Naturally Educational » 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Winter » Chinese New Year Dragon
Happy New Year!
What? I’m late for the New Year? Not if it is Chinese New Year we’re celebrating!
If you’ve ever had the chance to enjoy a Chinese New Year celebration, you know how rich the tradition is!
In anticipation of the start of the Year of the Rabbit on February 3, we made paper chain dragons:
- construction paper
- googly eyes
1. Cut paper into 1 inch wide strips.
2. Tape two ends of a strip together to form a loop. Then, insert one end of another strip through the loop and connect the ends of that strip to create an interlocking chain. Repeat until you have a long chain. (My four year old did this with very little help. My two year old really struggled with managing the strips of paper and the loops. Clearly I need to let him play with tape more often!)
3. Take a sheet of construction paper that will form the head of the dragon. Tri-fold the paper lengthwise and tape or staple to form an envelope of sorts.
4. Now fold the paper in half. Fold each half back again so that you now have an “M” shape. This is also a great base for a puppet because you have the mouth and can insert your thumb to move the bottom “jaw” and the rest of your fingers to move the top jaw. Trim the edges to form a rounded mouth, if desired.
5. Now comes the fun part! Tape your dragon’s face to the chain link body and decorate! We added teeth and an accordion-folded serpent’s tongue:
Some googly eyes:
And lots and lots of feathers. I originally suggested to the kids just to put the feathers on top of the head but their vision included feathers on the body and who am I to argue with an artist’s vision?
Drape from the ceiling or tape to the wall and enjoy!
Picture Books About Chinese New Year
Bringing in the New Year: A family welcomes the New Year by clearing out the old and starting fresh to welcome luck and prosperity. Finally, it is time to celebrate with firecrackers, lions, lanterns, and dragons. A sweet and simple story with bright, eye-catching illustrations will capture the imagination of toddlers through preschoolers.
Dragon Dance: A Chinese New Year: Also following the family preparations for the New Year, this book has the added fun of lifting the flaps. The story line has a little more interest for kindergartners but is still appropriate for tots. And, there are instructions making a dragon puppet out of a paper bag.
My First Chinese New Year: A little girl enjoys her family’s preparations for the New Year. Fans of Katz will recognize her characteristic illustrations.
- Culture: Each Chinese Year is represented by an animal on a 12-year zodiacal cycle. What your Chinese astrological sign?
- Culture: Which Chinese traditions are supposed to clear out bad luck from the previous year? Which traditions welcome luck and prosperity for the New Year? Do you have any similar New Year’s traditions?
- Home Arts: How do families of Chinese heritage prepare their homes for the New Year? What does this represent?
- Home Arts: Make some of the traditional Chinese New Year dishes.
- Field Trip: See if a cultural center or neighborhood near you is celebrating Chinese New Year and if guests are welcome.
- Mathematics: The Chinese New Year arrives on a different day of the Western calendar each year. Why is that?
Shared at: story + ART = stART
Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Winter · Tags: China, Chinese New Year, Dragons, New Year's