Food, large family gatherings, fire-crackers, more food, red money packets, new clothes, new haircut, more food and of course lion or dragon dancing accompanied by ostentatiously loud festive drums. Chinese New Year. Families gather. Bright colours are everywhere. The food is unbelievably good and bountiful. Being Chinese has its perks.

This year (2012), Chinese New Year falls on Monday, 23rd January. It’s the year of the dragon. I made three Chinese Dragon marionettes for play in light of the festivities to come.




Disposable cups
Coloured paper
Glue gun
Fishing wire
Christmas baubles
Goggly eyes
Pipe Cleaners
Long craft sticks
Black and red felt
Red, orange and green craft foam



** I used my glue gun throughout the whole project as it made the craft more secure and is much quicker to work with.

1. Cover all the disposable cups in coloured paper.

2. Make part of the dragon’s head by inserting two Christmas baubles into a cup, then sticking goggly eyes on the baubles. The open part of the cup will be where the snout and mouth of the dragon will be placed (in Step 6).

3. Using fishing wire and a button as an anchor, thread cups together forming the dragon’s body. At the end of the body, thread through the first part of the dragon’s head (made in Step 2).


4. Thread through a new piece of fishing wire (with a button as an anchor) between the dragon’s eyes. Attach this fishing wire to a long craft stick, enabling the dragon’s head to be controlled by moving the long craft stick.


5. Attach new pieces of fishing wire to various parts of the body and tie these to long craft sticks, enabling the dragon to be used as a marionette. I used two long craft sticks per dragon. This may be varied, depending on how long your dragon marionette is.

6. Cut half a cup for the dragon’s snout/mouth. Cover the bottom of the cup with black and red felt for the mouth. Glue the snout and mouth to the first part of the dragon’s head.


7. Cut dragon “frills” out of craft foam and attach these to the dragon’s head.



8. Twist pipe cleaners around the dragon’s body for its legs. Cut foam feet for the dragon and attach it to its legs by poking a small hole through the foam and tying the pipe cleaners around the feet.


Enjoy playing and Happy Chinese New Year!



N&M: 3 years, 7 months
E: 1 year, 6 months
K: 1 month


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About the author

Pauline Pauline & Lessons Learnt Journal is all about life with kids. Pauline is an Aussie mum and teacher who shares her love for play, math games, writing and reading activities. She believes that #playmatters, values curiosity & wonder, wisdom, obedience and respect. She also needs naps. When not blogging, she may be found virtually hoarding on Pinterest, trying to decide which Instagram filter to apply, or compulsively refreshing her Facebook feed.