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Dragon’s Tail




* Play this game for Chinese New year. Explain the role dragons play in
Chinese festivals. The Chinese New Year is celebrated on the second new
moon after the winter solstice and ends 15 days later on the full moon. It
can start any time between January 21st and February 19th, depending
on the lunar calendar.
1. Form children into groups of 7 to 10, putting similar size children
together so that smaller children are not overwhelmed by bigger
children in the group. This is not a team game, so even one group of a
few children is enough to play.
2. Have the groups stand in a line, holding firmly onto the waist of the child
in front of them.
3. Tell the children that each of their lines is a “dragon.” The person at the
beginning of each line is the dragon’s head, the middle ones are the
body, and the end ones are the tail. If available, let the dragon heads
wear dragon masks.
4. Explain that the object of the game is for each dragon’s “head” to chase
its own “tail” and try to catch it. The job of the body and tail is to protect
themselves from the dragon’s head, while staying joined together.
whistle), the dragon heads start to chase their
tails. The children must try and keep out of the head’s way the more
children there are in the dragon, the harder this is.
6. If the body of the dragon becomes disconnected (if one or more children
let go of the person ahead of them), those children or anyone else who
notices must shout, “Dragon, stop!” and the dragon’s head must freeze
until the whole body is connected to him again. Then the dragon’s body
or tail can shout, “Dragon, go!” and the chasing may begin again.
7. If the tail is caught, then the last child in the line becomes the head.
8. Play until everyone in each dragon has had a turn being the
dragon’s head.
More to do Music and Movement: As the children play the game, play undulating
music and point out how the dragon’s body moves and flows. Use different
numbers of children to make the dragon and ask whether a small or large
number looks better.

Book: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities For Children 3 to 6



The Arts: Visual Arts


Fine Motor


3 through 4 Years Old


Individual Child

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