Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam
Invitation to Create Lunar New Year Dragons
With the Lunar New Year approaching reading the story Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon followed by creating a dragon through art is a great way to celebrate the upcoming holiday. In the story written by Kat Zhang & illustrated by Charlene Chua which is a follow up to Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao, she is asked to make a dragon during school. She gets stuck in a rut but her family comes to her rescue to create the perfect dragon.
To create this all you need is paper and Colorations Tempera Paint. If your child is old enough they can fold the paper in half, squeeze paint drops or designs on one side, fold the paper again, rub the paint around with their hands, and slowly open the paper. As they open the paper they are able to see the paint transform which enhances their understanding of cause and effect. After the paint dries you can decorate the dragon with glitter, pipe cleaners, tissue paper, or loose parts. Turn on some dragon music and dance around!
Introducing children to the Lunar New Year Dragon through art is a great way to learn even more in detail about the significance of them. Performing the dragon dance during festivals and celebrations drives away evil spirits and ushers in good luck and blessings for the community.
Exposure to other cultures brings personal meaning and awareness to the classroom or home. While children’s books open children’s eyes to differences, actual experiences such as creating art have the most profound influence on what children think and believe. By helping children understand, respect similarities and differences they understand who they are in context of race, ethnic group, culture, religion, language and familial history. This provides your child with personally meaningful information and also introduce concepts from anthropology, history, religion, geography, etc.