2’ x 2’ piece of tagboard
rhythm instruments (bought or homemade)
* Chinese New Year is celebrated on the second new moon after the
winter solstice. It ends 15 days later with the full moon.
1. Draw a dragon head on a 2’ x 2’ piece of tagboard. Cut it out, punch a
hole in the upper left and right corners of the head, and tie a piece of
string through the holes so it can be worn like a sign. Or, use a dragon
puppet or dragon doll.
2. Read one of the books on the Chinese New Year (see related books
below) to the children.
3. Explain that half of the children are going to line up and be the “dragon.”
4. Have the child at the front of the line wear the dragon head or carry the
dragon doll. The other children line up behind the leader and place their
hands on the child in front of them.
5. Do a quick practice of snaking around the room together.
6. Give the other half of the children rhythm instruments. Encourage them
to keep a steady booming beat while the dragon dances. It is best if they
are off to one side in the “musicians’ area.” An adult should lead the
children by playing a drum to help keep the musicians in beat.
7. If time permits, let the children take turns being the “dragon’s head.”
8. Have the dancers and the musicians trade places for a new experience.
More to do Art: Reproduce a 6” dragon shape on card stock. (You should be able to put
two or three shapes to a page.) You can also use an Ellison machine and a
dragon die. Cut out one shape for each child. Let the children color the
dragons. Show them how to tape the top of a craft stick to the back of the
dragon to make a dragon stick puppet.