An image of a Chinese dragon.

How to make a Chinese dragon, and other Chinese New Year activities

February can be a drab month for kids here in the UK, but there’s something exciting about Chinese New Year that cuts through the gloom. After all, people all over the world are setting off fireworks, handing out red envelopes, and watching lively dragon and lion dances in the streets. Who can resist that?

So if you’re celebrating this year, why not spread more of that excitement by helping your little ones make Chinese New Year crafts? Find out how to make a Chinese dragon puppet and discover other fun Chinese New Year activities for children below.

How to make a Chinese dragon-dance puppet

This Chinese dragon paper craft is simple enough to make, but looks impressive! Once you’ve finished, you can stage your own mini dragon dances at home. 

You will need:

  • Scissors

  • A4 red card

  • White paper

  • Felt tip pens

  • Googly eyes

  • Crepe paper in various colours – red is a must, though!

  • Glue

  • A stapler

  • Glitter

  • Two 20 cm sticks 
  1. Draw or print out a dragon’s head on a piece of red card, then cut it out. 

  2. Glue on the googly eyes. Create a beard by cutting the crepe paper into thin strips and gluing it behind the dragon head. 

  3. Draw zig zags onto a small rectangle of white paper to show pointy teeth, and glue it onto the face.

  4. Once you’re happy with your dragon head, decorate it with felt tip pens, glitter, and paint, and leave it to dry! Looks pretty fierce, doesn’t he?

  5. Now for the body: first, cut the red and yellow cardboard into strips that are 75cm long and 3cm wide. Arrange the strips of card so that they make a right angle, and staple them together.

  6. Fold each coloured strip on top of the other until you have a square, then staple the ends of the strips firmly together. Voila! When you extend the strips of card, they should make an accordion. 

  7. The tail is next: as with the beard, cut more of the crepe paper into thin strips, and glue them to one end of the concertina body. 

  8. Glue the head of the dragon onto the other end of the body. 

  9. Attach one stick to the back of the dragon’s head and the other to the tail. Your Chinese paper dragon is now ready to dance!

So that’s how to make a Chinese dragon! Kids still in a creative mood? Here are some other Chinese New Year craft activities you could try:

  • 2018 is the year of the Dog (woof). Why not make dog masks or puppets to celebrate?

  • Use scissors and red paper to make simple paper cuttings to hang in the window. 

  • Missed out on the fireworks this year? Paint your own.

Top tip: Glue, ink, and paint stains getting you down? Relax! Our stain removal guides have you covered.

These Chinese New Year activities are good for hours of crafting fun, but remember: there’s no substitute for going out and joining the celebrations! Don’t forget to take your new dragon-dance puppet out to see his big brothers in action.  

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