The lion dance, in which a group of performers parade down the street wearing a lion costume, is a well-known tradition of Chinese New Year. The dance is intended to spread joy and good luck throughout the upcoming year. In this activity, your child will create a fun lion mask and learn a little about Chinese culture too!
What You Need:
- Computer with Internet access
- Cardboard box large enough to cover child’s head
- Construction paper
- Felt tip markers
- Craft knife
What You Do:
- Get on the Internet and help your child find pictures of Chinese lion dance costumes. You also might want to try and find a video of the Lion Dance being performed at a parade. Point out the colors commonly used in lion dance costumes; red, yellow, and green are often featured prominently.
- Explain to your child that, in Chinese culture, numbers and colors are considered to be symbolic. For example, the number 8 symbolizes wealth, and even numbers are considered luckier than odd numbers. Also, yellow symbolizes royalty, red symbolizes good fortune, and green symbolizes money.
- Put your kid's creative thinking skills to the test and have him tell you about his favorite colors and numbers and what he thinks they might symbolize. Brainstorm ways to include these colors and numbers in his lion dance costume.
- Help your child place the cardboard box over his head and decide where the eye holes should go. With a pen, draw the eye holes, and taking over duties, cut them out with the craft knife. If necessary, trim the box down to size.
- Have your child draw a nose, mouth, and ears on the construction paper. Cut these out with scissors and glue them to the box.
- Encourage your child to use the markers, paper, streamers, and glitter to decorate the lion mask. Let dry.
- Once dry, help your child to put on his lion head. Encourage him to think of his own lion dance to perform while wearing the mask.