How To Make A Chinese Dragon

Our finished Chinese dragon puppet

 

Why not get your kids involved with Chinese New Year on Tuesday 5th February?  This wonderfully colourful festival, (also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year), is celebrated by a quarter of the world’s population! Our fun paper dragon puppet is a great way to involve your children in this vibrant and exciting celebration. Or why not try making your own paper lantern to hang in your classroom.

You will need:

Instructions:

  • Using a small side plate, draw a circle on your green card or foam. This will make the head of your dragon
  • Now cut this out and fold it in half
  • If you are using a material that doesn’t retain its fold (such as green foam or felt) then you may want to place a few staples along the crease to keep the fold
  • Next, stick on the googly eyes

  • Now, create a tongue for your dragon. To do this cut a strip (approx. 4cm x 10cm) from your red card, felt or foam
  • Create horizontal folds in the tongue by concertina folding (or zig-zag folding) the card on itself to create a wavy effect
  • To make your dragon more serpent-like, add a fork in your dragon’s tongue by cutting a triangle from the end. Now fix this into your dragon’s mouth so that the tongue sticks out. We secured ours using a stapler
  • Using the white card, cut out two rows of jagged teeth for your dragon and using PVA glue or sticky tape, fix one row of teeth to the top of the circle and one row to the bottom – so the teeth protrude
  • Next, using a black felt tip pen, draw some nostrils onto your dragon’s head
  • Now place the dragon’s head on one side and start making the body. You can make the body as long as you want simply by using longer a strips of paper
  • Using your coloured paper, cut three strips from each sheet, at a width of approx. 8cm
  • Now tape the strips (end to end) to create two extra long strips (one red and one yellow)

  • Using your stapler, fix the end of your red paper strip to the end of your yellow strip – so you create a right angle with your strips (as above)
  • Now turn over your paper strips so that the sharp end of the staples is facing up. These will be covered by paper
  • Next, fold one strip over the other (repeatedly) so you are creating a thick square shape from your paper strips
  • Continue doing this until you have used up all the paper and are left with a small square shape. You may need to trim off any excess to tidy it up

  • Holding onto the end of your paper, so it doesn’t unfold, pull the folded strips out so it reveals a concertina effect similar to that shown above. Now staple the end of your dragon’s body so it holds its shape
  • Take the head of your dragon and fix this to one end of your dragon’s body
  • Now create a tail for your dragon. You can either do this by gluing some colourful feathers to the end or by curling some paper strips (as shown below). When you are happy with your dragon’s tail, stick this to the end of its body

  • Next you will need to create something to hold and operate your puppet with. Take your bamboo sticks and tape one to each end of your dragon – these will be used as handles to hold and move your dragon
  • You can finish your puppet by fixing some feathers to his head or creating flames using paper and fixing these to his mouth so it looks like he is breathing fire

Variation:

Why not create your dragon’s body using our paper chains? If you are a teacher attempting this craft, it is a great way to get all the children involved by creating a really long dragon

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