How to Make a Chinese Dragon Puppet

The Chinese New Year begins on February 16th this year, and to celebrate the Chinese New Year, we are going to show you how to make a Chinese Dragon Puppet. In the Chinese culture, the dragon symbolizes power and strength, and chases away evil spirits. It also brings good luck to people.  Make your own Chinese Dragon Puppet and welcome good fortune in the coming year!

Age: 5+

Duration: 15 minutes

Learning Outcomes: Exercise fine motor skills. Integrate art, and holiday activities. Makes a perfect take-home craft.

You’ll Need:

  1.  Open Roylco R15198 Creatures and Animals Value Pack and choose the paper you are going to work on. This pack includes diverse collection of nature themed craft papers.
  2. Draw the dragons head on the white craft cardstock. Note: We divide the dragons head into two parts. The upper and lower part of the head.
  3. Cut the two parts of the dragons head out. Trace them onto the craft paper, and cut them out.
  4. Glue the colorful pattern paper on the white craft paper dragon head. Take out one piece of  red paper from R15219 Elementary Origami Animals . Use the red paper to decorate the tongue of the dragon. Draw the dragon’s eyes and nose on the white craft paper, cut them out and glue them onto dragon’s face.

Let’s start to work on the dragon’s tail and body.

5.Draw the dragon’s tail on the white craft cardstock and the colorful craft paper.

6.Cut them out and glue them together. You will get a colorful dragon tail.

7.Let’s work on the dragon’s body. Take out two pieces of R15312 Sealife Print Papers.  You can also use other paper patterns from the R15198 Creatures and Animals Value Pack . Cut the paper in half, now you have four pieces of paper. Fold the strips of paper into an accordion pattern, and glue them together.

We have two ways to make the dragon puppet. You can glue the head, body and tail together and tape on the stick ( I used a straw from Roylco’s R6085 Straws & Connectors™) at the back of the head and tail. Please see the picture below. The dragon puppet is ready !

If you want to create a live action video with the dragon puppet. We have some more work to do.

8. Let’s take two green strips out of the Roylco R72020 Green Screen Live Action Video Kit. Prepare some thumbtacks and a hole punch.

9. Lay the dragon’s upper head on top of the lower head.  Find a point where both parts of the head join and punch a hole. Flip the dragon’s upper head to the back and tape on a green strip.

10. Take another green strip and punch a hole through it. Put a thumbtack through the hole and connect the upper head, lower head and the green strip together.

11. When you move the strip on the left, the dragon’s mouth is will open and shut.

You can use the same method to add the green strip to the tail. Then we can glue the head, body and tail together. When you move the green strips, the dragon comes alive! The head, the body and the tail are moving.

Voila! The dragon puppet is ready for your digital storytelling!

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Action Shapes Animation


Now’s the time to bring your vision to life! In order to shoot your animation, you will either need a camera or a tablet with animation software. In this activity, we will be using the stills from our camera to make an animated flipbook!

Age: 6+

Duration: 20-30 minutes

Learning Objectives: Create an animated flipbook using simple materials. Use fine motor skills in “flipping” the book to create a visual animated clip.

You’ll Need:



Children can decorate and color in a large-size sheet of paper to use as a backdrop for your Action Shapes characters. Use poster or Bristol board for this. Place your backdrop on a flat surface such as a desk or easel.


As I’ve demonstrated before in our Action Shapes post, there are several pieces that join together to create the swiveling motion of the character.


Each limb has a pair of fins and a hole for sliding the fins through.


Here’s what the junction looks like when combined. Flatten out the fins to secure.


Now you’re ready to assemble your full action shape!


Color in your Action Shape character with pencil crayons or markers! Create custom props out of scrap card paper that you can use in your animation. for this character, we’ve added a ponytail to the side of the Action Shape’s head and decorated a soccer ball to use as a prop in our film. Check out our process below!


You will need a tripod to properly hold your camera. These can be easily adjusted for height and angle, so you can set it at one point and simply press the shutter button to take as many photos as needed. This will help keep the frames consistent. Note: Be careful you don’t trip over the tripod legs! If you are using a tablet, place the backdrop on a desk and use modular wire shelves to prop the tablet directly on top of the artwork, like it will be grabbing a bird’s eye view. Modular shelves can be found at your nearest department store in the organization aisle. Adjust so that the viewfinder is able to clearly see through the wire mesh.

Use your storyboard as a reference to set up the Action Shapes character. What is your Action Shape’s first pose? Once you have set up the Action Shapes character, take a shot! Go back to your Action Shapes character and slightly move one or two limbs. Take another shot. As you go back and forth between adjusting your character and taking a photo with your camera, you will need to keep in mind that each shot shows one part of an entire action. You need to make all the shots “flow” together so that the starting point of an action smoothly reaches the end.

There are several free-to-use software (called ‘freeware’) online that can string these images together for you into an animation. Simply upload your photos and select them all to get combined into the animation. Most of these software programs will require that your photos be in JPEG format. The final animation will be converted into a GIF, which is a file type that strings multiple pictures together to make a mini video!


Alternatively, you can “flip” your animation into a flipbook! Select all the images in your folder and select them to print wallet-size onto regular 8.5 x 11” (21.5 x 28 cm) paper.


Cut out all the small pictures and stack them in the appropriate order. Staple them all together on the side opposite where you will flip through them.


When finished, hold the stapled side in one hand while flipping consecutively through the pages. As you flip through the pictures, they will string together like a frames in a movie!


Happy filming!


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