With Chinese New Year upon us soon, I thought it would be fun to explore one of the lesser “popular” Chinese New Year Crafts for kids: The Chinese Lion! Let’s learn all about the Chinese Lion and make some wonderful Chinese Lion Crafts for Kids.
Time for some Chinese lion masks, Chinese lion puppets, Chinese lion paper chain puppet. Move over dragon crafts, is time for some Chinese Lions to shine!
The Chinese Lion Dance
If you have ever been to a Chinese New Year festivities, you will have come across a number of key Chinese New Year things – the beautiful red lantern decorations, strung from one side of the street to the other, lucky money red envelopes, lots of delicious food… and of course… the Lion Dance and drumming! In fact, when I think to our visits to China Town in London for Chinese New Year, it is the drums and dancing that come to mind straight away!
The lion dance respresents many Chinese culture and it’s people, it teaches about respect, courage, loyalty and compassion. So the chinese lion dance is an important part of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Watching the lion dance brings good luck and good fortune to the New Year.
Part of the lion dance ritual – is for people to hang a head of lettuce into their doorway. The dancing lion tries to “catch the lettuce” and then tosses it into the crowds watching. The one who catches it gets good luck! Towards the end of the dance, the lion gives scrolls of good luck for the new year and fire crackers are lit to ward off the Nian beast.
Key difference between the Chinese Lion and Dragon
There are couple of things to look out for when crafting a Chinese Lion vs the Chinese Dragon. The Lion tends to have a “boxier” head – the dragon is often a little longer. The dragon of course also spouts fire. Whilst the lion is often represented with slightly furrier bits – almost like a moustache around the mouth.
The lion will often have a bigger, chunkier nose. Whilst the dragon has nostrils that flare up.
Where the dragon breaths fire.. the lion often bares it’s big mouth with many teeth (non point though!).
The bodies are also different. The dragon is much much longer. And when you see dragon dancers perform, there are often several people per costume. Whilst the lion is smaller and you will get one person at the back and one at the front. The lion will dance in a much more “cat like” way.
Chinese Lion Crafts for Kids
We have made paper bag masks before – they are easy and fun. This time Pink Stripey Socks has a fantastic Paper Bag Lion Mask for you to make and wear. Then get the children to have their own lion dance this Chinese New Year!
Dress up Chinese Lion Box Craft
Claude 331 has a wonderful post all about the Lion Dance and teaching children about this fantastic Chinese New Year activity. It includes these wonderful box Chinese Lions, that the children can wear and reenact the Lion dance with. Complete wirh printable templates to help you along the way!
Another DIY Chinese Lion Costume
Jelly’s Mommy also made a wonderful DIY Chiense Lion Costume and takes us through the process step by step with lots of photos!
Lunar Lion Dance Puppet
Nelson Atkins has a lovely lion dance puppet to have a go at! Make your little Lunar Lion and get him dancing!
Make a paper bag Chinese Lion hand puppet
Here is a wonderful printable Chinese Lion to use with a paper bag and turn into a fun hand puppet – complete with free lion template. Visit Raisin Veggie Lovers for easy instructions.
Another Paper Bag Lunar Lion Puppet
Origami N Stuff has another version for you here! Grab your paper bag, coloring pens, glue and scissors and get making! How many different dragon dances can you come up with?
Chinese Lion Masks – coloring pages
Here is a wonderful Chinese Lion Mask – that comes in two ways – full colour (print, cut and wear) and black and white – so you can use this as a wonderful Chinese New Year colouring page too! Visit Super Coloring to grab your download!
Chinese Lion Paper Puppet – coloring pages
Stuck on Glue shares another fabulous printable resource – this sweet little Chinese Lion Paper Puppet. Print, colour, cut and assemble. So fun!
Toddler Chinese Lion Puppet
Hopscotch Mom has a lovely little lion (or dragon) puppet for preschoolers to have a go at!
I hope you will give the lion some time this lunar new year!
In the meantime we have some lovely festival lanterns/ paper lanterns, egg carton dargons, chinese dragon puppets in this collection of Chinese New Year Crafts!
Or maybe you would like to explore the Chinese Zodiac Animals here: