We had great fun this weekend making a ride on Dragon Hobby Horse for St George’s Day. We’re delighted with how well he turned out. Can you believe he’s made from an old cereal box and a plastic rubbish bag?
We also made some armour and a shield from an old cardboard box too. I love it when you can create something with so much play value out of “nothing” so to speak. The only trouble is it makes me loathed to send anything to the bin or recycling centre just in case we can make use of it someday! I fear I will end up an old lady hoarder living amongst floor to ceiling mountains of toilet roll middles and empty washing up bottles!
We’ve all taken turns dressing up and riding our Dragon Hobby Horse and Cupcake has named him Henry. To begin with Henry was quite a roary, wild Dragon but seems to be a bit tamer now. Between you and me he doesn’t seem to be the brightest Dragon in the Fairytale but that’s probably a good thing or who knows what manner of mischief he’d plot and plan in cahoots with our Little Dragon Sock Puppet, who is quite mischievous enough as it is!
How To Make A Dragon Hobby Horse
You Will Need:
- A large empty cereal box
- A green draw string rubbish bag
- A broom handle
- Masking tape
- Tissue paper (red, orange, yellow)
- Paint (We used green but we think different dragon breeds come in different colours, so any would do.)
- Scraps of card for features (Eyes, nostrils, horns.)
I’ve taken a series of step by step photos which I hope will do a lot of the explaining. I’ve shown them against the background of the completed dragon so you can see what shape we’re aiming for easily.
- Use the photo as a guide. Draw the nostrils on the bottom of the box and then the triangular-ish shape on both sides that will fold over later to form the snout.
- Starting at the corner marked with an arrow, carefully cut along your drawn lines. Do not cut anywhere else. You will end up with a box looking like the one below with 2 side flaps and one long thin flap along the top.
- Fold the two side flaps down and tape into place with masking tape. (If they are slightly too wide to fit the gap just trim them slightly.)
- Push down the long thin flap so that it sits on top of the side flaps you’ve just taped and also tape that into place. You now have your dragon’s head shape. How simple was that? We cut little triangles into the back flaps next too.
- Turn the dragon’s head over and snip a little cross into the bottom to make a hole to put the broom handle.
- Paint the dragon, allow to dry and cut and stick or paint on his features. We also added some horns to ours but you don’t have to.
- When it’s all dry you can attach your plastic bag. First cut the bottom seam off the bag so you are left with a tube. Repeatedly snip all the way from the bottom up to about a cm or two of the draw string to make lots of flowing tassels. Pull and tie off your drawstring so it is the right size to fit around the inside of the dragon’s head at the back where the triangles are and simply staple into place.
- If you are adding some flames, cut them out of tissue paper, stack them together and cut a slit at the front of the dragon’s nose to poke them through. Then tape them into place on the inside.
- Pop the dragon’s head onto the broom handle and take him for his first ride. Wahoo!!!
We also whizzed up some armour out of cardboard boxes cut to shape, covered with foil and decorated with a clip art dragon image. The edges are finished with reinforced tape.
We’ve had hours of fun together with our dragon and imaginative play. He’s very adaptable and has happily played the villain and hero with equal gusto. I think he’ll gladly play any game as long as he gets an apple as a reward; who’d have thought they’d be his favourite?
We’ve also used him for a bit of Speech and Language Therapy. As many of you will have read before now, my son Crumb was born profoundly deaf. He wears bilateral cochlear implants which are absolutely amazing. He has fantastic spoken English now but still struggles to shout and project and to sustain looooong loud sounds. We took the opportunity to roar and shout with the dragon which was great fun too.
Children will have great fun bringing their dragon to life and developing its personality. It has to be said that our Henry is not very bright but very enthusiastic and will do all manner of tricks for an apple!
Dressing up and puppet props are a great way for children to develop their imaginative story telling and improvisation. They promote language and communication and offer a safe way to explore a huge range of emotions and scenarios, and children don’t even realise they’re doing all that learning, fab, fab, fab!
We hope you have lots of fun with this idea.
Do leave us a comment, to let us know how you get on. x
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