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Create a fire breathing dragon

Create your own interactive fire breathing dragon in this fun make.

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You’ll need

  • Kitchen roll or toilet roll cardboard tube
  • Medium and large sized green pom poms
  • Green paper
  • Sticky tape
  • White card
  • Red, orange and yellow tissue paper
  • Googly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Glue dots or double sided sticky tape

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.

23 April is St George’s Day. St George is the patron Saint of England, who legend tells us slayed a dragon in ancient times, and lots of people choose to celebrate it with parades, dancing and other activities.

St George was also chosen as the patron saint of Scouts. For Scouts, it’s a very special day when everyone can come together, make or renew their Promise and celebrate. Find out more about the Scouts Promise and getting ready for St George’s Day.

  • St George and the Dragon’s a popular legend that tells of St George's heroic victory over a fierce and fiery dragon. The legend has become important in the folklore and traditions of many countries and cultures around the world. 
  • Dragons have been seen as mythical creatures for a long time and have appeared in lots of ancient legends, myths, tales and traditions. They can be seen as a force of good or evil, and live virtually anywhere, such as in lakes or the sea, in thunderclouds or caves. Common features of dragons are that they can breathe fire and have enormous power, especially in their tails. 
  • In many cultures, dragons were seen as the enemy of people. The story of Beowulf, a hero from Scandinavia, tells us that he killed the monster, Grendel, that attacked him, as well as Grendel’s mother. He becomes known as a great warrior. Many years later, Beowulf becomes King. He defeats a dragon, but he gets wounded in the battle and dies shortly after.  
  • In an ancient Babylonian story, Marduk, a god, famously conquers Tiamat, a dragon and monster of primaeval chaos. 
  • A dragon is also featured in Greek mythology, where it fought for the Titans and attacked Athena. The dragon was eventually defeated and banished to the heavens, becoming a star. One of the challenges that Hercules faced was slaying the dragon, Ladon. 
  • In China, Dragons are a spiritual and cultural symbol that signifies good luck, prosperity and harmony. The dragon is an important part of Lunar and Chinese New Year celebrations, during which a dragon dance is performed. It’s believed that the longer the dragon dances for, the more luck will be brought to the community. 


Preparing this activity

  • If you’re using kitchen roll cardboard tubes, you need to carefully cut these in half before starting this activity.
  • You could prepare green paper in the correct length/width for people to use in advance of the session.

Make your dragon 

  1. Gather everyone together. Ask if anyone knows what St George’s Day is. Explain that St George is the patron Saint of England, who legend tells us slayed a dragon in ancient times, and lots of people choose to celebrate it with parades, dancing and other activities.
  2. Explain that dragons are also used in Lunar New Year celebrations, as they represent good luck, prosperity and harmony. In Lunar New Year celebrations, a dragon dance is performed. It’s believed that the longer the dragon dances for, the more luck will be brought to the community. 
  3. Tell everyone you’re all going to make a dragon. You could give them a printed or written version of the instructions for people to make them in small groups or read out the instructions step by step. 
  4. Take the cardboard tube and carefully wrap it in green paper. Make sure it’s covered and use sticky tape (or double-sided sticky tape) to secure it in place. Make sure it’s tightly wrapped and trim the edges once it’s stuck down.
  5. Take two medium sized green pom-poms. Using glue dots or double-sided sticky tape, stick them along the edge on one side of the tube. Stick two googly eyes onto the green pom poms. They’ll be the dragon’s eyes.  
  6. Now, take two small green or black pom-poms and stick them to the opposite end of the tube at the top. They’ll be the dragon’s nostrils. 
  7. Cut two long triangles from green paper for the dragon’s ears. Fold the bottom edge of each triangle over to make a tab. Attach each triangle to side of the tube with the dragon’s eyes. Use the tab to stick the ears to top of the inside of the tube. The ears should poke up behind the eyes. 
  8. Cut two smaller triangles from white card for the dragon’s horns. Again, fold the bottom of the horn to make a tab. Using glue dots or tape, stick both horns in-between the ears. Again, the tab should be used to stick them to top of the inside of the tube. 
  9. Take a sheet of red, orange and yellow tissue paper. Cut each sheet into lots of strips, using all three colours. 
  10. On the end with the dragon’s mouth, place double-sided sticky tape around the inside of the end of the tube. Stick the ends of the strips of tissue paper all around the inside of the end of the tube.  
  11. Once finished, cover the ends of tissue paper inside the tube with one-sided sticky tape, so the tissue paper strips don’t fall out. 
  12. You can use glue sticks to help stick down your tissue paper, but only use a very small amount. 
  13. Take a deep breath and blow through the end of the tube where the dragon’s ears are and watch the flames blow! 
  14. Remember to cover the base of the tube with lots of strips of tissue paper without leaving any gaps. This is to ensure that when you blow through the tube the air gets trapped and makes the tissue paper strips flutter when the air escapes. 


In this activity we made a fire breathing dragon. Are dragons real? What other stories do you know that contain dragons?  

Dragons can be found in stories and myths from cultures all around the world, do they always act in the same way. Can you tell a story that contains a dragon? 


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.


Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Glue and solvents

Always supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions that could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.

You could have some of the items already prepared, such as having the ears cut out, strips of tissue paper pre-cut, or the tubes already wrapped in green card. 

  • If anyone needs help or struggles with fine motor skills, give them the opportunity to work in pairs, with a young leader or an adult volunteer. Alternatively, swap out the items for something easier to handle. 
  • If someone is struggling with the arts and crafts section of this activity, they could work with a partner, so they can help each other. Offer help with drawing, cutting, and sticking things down if anyone needs it, too. 

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

You could allow the young people to design their own dragons first, do they have to be green??