Cardboard tubes (some people call them paper rolls) are perfect for creating crafts that engage children in pretend play once craft time is finished.
They are also great for using in a variety of STEM activities for kids.
This Flying Dragon Craft is a fun cardboard tube craft that doubles as a simple STEM activity.
It uses materials you probably already have on hand, which means your child can get busy creating their very own flying dragon toy, without you having to hunt fancy craft stores for supplies.
Do you know a child that loves dragons?
Dragon activities like this one are sure to be a hit!
This dragon craft had my son roaring and smiling as he made his homemade dragon fly over and over again. Your child is going to love it, too!
Flying Dragon Craft
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- empty cardboard roll (4-6 inches long)
- construction paper
- yarn (or heavy string)
- wiggly eyes
- craft glue
Decide what color you want your dragon to be.
We chose green, but your child can make their cardboard tube dragon whatever color they choose. They might even want to make it have multiple colors, using a different color for the wings, body, and head.
Measure the length of your cardboard tube and cut a strip of construction paper that wide so it will cover the tube.
Glue this paper around the tube. You could also use clear tape to hold it in place.
Fold a piece of construction paper in half and draw a wing shape on the paper, with the folded edge being where the wing would meet the dragon’s body. Cut out the wing shape so that when you unfold it, you have 2 wings that are connected.
Glue the wings to the cardboard tube.
Use construction paper to create a tail and a head for the dragon. For our head we cut a piece that looks a bit like an acorn with 2 small horns.
Your child may choose to cut a simple circle shape. Or they may get even more creative when making their paper dragon head.
Attach the wiggly eyes to the head and use markers to complete the dragon’s face.
Glue the tail and head to the cardboard tube.
Let the glue dry completely before doing the next part.
How to Make a Flying Dragon Toy
Cut 4-5 feet of yarn (or heavy string).
Fold it in half and loop it over a doorknob so an equal amount hangs on both sides. You could also hang it from a hook or the knob on a cabinet.
Thread the loose ends of the yarn through the top of your cardboard dragon so they stick out the bottom.
To make the dragon fly, hold the two ends of the yarn, one in each hand, and pull your hands apart to separate the yarn.
As you move your hands apart, the dragon will fly to the top of the yarn. When you bring your hands back together, the dragon will slide back down.
Dragon STEM Activity
This simple kids dragon craft is also a wonderful STEM activity.
The yarn is actually acting like a lever in this activity.
Pulling the yarn pieces apart and to the sides changes the angle of the yarn to the tube. The yarn, working as a lever, pushes the dragon up.
When you change the angle of the yarn so it’s back to the center, the dragon slides back down with the help of gravity.
We had so much fun with this flying dragon craft and STEM activity. I know your child will love it, too.
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Updated from November 2, 2018.