went on an amazing trip to China and saw lots of amazing things! She noticed that there are lots of statues of dragons in China – they are on buildings, in parks, and in paintings all over! Dragons in Chinese culture are a symbol of wisdom and power, and thought to bring good luck to people. They are also used to celebrate the Chinese New Year with the dragon dance – the longer the dragon dances, the more luck will come in the new year! This Chinese culture inspired dragon craft can dance, and looks really pretty too! Here’s how you can make it at home!
Things you’ll need
- colored and white construction paper
- feathers or colored tissue paper
- disposable chopsticks or two straws for the handles
- large plastic eyes
- bowl for tracing a circle for the head
- smaller bowl for tracing a circle for the inside of the mouth
- glue stick
- black marker
To make the head, trace a circle onto a piece of colored construction paper, use any color you like! Cut out the circle and fold it in half. Trace a smaller circle on red construction paper for the inside of the mouth. Cut it out and fold it in half, then glue onto the inside of the large circle.
For the eyes, draw an arched shape big enough to surround each of the plastic eyes. Make sure to leave an add extra length at the bottom that will be used to fold and glue to the head. Draw an ‘m’ shape for the nose with added length at the bottom, again to fold and glue.
Draw the top and bottom teeth on white paper, again with added extra length at the bottom. Cut out the shapes and glue eyes, nose and teeth into place. Cut out a triangle shape for the tail and set aside for later.
To decorate the head of your dragon, use a glue stick and glue the feathers behind the nose and eyes. If you don’t have feathers, you can use tissue paper instead!
To make the body of your dragon, cut strips from colored construction paper about one inch in width, and the length of your paper.
Link the strip ends together with glue and tape for extra strength. You can also use a stapler for this part.
Once your links are together, glue and tape into the back of your dragon head. Glue the triangle onto the top of the last link to make a tail and decorate it with feathers!
To make your dragon into a puppet, you can glue two straws or chopsticks onto the dragon. Glue one at the back of the head and the other onto the inner side of the last link. An adult can use hot glue to make sure they stay secure.
Now your Chinese dragon is ready to dance! It’s a lot of fun! We hope it brings you a lot of good luck, too!
To learn more about Chinese culture and to hear about Caitie’s trip to China, watch our Caitie’s Classroom episode, Great Big World!
This post accompanies a video from Caitie’s Classroom. Join Caitie in the classroom for kids songs, games, activities, stories, crafts, and much more! Catch up on past episodes and segments, follow Caitie on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to Super Simple Play so you never miss an episode. Don’t forget to ring the bell for notifications!
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