dragon activities

Kids Chinese New Year Painting Craft – (X Marks the Spot)

Did you know this is the most celebrated holiday in the world? Here’s a kids Chinese New Year painting craft that breathes fire. Well, not fire, but fun. We adapted this from a thumbprint painting activity at Fun Handprint Art.

kids Chinese new year painting craft

At this time of year, you may be fortunate enough to get up close to a Chinese Dragon parade. There will be bright colors, lots of drums and cymbals, and waves of movement as the dragon dances along. Either before or after, kids can make their own dragon with the colors and movement. If you have any little bells, drums, shakers, or other noise makers from the holidays, then they recreate that part too.

kids Chinese new year painting craft

This is a wonderfully easy craft using paint dabbers. Just like the spot that an X marks (for this series of posts using the letters of the alphabet, these spots mark a dragon. To start, about the middle on one side of the paper, kids paint a spot with two more just below like a triangle. This makes the head of the dragon. Continuing on down, they add a few sports to be a neck. Little Sister slid the dabber to be a line for the neck of her dragon. The next part is to paint lots of spots in the dragon’s middle, like a hump or mountain shape. After that, kids dab a long line to be the tail.

kids Chinese new year painting craft

Little Sister’s tail curved along the edge of the paper, back across the top, and curved over to meet the top of the hump. She was really into the activity. Big Sister only dabbed a small tail and then wanted to do all the colors of the rainbow. She doesn’t have the roy-g-biv order or the indigo but has the other colors. Once dry, kids can draw on some legs and add an eye or they might want to leave their kids Chinese New Year painting craft just as it is.

kids Chinese new year painting craft

Sometimes, there is a lion dance, with a large and colorfully decorated head of a lion and only the legs of the 2 dancers showing. The dragon is lifted high off the ground with many dancers carrying it on poles. Will your family watch, participate or celebrate Chinese New Year? What will you do?



Dragon Movement Activities with Moats (Hula Hoops & Mini-Trampolines)

These dragon movement activities sort of take us full circle back to the beginning of the month when we started our dinovember dragon fun and learning. No warm-up needed but get dragon roars ready. Little Sister is using her dragon cape but dress-up isn’t needed either.dragon dress-up pretend play

What shape is a moat? Well, no matter its shape, it encircles a castle. A hula hoop encircles the body so is it a kind of moat? In a space where the hula hoop won’t knock anything—or anyone—over, let your child try it out. Do you remember how to make a hula hoop go around and around?

The video above shows a little one having as much fun with the hula hoop flat and still on the floor as his sister had when she was spinning it. The video below explains the trick: hips do not move around in a circle; instead, they go back and forth. It helps to practice rocking the body to get the idea.

If the weather is cooperative, as in not too cold and wet, kids can take the hula hoop outside. Kids can simply explore all the ways they can move with a hula hoop. They can hold it out front like a steering wheel and run around the yard. With the hoop flat on the ground, they can jump in and out. If the hop isn’t too big, kids might try to jump right over it. Running around the hula hoop and getting dizzy is another movement activity. Dragons might want to roar at the same time.movement activities

Some of this can be done inside, like jumping in and out of the hoop. Dragons and dance both start with the letter d and the sound ‘duh’ so turn on some music for kids to dance. Dancing can be done inside the hula hoop moat or outside it. Especially if the weather means more time inside and less time outside, it’s important for kids to be able to move their bodies and wear off some exercise.

whole body play

Mini-trampolines and rebounders are also round. They have a sort of moat or ring around the outside edge but the middle is great for movement fun. Jumping up is super exercise to strengthen the skeleton. Kids also like to jump off and on. Can you think of some other dragon movement activities?

Dragon Dress-up Pretend Play: Imagination Helps with Reality

Imaginative play can help kids understand and cope with reality, so open up the tickle trunk—it’s time for some dragon dress-up pretend play. This play roars.

dress-up play

A tickle trunk is just another name for the box, basket, old suitcase, or drawer that holds the collection of dress-up clothes and accessories. Halloween isn’t the only time kids like to play dress-up and some kind of container keeps the costumes and props from the bottom of the closet floor. Some possible items range from fairy wings and royal crowns to swords and shields. Both boys and girls play with a variety of stuff. Capes for super heroes and magic wands are pretty popular too.

dinosaur headband craft dragon

Dragons need wings and scary teeth. Although these can be imagined, they are quite easy to create. Depending on the color wanted, you can make a headband for your child out of paper. Using white paper, cut out 2 eyes and some big, pointy teeth. The eyes get glued onto the top edge of the headband and the teeth go along the bottom.

dragon dress-up pretend playTo make the wings, we found a large t-shirt at the thrift store. A quick cut up the front to the neck band turned the front into dragon wings. Little Sister slipped this on over her head and arms. It wasn’t pretty but it was simple, fast, and very inexpensive. Since dragons are imaginary, they can be any color. This one is purple.

dragon dress-up pretend play

Getting a still photo was impossible because dragons fly, don’t you know. (Note: You may need to be prepared for roars during dragon dress-up pretend play as well as flying around. How could I have overlooked this?)

How does imaginative play help with reality? When kids pretend, they are taking a slice of reality. They juggle this bit all around and stretch it in all directions. Dragons are fantasy, but having power and being ‘the boss’ isn’t. Kids are often scared and know what that’s like. Sometimes, it feels good to be the one scaring every one else, even if it is only pretend. Knights are another way to cope with fears by being brave and fearless. This kind of play is children’s way of figuring out how the real world works. Kids aren’t the only ones who like to imagine they can slay dragons. Do you ever wish you could too?

Dragon Vinegar Baking Soda Science Experiment – Foam Instead of Fire

No matter how many times we’ve combined these two ingredients, this dragon vinegar baking soda science experiment was still exciting. Be prepared though, once isn’t enough! The kids wanted to do some dragon science, but what to do? We needed an idea. The thinking process for some dragon science fun was long and winding. There … Continue reading Dragon Vinegar Baking Soda Science Experiment – Foam Instead of Fire

Helping Kids With Self-Regulation – Fire OK for Dragons, Not Kids

Dragons aren’t very good controlling their emotions. They just breathe fire. Helping kids with self-regulation is easier than helping dragons. It’s okay for dragons to breathe fire, but not kids. Self-regulation is the ability and skills to control our emotions, motivation, and attention or focus. It affects all of us for our whole life and … Continue reading Helping Kids With Self-Regulation – Fire OK for Dragons, Not Kids

Dragon Fun and Learning: Helping Kids With Feelings and Fears

Helping kids with feelings and fears can be quite a challenge.  Some resources can be their own toys, including dragons, and their activities as we guide them to understand feelings and cope with fears. There are both friendly and fierce-looking dragons. Dragons are big, scary creatures. While they don’t exist in real life, in a way … Continue reading Dragon Fun and Learning: Helping Kids With Feelings and Fears

Dragon Math Fun: One-to-one Matching

Have you heard the expression it’s the little things that count? It’s also the simple things, like one-to-one matching for some dragon math fun. Sometimes, this is also called one-to-one correspondence. Surprisingly, math includes relationships. For this activity, we used some small plastic dragons along with some dinosaur friends. We had a container of treasure … Continue reading Dragon Math Fun: One-to-one Matching

Why Dragons and Kids Need Social Skills

While fire power is effective, dragons and kids need social skills. Did you know social skills will influence your child in school and beyond? Dragons pretty well do what they want, whenever they want. It’s easy to understand why they have a lot of enemies and why they don’t have many friends. Their behavior means … Continue reading Why Dragons and Kids Need Social Skills

Dragon Water Play – A Sinkful of Sensory and Imaginative Fun

While water puts out a dragon’s fire, dragons sometimes live in castles which have moats and drawbridges so dragon water play is a possibility. Besides, even dragons must have sometimes needed a bath. Dragon water play can happen in the bath or with clothes on at the sink. We found some colorful, plastic dragons at … Continue reading Dragon Water Play – A Sinkful of Sensory and Imaginative Fun

Dragon Treasure Search Game: Warmer-Colder Clues

Dragons aren’t really into playing games but kids can play this dragon treasure search game and give clues warmer and colder for closer or farther away. Do you remember playing this game as a child? Pirates hide their treasure and at least make maps. Of course, dragons can’t write so they guard their treasure and … Continue reading Dragon Treasure Search Game: Warmer-Colder Clues