Looking for a cute Chinese dragon craft for kids? This paper dragon puppet craft is an easy craft you can make with kids to celebrate the spring festival or the Chinese New Year, lantern festival, or on Appreciate a Dragon Day.
This dragon craft is made of accordion folds with paper straws beneath it. Moving the paper straws makes the dragon dance! This simple paper dragon is an easy Chinese New Year craft idea for preschoolers, kindergarteners, and school-age kids. This also makes a fun classroom craft activity.
This is a great recycled craft by the use of a toilet paper roll for the dragon’s face. It comes with an optional dragon puppet template printable that you can download and print.
If you would like more DIY toys and puppet crafts for kids, you may want to check out this paper plate dancing sun craft.
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What is a paper dragon?
A paper dragon is a 3D model of a dragon made out of paper or cardstock that you can assemble and decorate. In just a few simple steps, you can learn how to make your own amazing paper dragon that are sure to impress your friends and family.
What does Dragon symbolize in Chinese New Year?
In Chinese culture, dragons symbolise power, good luck, strength and health.
Why are Dragons an important part of Chinese New Year?
It is believed that performing dragon dances drive away all evil spirits and bring good luck to the community.
Supplies you need to make a paper dragon puppet craft
2. 2 A4 papers (We used pink and blue)
5. Googly eyes
6. Tissue paper
7. Glue stick
8. Paper Straw
9. Hot glue or PVA glue
10. Clear tape/ Duct tape (optional)
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How do you make a paper dragon puppet craft for kids?
Making this paper dragon is very easy. Watch the video at the top or follow the step-by-step instructions below.
Get two A4 construction papers and draw 3 lines (5.25 cm apart) dividing each of them into 3 equal columns. Optionally, you can download and print the dragon template on A4 color papers. You could also print them on white A4 paper and let your child color them using crayons.
Now, cut along the lines and you will get a total of 8 paper strips. We are going to make the accordion folds with these paper strips.
Pick two paper strips and stick them together at a 90-degree angle. we chose one blue strip and one pink strip. Younger kids might need some help to get it at the correct angle.
This is the fun part. We are going to fold the paper strips in an accordion manner. This type of folding is a great fine motor activity for kids.
How to accordion fold the paper strips?
Fold the bottom strip over the top strip and crease the fold. Again, take the bottom strip over the top strip and crease the fold. Repeat it till you reach the end of these strips. Now, put some glue at the ends and stick the next set of paper strips to it. Do the folding again and continue the process until you run out of strips.
Now, secure the ends at the last fold by adding a dab of glue. You have got the accordion folding for the dragon’s body.
Stick two paper straws using duct tape or hot glue at both ends of the accordion. You may already get the tendency to wiggle the accordion by moving the paper straws! But wait, let’s keep it aside for a few more minutes and make the dragon’s head.
Get a toilet roll and paint it. Once the paint is dried, press one end of it flat to form the dragon’s mouth.
We need to make it a fire-breathing dragon. For the fire coming out of the dragon’s mouth, cut some tissue paper strips and glue them inside the mouth.
Now, cut out two horn shapes from construction paper. Or you could print the horn shapes from the free dragon printable template. Stick these shapes to the sides of the toilet roll. Stick the googly eyes at the bottom of it where it joins with the face.
Get the accordion from Step 4 and fix the dragon’s head on one end of it using hot glue or PVA glue. You will have to hold them together for a minute to make it really secure. Make sure the paper straws point down and the dragon’s face points up while gluing them together.
Our accordion dragon puppet is ready now!
How do you make the paper dragon dance?
Move the paper straws on the accordion dragon craft up and down and your dragon will dance and wiggle. This dragon puppet is super fun to play with.
Who invented paper dragon puppets?
Dragon puppets are an integral part of Chinese culture that dates back centuries. Though paper puppets have been around for centuries, it wasn’t until the 1980s that Chinese artisans began to design and create the lifelike dragons we know today.
More Chinese New Year craft ideas for kids
Chinese New Year is a time of celebration and tradition, and it’s a perfect opportunity to get creative with your kids. We’ve even got more delightful craft projects that are easy to do and perfect for kids of all ages.
Handprint puppet Dragon craft – Making this handprint dragon is not only incredibly simple but also promises endless amusement. Children will be fascinated as they see their dragon puppet come alive, twisting and twirling with every movement.
Simple Chinese lantern craft for kids – This is another fun project that is perfect for kids and requires just basic craft supplies like paper and a paper roll. Decorate your classrooms and home by hanging these colorful balloon-shaped lanterns everywhere and get in the new year spirit!
More puppet crafts for kids
If your kids love the idea of bringing characters to life and creating their own stories, we have even more interactive puppet crafts for you.
Spring paper plate garden and moving bee – With just a paper plate and a few other simple materials, you can create a beautiful garden scene that captures the spirit of spring. Kids will have so much fun moving the bee from one flower to the next.
Popsicle stick dragonfly– Creating a popsicle stick dragonfly craft is a fantastic way to have some creative fun with your kids. These dragonfly puppets are perfect for storytelling and playtime.
Popsicle stick D for dinosaur craft – This D for dinosaur craft is a wonderful way to combine creativity and education. With this craft, kids can craft the letter “D” and turn it into a friendly dinosaur puppet character.
Dancing paper plate sun craft– Get ready to bring the sunshine indoors with our delightful dancing paper plate sun puppet craft! Creating this cheerful craft is not only super easy but also tons of fun.
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Chinese paper folding fans | Chalk Academy
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