Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chinese New Year Dragon Hats

My preschoolers and kindergarteners watched a portion of a video about Chinese New Year.  I told them how in the olden days, the Chinese people believed that at the new year, bad spirits tried to come into town and stay for the new year.  In order to scare the bad spirits away, people would shoot fireworks; bang pots and pans; and beat drums to scare the spirits away.  Today, in their celebrations, the evil spirits take the shape of a dragon.  One long dragon costume is worn by many people.

The one video that I love the most is an old VCR video from my school library.  Here's a link to the video at Amazon:

There are some decent videos on the web too, though I haven't seen a lot for children.
This is a good one just for some general information for you:

These are some you might want to show your itty bitties:


After my students had the introduction to Chinese New Year, I demonstrated how to make their hats.  Now, before the children arrived, I had cut 18"x24" paper into 9"x24" strips.  I chose red today, but you certainly can use any color you like.  I also had staped the strips into cylinders.  These fit the heads of 90% of the students.  10% of the students had to have theirs unstapled to enlarge or decrease in size.

With my kindergarteners, I reminded them how to fold and cut paper into symmetrical shapes.  We did this with the eyes, nose and mouth.  With the preschoolers, I had piles of precut shapes of paper.  They used simple squares, circles, and triangles, and were able to cut them or use them "as is."

After the children finished the dragon faces, I let them get tissue streamers, three at a time.  After they glued these on, they were allowed to come back and get three more.  I allowed this as long as I had streamers available.  

My preschool classes this year run 30 minutes long.  We used every single minute to make these.  I would like to have had more time so that we could have had a dragon parade. 

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