dragon activities

Dinovember Dragon Activities: Play Dough Dragons and Treasure

Since dragons are imaginary creatures—as far as we know, kids can create any kind of play dough dragons and play treasure with them too. Fiery breath is optional.

play dough dragons

Play dough is available pre-made and is reasonably priced. There are several different recipes for homemade play dough using basic ingredients that you likely already have at home. It’s simple and really inexpensive. (Here are directions for making a batch.) Plasticine is another possibility.

Earlier this month, we read lots of books about dragons. The kids also made up some of their own stories. There are a few children’s tv shows and movies about dragons. For the most part, dragons are big, look similar to a dinosaur, and have wings. After that, anything goes.play dough dragon treasure

Since the kids play with play dough often, we usually have a batch or two ready to go in the fridge. The only adult intervention was suggesting making some play dough dragons or burying some dragon treasure. The kids liked the idea and directed their own play. Little Sister mostly just liked burying and finding treasure in the play dough. We had some small colored rocks, plastic spheres, and a clear plastic heart that were easy to clean off later.

Play dough isn’t messy but it is still sensory. Besides the texture of the play dough, kids feel all the different shapes and designs they create. Big pieces of play dough have a heavier weight than smaller ones. Their sense of touch helps them make smooth parts and bumpy ones on their dragons. There’s lots of stimulation for seeing with color, shapes, designs, and sizes. The same goes for hearing as kids slap, tap, pound, squish, and more.  Hopefully, kids aren’t tasting it, but there might be some smell. For our homemade batches, we often add a drop or two of peppermint or lavender.

play dough dragon fun

Just think of all the time and effort it took an adult to make these dragons. Kids aren’t the only ones that like play dough dragons. The small or fine muscles in the body are very active in the squeezing, rolling, squishing, pinching, and whatever else kids need to do to shape their dragons. Brains are busy too organizing, solving problems, imagining, figuring out, and thinking. Creating combines both the thinking and the actions. Could making play dough dragons and playing with treasure spark your child’s play?

Dragon Play and Math Activities: Dragon Patterns

For some fun today, how about making dragon patterns? Usually, dragons are covered in scales and these scales have a pattern. Treasure has patterns too. There are lots of ideas for pattern fun.


Little Sister wanted to make patterns with treasure. We rounded up some bottle caps, buttons, and flat glass marbles to be the treasure. Her first pattern is two colors, hard to see in the photos but they are green/blue, green/blue. Then, surprisingly, she made a pattern of 3 things. She wanted to use 3 colors of marbles but the pattern could be  different items too such as: bottle cap/button/marble, bottle cap/button/marble.

This is the first time she made a pattern with 3. We have done several different patterning activities recently and noticed patterns in different places. There are patterns in clothes, floors, tiles, and more and it’s been amazing to find so many. It takes time for brains to get the connections needed for patterns and lots of hands-on experiences.


Patterning is such a valuable skill. In a way, it’s built in. The simplest and most basic patterns are breathing, in/out, in/out, and the action of our hearts, open /close, open/close. All over our planet we have the repetition of day/night, day/night. Nature has incredible patterns.

The brain uses patterns to deal with vast amounts of information. Instead of being overwhelming, a pattern sequence condenses information into a much, much smaller chunk. A simple AB pattern, like blue/green, blue/green, can go to an infinite length but instead of having to store all that, the brain only has to remember A and B. A comes first and it’s always followed by B. Suddenly, something huge is very small. What an amazing strategy.dragon patterns

Your child may play with patterns for several minutes or only a couple, but the brain is still recording the experience. Like treasure, the exposure will pile up and create a powerful strategy. Weather forecasters rely on patterns, and so do businesses of all kinds. How will your child play with dragon patterns?

Wood-scraps Dragon Castle Craft – Recycled Treasure for Play

Some bits of wood made for a fun and exciting wood-scraps dragon castle craft. Along with some glue and paint, the kids created their own toys and fun.

dragon castle craft

After adding some shelves in the garage, we had a few bits of wood left over. Instead of recycling them, I gathered them into a box and gave them to the kids to use. Wood absorbs glue so they needed a couple of refills to the small dishes of white glue. Before getting the glue, I gave them a chance to build with the wood scraps and try them in lots of different ways. After quite a few minutes, they were ready to attach their creations together. Using popsicle sticks they slathered on the glue and stuck the pieces together. They were having so much fun, they wanted more, so we found some corks to add. Their castles were quite elaborate.

dragon castle craft

Glue needs time to dry so once they each finished their wood-scraps dragon castle, we carefully put them in a safe place and cleaned up. It was hard for them to wait and not just for an hour or two but the whole rest of the day and overnight. The next day the castles were ready, so out came all the paints and another good chunk of time. To do this, we spread newspapers over the floor to catch the drips. Even though the paint lids were carefully set to one side, Little Sister managed to stick her toes into a couple of them and paint the bottoms of her toes instead. This was tremendously funny. A couple of rags tidied that up and the paint lids got moved even farther away.

dragon castle craft

Toys don’t have to be something we buy for kids. These wood scraps had and continue to have wonderful play value. Besides the building and the painting, the kids have played with these castles several times. One day, they used some dragons and another day, some different small plastic figurines. The castles transformed into schools during another play session. The dragon castle craft turned into an imaginative and creative toy.

dragon castle craft

To find wood scraps, you may have to be creative and ask around. Lumber stores may have a bin of bits of wood, or a building site. Is there a new house going up in your area? Usually, once you let a few people know, they will watch for you and save some for your kid-dragons. Small boxes will also work. Cereal and other food boxes, toilet rolls, and items in the recycling basket are other treasures. Dragons may need to be reminded—no breathing fire on this dragon castle craft. What other recycling treasures can you suggest?

Nature Dragon Treasure Hunt for Kids

Usually, dragons have some kind of treasure to guard; a nature dragon would have outdoor treasure so let’s go on a nature dragon treasure hunt. Crowns are optional. There are so many different kinds of dragons. Some dragons are scary, some are helpful. Often dragons are mean and sometimes they are friendly. For homes, we … Continue reading Nature Dragon Treasure Hunt for Kids

Dragon Play Activities: Imaginary Dragon Stories for Kids

Besides reading books about dragons, how about some imaginary dragon stories? Kids can make up their own dragon adventures tales or we can do it with them. Stories don’t always have to come from books. With a little bit of imagination, kids can tell a story too. Made-up stories can be about anything and happen … Continue reading Dragon Play Activities: Imaginary Dragon Stories for Kids

Blanket Forts for Kids and Dragons – AKA Blanket Caves

In the song Puff the Magic Dragon, Puff slinks into his cave where he feels safe, so for today’s play, how about blanket forts for kids and dragons? Note the box of colored paper is the fire. Another word for blanket fort is GORF, short for good ol’ reliable fort. Making one isn’t hard, although … Continue reading Blanket Forts for Kids and Dragons – AKA Blanket Caves

Dragon Play Activities: Counting Dragon Treasure Math Fun

Counting dragon treasure doesn’t need to take long, unless you’re a dragon. But even if kids only spend a few minutes, that adds to the experience pile. And tonight on tv we’ve certainly watched the drama of counting and numbers. Dragons collect all sorts of treasures. Since they are imaginary creatures that could be practically … Continue reading Dragon Play Activities: Counting Dragon Treasure Math Fun

Digging for Treasure: Dragon Sensory Imaginative Play

Treasure, whether dragon or pirate, sometimes gets buried and digging for treasure is fun for kids with some dragon sensory imaginative play. Adults too; think of gold digging or excavating. With their huge claws, digging is pretty easy for dragons. It’s harder for kids. If you live somewhere warm enough so the yard isn’t covered … Continue reading Digging for Treasure: Dragon Sensory Imaginative Play

Build a Dragon Castle Construction Play – Maybe a dragon will move in?

Dragons don’t live in regular houses so for a play-of-the-day, kids can get out the blocks or Lego and build a dragon castle for some construction play. This activity has been inspired by the children’s book, When A Dragon Moves In, written by Jodi Moore and illustrated by Howard McWilliam. According to the little boy … Continue reading Build a Dragon Castle Construction Play – Maybe a dragon will move in?

Dragon Playground Activities Inspired by The Paper Bag Princess

The children’s book, The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch inspires some dragon playground activities for kids and dragons for today’s play-of-the-day. Dragons can sleep for years and years but they also travel great distances. In this story, a dragon burns all of Princess Elizabeth’s clothes and captures her Prince Ronald. All she has left … Continue reading Dragon Playground Activities Inspired by The Paper Bag Princess