2-3 years ago, I was at a craft fair and saw some simple Chinese New Year craft colouring sets – one was one of the dragon puppets. I thought “I could make one of those”. Only 3 years later, I have finally gotten around to drawing my own free DIY Dragon Puppet printable for you. Of course you can design your own dragon, but if you don’t have the time or have a large amount of children to work with (I am hoping to do these with Red Ted’s class again), then these are perfect for you! We made them on a play date – 5 kids – and they all loved it. The two younger one’s lost a little colouring patience, but they still love their dragons. And to be honest, I think you can leave them “uncoloured too” – or print out the free printable of coloured paper (e.g. red paper) and stick things on?
Chinese New Year Craft for Kids: Dragon Puppet
Materials: paper for printing (though I used very light card) & a printer, red paper for the body, pens or crayons, tissue paper, lollipop sticks, glue & scissors
To get your kids excited about the project either make one first or show them photos of the finished product (e.g. this post) – when they see what they will make the colouring in sheet makes “much more sense”.
UPDATE: We had a go at these in Red Ted’s class room and changed the “Order” of the craft a little: First we cut, then we folded, then we assembled and finally coloured. So that each child could “finish their dragon”, even if they got bored of colouring. We also taped on the Popsicle sticks, so that we didn’t have to wait for that it to dry. The kids were brilliant and did an amazing job!
1) Print out your dragon template – there is a double sided head, to fold later and a double side tail part. 4 feet – so that you can stick them together and that your dragon looks great from both sides.
2) The children used pens to colour, but we soon discovered that was going to take ages (Red Ted took ages over it and even did a good 30min to finish it off at bed time, he did a GREAT job in terms of detail and patience). So… I recommend the following options:
* pens for kids who like colouring and are patient,
* crayons for younger children who want to cover big surfaces quickly,
* experiment with paints (but you may make it a bit soggy), or
* print on coloured paper and use glitter glue or stickers.
3) Once they are finished colouring, cut out the shapes. The mums did it on this occassion, but again, I think, if this was in the class room, they can do it themselves. Of course it won’t be as neat, but I think it will look lovely anyway. When you have cut the head out fold it over by the mouth and then you can cut out the “mouth space”, so you can some tissue paper fire.
4) We used a sheet of A4 paper cut into three equal strips – each strip was for one body. And folded it “concertina style”. I was impressed at how well the children managed with instructions (fold, turn over, fold, turn over, fold…). Red Ted wanted an extra long dragon, so we glued two of these strips together before folding.
5) Glue your head, tail, feet and lollipop sticks to your body.
6) Cut some tissue paper to add fire (optional of course).
We noticed that if you hold the two lollipop sticks at right angles in one hand, the dragon makes a nice fan too!
More Chinese New Year Crafts here: