Kids Craft- Chinese New Year Paper Dragon Sculpture

Kids Craft- Chinese New Year Paper Dragon Sculpture

2012 is the year of the dragon! This is personally one of my favorite mythical creatures!

Learn how to create a Chinese Dragon using paper folding techniques with this lesson.

Classified: Medium and is suggested for Kindergarten and up independently. It can be done with preschoolers with a little help. Let your older child's imagination run wild and urge them to add more details!

What you need:
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Green, red, orange, yellow, white and blue construction paper
  • Dark green crayon and black
  • Cheese grater
  • Optional: paint (see below for details)

What to do:
Prep: Cut the green paper into 3" wide and 9" long strips. Approx. 3 (for body). Cut 3 more green strips, this time make them 3" wide and 4.5" long (for body and snout). Cut 4 more 2" wide and 4" long for legs. The final green strip is 12" and 2" wide (for tail). Cut one green circle about 6" in diameter.
Example of Supplies

1. Trace and cut out your child's hands to act as spikes on the dragon using various colors of construction paper. Optional- paint the child's hands first and print them onto the various sheets of construction paper. Cut out.

2. To add texture to the dragon: place your green strips onto a cheese grater and have your child gently rub the side of the crayon up and down. We used the large and small hole side ;-)
Creating texture using a cheese grater

3. You would assemble the dragon as you were making a paper chain- except you will be rolling each one separately and gluing them together at the seams. {Glue the three large rolls together and then the two small ones to make one complete glued together- side by side- paper chain.} Allow the glue to set.

4. To make the tail- take the 2"x12" piece of green paper strip and twirl it around a pencil. Fold an end and glue it to the last smallest loop of the Chinese Dragon's Body.
Twirl and glue the Dragon Tail
5. To make the dragon legs- fold the 4 small green paper strips back and forth to make an "accordion" look. My 3.5 year old WAS able to do this independently and I was pleasantly surprised as it is fantastic for fine motor skills! Glue to either side of the dragon's body. See photo above.
Folding legs
6. To make the dragons face. Have your child draw a straight line to make a mouth using black crayon in the middle of the last of the three 3" x 4.5" strip. Have her draw two nostrils with the black crayon as well. I drew two triangles on white paper and had her cut them out for the teeth. We then decided to cut and twirl a long thin piece of red paper to make the dragons tongue. Roll the assembled snout, glue together, and glue to the center bottom of the dragon's face (circle). Draw in eyes for details and glue two hands to either side. Glue to the front of the largest part of the body. See photo:
Chinese Dragon's Face
7. Finally, add the remaining hands along the sides of the body by gluing them into place to make the spikes down the dragon's back:
Chinese Dragon- side view (I love the tail!)
Recommended Reading:

Want more art and craft ideas? Check out my arts and crafts page here! 

Linking up to these educational and crafty parties!


  1. This is AWESOME! I love a good handprint craft :)

  2. So fun, I also love Chinese Dragons. I think we need to celebrate this year and make one as well. Thanks for sharing on Monday Madness.

  3. Oh! I like dragons too. What a fun activity and way to celebrate the Chinese new year. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. I used this craft to teach procedural texts in my reading class. The students LOVED it, and they got quite creative with their dragons. Overall, they all did pretty good following the procedures above. Unfortunately, I could not bring a cheese grater into the classroom (hehe) but some of them compensated by finding textures around the room. It turned out to be a neat lesson. Thanks for sharing!!


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