New Year Dragon Puppet

New Year Dragon Puppet

Make a colorful dragon puppet to celebrate this vibrant festival this Chinese New Year. It will be a lot of fun.

Painting the dragon in bright colors will delight children of all ages; a red dragon is especially lucky.
It’s so simple to make using egg cartons, paper plates, and other common craft supplies you probably already have at home.

If you’ve ever been a part of a Chinese Dragon procession, you know what an exciting spectacle it is.

When I was a kid, I vividly remember how excited I was to see Melbourne’s famous Chinese Dragon. Dancing its way along the Moomba parade route amid the firework noise and gunpowder aroma.

I’ve added streamers to this Chinese dragon puppet so that children can dance around with it with the same excitement and swirling color.

You might want to organize a dragon parade with all of the finished dragon puppets to celebrate Chinese New Year if you are making this craft activity for Chinese New Year with a group of kids or as an art project for the classroom at your school.

 

You will need:

  • 2 paper plates
  • egg carton base
  • stapler
  • glue
  • acrylic paint
  • paintbrushes
  • feathers and streamers

How to make a dragon puppet supplies

How to make a paper plate dragon puppet:

1. Gather your supplies

2. Cut one plate in half and fold the other in half as pictured.

3. Cut the end of the egg carton off, these will be the eyes.

4. Staple the plate edges together around the edges and glue or staple egg carton section on top.

How to make a dragon puppet steps

5. Paint brightly in your favourite colours.

6. When dry, glue on feathers and streamers behind the eyes.

Dragon puppet side botton and top view

Chinese dragon puppet fnished

Time to have some fun.
Here is some behind the scenes action of Emma’s puppet making style.

Chinese New Year Dragon Puppet Kids Craft - Mypoppet.com.au

Chinese New Year Dragon Puppet Kids Craft - Mypoppet.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

Ancient Chinese Paper Making

Ancient Chinese Paper Making

Did you know that around 100 BC, during the Han Dynasty, the smooth white paper that you write on every day originated in Ancient China? People could write on papyrus and parchment before the invention of paper as we know it, but it was expensive and difficult to make.

In addition, expensive silk was used in China, but only the very wealthy could afford it. That implies that it was not promptly accessible to everybody.

Since its invention, people of all socioeconomic backgrounds have been able to read and write.

It made carrying a book so much easier and made forgery harder because it absorbed ink. It is much lighter to carry a single stack of paper sheets across town than a dozen hand-chiseled tablets. Teachers needed to be strong and smart!

After being soaked in water until they turned into a pulpy mush, plant fibers and rags were mashed and pressed onto screens of varying sizes so that the water could escape.

The paper was lighter and simpler to use once dry than its heavier predecessor.

Since we don’t have as much access to bamboo and other plant fibers as we did in 100 BC, we’re going to make do with what we have and make paper from supplies we already have so we can still learn how to make paper.

 

Chinese Paper Making Activity

For this activity you will need:

  • newspaper
  • art paper or construction paper
  • water
  • Hardware screen/window screen
  • wood/frame
  • a blender
  • plastic tub
Ancient China Paper Making

You can buy paper making screens or you can make a simple one like we did here, by making a simple frame of wood scraps and stapling a square of hardware cloth to the back.

You could also do the same with a piece of window screen and the backside of a picture frame.

Tear your paper into smaller pieces, about 1” square.

Now we are going to hurry along our paper dissolving process by adding water and paper to a blender.

Ancient China Paper Making

Run the blender until you get a nice watery pulp, add water as needed to make sure it purees up well, you can’t have too much water as it will drip off.

I used white drawing paper and one small piece of blue construction paper to get a very light blue shade.

In ancient China this process would have been done by a long soak of bark, hemp, bamboo, and other plant materials rather than a blender!

Ancient China Paper Making

Lay the frame in a tub large enough to hold it and pour the mixture from the blender onto the screen, flatten it out with your fingers so that it is as smooth as you can get it.

The trick is to pour slowly and move it rather than pouring a giant pile in the center.

Ancient China Paper Making

Let most of the water drain off your screen until it is just a slow drip then carefully flip your screen to release the paper onto an absorbent surface, I used a sheet of craft felt for mine.

Ancient China Paper Making

Press a stack of several paper towels or napkins on top and press to absorb some of the water.

Place a block of wood on top and press or even stand on it to press it flat and squeeze more water out. Allow your paper to dry completely- it may take a day or two depending on how much water is left in your paper at this point as well as the humidity in your area.

Once your paper is completely dry you can trim it with scissors if you like to make it a more uniform shape. Still not flat enough?

Lay it under a couple of heavy books for a few days and it will be smooth and flat for your writing.

Ancient China Paper Making

Use a small paintbrush to paint a few basic Chinese characters as part of your studies.

Did you know that the smooth white paper you write on everyday got its start in Ancient China? Your kids will love this quick and easy Ancient Chinese paper making activity. CLICK HERE to add this fun hands-on history project to your homeschool curriculum!

Experiment with different types and colors of paper, brown paper bags make a nice parchment style paper, add a little color, and cut some into various shapes.

Ancient China Paper Making

 

Ancient China Paper Making Fun Facts

  • Paper making hasn’t changed much in all these years, basically the process is the same with new technologies and methods added in.
  • China tried to keep the art of paper making a secret but it eventually spread.
  • A Chinese government official, Ts’ ai  Lun, is credited with starting the paper making industry.
  • It was another 1000 years before paper making spread into other parts of Eurasia.
  • The original paper making was originally done with mainly hemp.
  • The oldest record of paper making that we have is dated 105 AD.
  • Combined with the invention of woodblock printing in 600 AD China was able to print its first newspaper in 740 AD.

Ancient China Paper Making

Dragon Craft for Chinese New Year

Dragon Craft for Chinese New Year

This dragon craft made of household recyclables is a great way to celebrate Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rooster.

I never quite get ready for the first day of the new year, which is January 1.
I always have the impression that I am still chasing my tail in a fog of stupor.
Fortunately for me, Chinese New Year is celebrated by my family. Based on the lunar calendar, the first day of the Chinese New Year varies from year to year and can be observed in late January or early February.
On January 22 this year, the Year of the Rooster begins. A Dragon Dance is always part of the celebrations for Chinese New Year.
Visit Hello, Wonderful to find my tutorial on how to make a dancing dragon craft from recycled materials.

According to custom, a community experiences more good fortune the longer the dragon lives. Therefore, utilize all of the paper tins! Any other person appear to have a strangely enormous assortment of paper tubes stored in their art cabinet?!)

The dragon is shown in action in the video. He makes a real mess of the dance floor.

Chinese Lantern Suncatcher

Chinese Lantern Suncatcher

Using clear contact paper and cellophane, you can easily make this suncatcher with a lunar lantern theme! It looks great in the window and is clean.

My kids adore making suncatchers. They are my go-to craft when one of them asks me to make something and I don’t want to think too much about it because they are so quick and simple to set up.

Yesterday, in anticipation of Chinese New Year, I created a sweet activity for my 3-year-old daughter to make a suncatcher out of Chinese lanterns.

 

Material needed to make a Chinese lantern sun catcher:
Paper
Scissors
Cellophane squares
Contact paper

 

How to make a Chinese lantern sun catcher:

First draw your Chinese lantern. I drew mine with a black Sharpie on a piece of white paper but it might be easier to draw on black paper and cut it out. Make sure you leave lots of spaces to fill with colour.

Chinese lantern

I cut pieces of red cellophane into small pieces and placed the Chinese lantern on a piece of contact paper.

Chinese lantern activity

My daughter loves contact paper and when she wasn’t sticking her hands all over it she carefully placed pieces of cellophane into the gaps. When she had filled all the spaces we placed another piece of contact paper over it to seal it. Then I cut round the lantern to remove any extra pieces.

Chinese lantern activity

We love our Chinese lantern and have hung it up in the window. I think it’s calling out for some tassles so I’m going to have to look for some ribbons to add to the bottom.

Chinese lantern sun catcher

I am linking up this post with some other parent bloggers who are sharing some brilliant Chinese New Year crafts:

 

Chinese New Year Craft Bookmark

Chinese New Year Craft Bookmark

Make a Chinese New Year bookmark to get into the festive mood! Chinese paper cutting, a traditional folk art, served as the inspiration for this simple project. To bring prosperity into your life, string a few lucky Chinese coins together.

If you haven’t already heard, 2020 will be referred to as “The Year of the Rat” during Chinese New Year. The rat is the first animal in the twelve-year Chinese zodiac cycle and represents: spirit, wit, vigor, sensitivity, flexibility, and alertness

We should get into the happy soul by getting shrewd and making a Chinese New Year bookmark recognizing the time of the rodent.

This simple Chinese New Year create project was enlivened by the conventional society specialty of Chinese Paper Cutting. To bring prosperity into your life, place a string of Chinese lucky coins in your pocket.

To accelerate this specialty task, or make it reasonable for a children Chinese New Year create project, you can discard the paper cutting step and decorate the bookmark with shimmering stickers or sparkle all things considered.

 

Bookmark the Chinese New Year With a Paper cutting Craft Project

Chinese new year craft bookmark

You will need:

  • Pink A4 card (printer friendly)
  • Red glitter paper
  • Chinese coin charms (handful)
  • 50cm red cord
  • Red thread
  • Art knife
  • Cutting board
  • Double sided tape
  • Ruler
  • Craft scissors
  • Needle
  • Hole punch

 

Note:

  • Use a new, sharp blade when cutting out the silhouette line art. Also, cut slowly, small sections at a time to avoid over-cutting.

 

 

 

Chinese New Year Paper Fortune Cookies

Chinese New Year Paper Fortune Cookies

Hello, everyone! Let’s learn how to make these fun Paper Fortune Cookies ahead of Chinese New Year! Even though fortune cookies aren’t traditionally associated with China, they were invented in the United States! For the majority of American children who are unfamiliar with traditional Chinese New Year practices like lucky envelopes, they are a very recognizable symbol. Any thin paper, like scrapbook, origami, or construction paper, can be used to make these. What you’ll need is here!

 

Chinese New Year Paper Fortune Cookies

Supplies:

  • Colored or patterned scrapbook, construction, or origami paper.
  • White copy or construction paper.
  • A 4-5 inch round object like a small bowl or lid.
  • Hot glue gun.
  • Scissors.
  • Pencil.
  • Pen.

Place your round object down on your paper and trace a circle, then cut it out.

Flip the circle over, add a dot of glue to the patterned side, and roll it up like shown. It should look like a cannoli. Now cut a thin, long rectangle out of your white paper.

And write your fortune on it. I wrote “The Year of the Pig will bring you great fortune.” Slide it into the cookie, and then turn the cookie so that the seam is on one side. Take the open edges, and bend them together. The center will crease and the cookie shape will form.

Add a dot of hot glue about an inch out from the center crease, and press the two halves together. And you’re done! Can you see the fortune inside? You can break the paper cookie open, or keep it looking pretty and just slide the fortune right out.

Now just go ahead and make a whole bunch! They look especially pretty in a big bowl as part of a centerpiece, or scattered around the table. Kids love coming up with fun fortunes to write!