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Dragon Dance

Dragon Dance Activity

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Gung Hay Fat Choy!

The Dragon Dance is an important tradition of the Chinese New Year. The dragon is a symbol of power and greatness, and the dance is meant to bring good fortune for the year ahead. The performance of the dragon dance draws big crowds and is always a captivating experience. This puppet activity is a wonderful way to get your child involved in the excitement of this year's festivities.

What You Need:

  • 2 paper plates
  • Scissors
  • Egg carton
  • Ruler
  • Glue
  • Stapler
  • Paint 
  • Paintbrush
  • Glitter
  • Streamers
  • Internet

What You Do:

  1. Have your child fold both of the paper plates in half.
  2. Then, she should cut along the fold of one of the plates, creating two half-sized plates. Use the stapler to secure the edge of each of the half-sized paper plates to the edge of the full plate. This should create a pocket on the top and bottom where your kid can place her fingers and thumb to maneuver the puppet.
  3. Cut two sections off of the egg carton to create eyes for the puppet.
  4. Have her secure the eyes to the top of the puppet using the glue. Allow about an hour for the glue to dry completely. 
  5. Once the glue on the head of her dragon puppet is dry, your child can apply paint to decorate it. Let her know that she can use whatever colors she'd like, but the goal is to make the dragon as vibrant as possible. Be sure to add eye details to the egg carton pieces to make the dragon more life-like. Also, remind her to apply paint to the inside of the mouth. Allow enough time for the paint to dry thoroughly. This may take a couple of hours. 
  6. Apply small amounts of glue to the puppet's head and sprinkle glitter over the glued areas. Allow the glue to dry and then shake off any excess sparkles.
  7. Finally, have her use the ruler to measure and cut the streamers into 24-inch strips. Glue the ends of the strips behind the eyes of the puppet's head. Press the streamers and puppet together firmly to ensure that the paper stays in place.
  8. Once the puppet is finished. You and your child should explore the Internet and find a video of the dragon dance. Ask your child to imagine what it must be like to be one of the people guiding the dragon as she plays with her puppet.
Updated on Feb 5, 2014
Printable Workbooks from Education.com
Find a printable workbook to go along with this fun activity. See Workbooks
See more activities in: First Grade, Chinese New Year
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