in China, the dragon is a symbol of good luck, a long life, and wisdom. In ancient China, this legendary creature was thought to speed across the sky with divine power. Emperors entitled themselves exclusively as 'dragon' and their descendants were called 'dragon heir'.
In today's modern world, dragon dances are still believed to bring good luck to people. In fact, the longer the dragon is in the dance, the more luck it is believed to bring to the community.
It seemed extremely fitting to work on a dragon craft with Miss 21 months to introduce her to the Chinese culture and bring about Chinese New Year vibes!
Chinese New Year Dragon Handprint Toddler Craft!
What's Special about this Craft?
- Dragon eyes that could open and shut! I wanted to make a realistic dragon, one with an interactive element that would hold a toddler's attention.
The idea came to me after I read 'Bringing in the New Year' by Grace Lin to my toddler and the book mentioned a special ritual to 'open up' the dragon's eyes prior to the dragon dance ceremony to make it 'come alive'.
- The dragon body is made of toddler handprint cut-outs! What a precious way to save physical keepsakes of their tiny, pudgy little hands! I got this brilliant idea from Red Ted Art.
- Colored construction paper
- Pencil to trace your toddler's hand
- A pair of scissors
- Thick card stock
- 2 flip top caps (Recycle them from used toothpaste tubes)
- Hot glue gun
- Normal glue stick
- 4 popsicle sticks
- Black permanent marker
- Guide your toddler to put her hand on a sheet of construction paper and trace her hand outline
- Tip: Stack several sheets of construction paper beneath that drawn sheet and cut out the hand drawing to yield several hand cut-outs
- Glue hand cut-outs on thick card stock to form the dragon's body
- Draw and cut out features for the dragon's face (Don't miss out long feelers and nose)
- Guide your toddler to glue the dragon's face and facial features onto the card stock
- Draw 2 small circles and encourage your toddler to color them with a black marker (For the dragon's eyes)
- Cut the 2 black circles out and hot glue them to the flip top caps
- Hot glue the flip top caps onto the dragon's face where the eyes should be. To decorate, use the black permanent marker to add 'eyelashes' to the flip top caps to accentuate the dragon's eyes
- Lastly, cut out the entire body of the dragon and stick popsicle sticks under so your toddler can hold up the dragon
Benefits of this Dragon Craft Activity
- Art projects encourages self-expression and creativity
- Painting boosts fine motor development
- Co-creation of artwork with caregiver enables the child to feel that her input is valued, building a sense of self-worth and accomplishment
- Reinforce learning of Chinese culture and traditions from books
- Fosters cultural understanding and appreciation
Other Chinese New Year Dragon Craft Ideas
These are some other cool Chinese New Year dragon crafts I have come across in the blogosphere:
- Paper Plate Dragon Puppet by Messy Little Monster
- Cupcake Liner Dragon Craft by I Heart Crafty Things
- Egg Carton Chinese New Year Dragon by Creating Creatives
- Paper Roll Chinese New Year Dragon Craft by Pink Stripey Socks
- Paper Plate Dragon Twirler by Red Ted Art
To follow our play adventures, check out @miraculove_sg (Instagram), save our pins or join A Toddler Activity A Day Facebook Group.
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.