Get Crafty With: Dragon Boat Festival

Keep your kids entertained during the long weekend.

by Michaela Fulton | Fri, May 26, 2017

Whether you can or can't make it to a real dragon boat race, you and your kids can still make the most of the festival by getting your hands dirty with some arts, crafts and cooking.

Make Zongzi

As the traditional snack during Dragon Boat festival, Zongzi is a pyramid-shaped ball of glutinous rice that is mixed with different fillings, wrapped in bamboo leaves and tied with plant stems. Whilst ready-made Zongzi is abundant in local bakeries and supermarkets, it can also be fun to try your hand at making this at home with your kids.

What you'll need:

  • Glutinous rice
  • Bamboo leaves
  • Plant stems or straw
  • Fillings of choice (red bean / pork, soy sauce, salt / raisins and red dates)

Find instructions and other filling ideas here.

Make a dragon mask

With the summer well and truly heating up, Shanghai is treating us to more and more days that can be enjoyed outdoors. Get your kids together with their friends to make these vibrant dragon head masks, head to the nearest park and race! They'll have great fun pretending to be these mythical creatures for the day. Be sure to pack some refreshing summer snacks to cool down after!

What you'll need:

  • A5 or letter sized card
  • Colour pencils
  • elastic string
  • scissors
  • hole punch
  • scotch tape
  • crepe paper strips (optional)

Find instructions and a template here.

Make a pull-a-long Dragon

This is a cute idea for younger kids. Bight red and yellow paint will really make the dragon's face pop, whilst added cut out drawings of dragon boat racers stuck to the rolls of card make for a cute addition and interesting variation of a traditional dragon boat.

What you'll need:

  • Paper cups or yogurt cups
  • Card
  • Paint and paintbrushes
  • Bells (optional)
  • String
  • Glue
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Scotch Tape
  • Dragon mask template or drawing

Here's how you can make it.

Make a flag

Lucky enough to be heading to an actual dragon boat race? Have your kids make their own ceremonial flags to wave as they cheer on their favorite team.

What you'll need:

  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers
  • Glue

See how you can make this here.

Make a dragon lantern

Who doesn't want a lantern decorated with a cool dragon hanging in their room? No one, that's who. With this little project, kids and their friends can decorate their rooms with a lantern showing everything they know about Dragon Boat Festival – from the wooden dragon boat and rowers to the zongzi.

What you'll need:

  • Paper lanter
  • Colored tissue paper
  • Foam stickers
  • Card
  • Color pencils or crayons
  • Scissors
  • Glue or double-sided masking tape

Make cookies

Want to make something different to the traditional zongzi? Cookies are always a safe bet when it comes to keeping children entertain and they can have fun making and decorating them!

What you'll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the sugar cookie glaze:

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • food coloring to your taste

Find the method here.

For decoration ideas, why not find a pack of edible markers that children can use to decorate their cookies with scenes of racing dragon boats and more!