Yesterday we were celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival, which is also known as the Duanwu Festival, and falls on the 9th June 2016. It occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional lunar calendar. The festival involves eating dumplings (zongzi – sticky rice) and racing dragon boats! If you want to know how the dumplings look like, check out my post I wrote two years ago.
As some of you might remember that I help run Lichfield Mandarin Club which started four years ago and I like to involve arts and crafts with the children especially Chinese festival. So this school half term, I organized a Dragon Boat festival.
I decided to teach the children to make origami paper boats and do a boat race. Initially, we decided to use baby bath tubs as that is the only thing we had at home. Fortunately, one of the parents had two plastic gutter tubes which were sealed at both ends for us to use for the race.
To do this boat race, you will need:
- Paper boat – use thick square paper and coat with wax (bought from The Works)
- Straw – we used bubble milk tea straws which you can get from a Chinese supermarket
- Gutters – DIY shops
Before the lesson, I made a paper boat chart to provide a guide for the children to follow. If you don’t know how to do it, simply google or YouTube it, there are so many tutorials of making it!
As we are going to use the paper boat for racing, we did think that the paper would soak through. To prevent this, we used candle wax to coat/rub on the paper and some of them used tape to tape the bottom of the boat. We did have bubble wrap and foam but this proved too difficult to stick on the paper boat.
Next, fill up the gutters with water and now you are ready to race! Ready, steady, blow!
We have split the children into two groups and arranged them according to their age to race among themselves. All the children had so much fun and wanted to play it again and again! Shame that some of the boats dipped in a lot of water and the paper just gave way!
This was a very fun activity for the children to learn about the festival and to do their own boat race! Watch this video to see how they played it! Take caution that the screaming and shouting were very loud!
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