A great activity for everyone

Dragon Tag

Unleash Your Inner Dragon: A Thrilling Game of Strategy and Speed

Dragon Tag
By Jon Zajac

What is Dragon Tag?

Dragon Tag is an engaging icebreaker game that brings a fun twist to the classic game of tag. The purpose of this activity is to foster teamwork, communication, and strategic thinking among participants. In Dragon Tag, teams of 4-8 people form human chains, with each team representing a “dragon.” Each dragon has a “tail” with a scarf or bandana tucked into the last person’s pocket. The objective of the game is for the head of each dragon to grab another team’s tail while staying linked.

The rules emphasize the importance of teamwork, as participants cannot let go and get separated during the game. If any part of a team’s dragon gets detached, only the head and connected members can move to reconnect the chain before pursuing other teams. Teams can also use defense strategies, such as curling up into a ball, to protect their tails from being grabbed. The last remaining team with their tail intact wins the game. Dragon Tag is an exciting and energetic icebreaker that promotes social interaction, collaboration, and physical activity in a fun and engaging way.

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Rules for Dragon Tag

  1. People who are part of a human chain cannot let go and get separated.
  2. The goal of the game is to have the head of each dragon grab the scarf or bandana off the tail of another team’s dragon while staying linked.
  3. If any part of a team’s dragon gets separated, the detached tail end cannot move; only the head and the people attached to the head can move. You cannot go after another team until you have reconnected your body together.
  4. A team can perform defense by curling up into a ball. This can be done as a whole dragon or just the tail if the head has been detached.
  5. When any team loses their flag (i.e., when another team grabs their flag) they are out.
  6. The last remaining team is the winner!

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Materials needed for Dragon Tag

  • Scarves or bandanas’: One scarf or bandana for each team. These will be used as “flags” to represent the tails of the dragons.
  • Open space: An area with a lot of space is required for playing Dragon Tag. This can include a park, field, gymnasium, or other large open area.

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Setting up for Dragon Tag

To set up for the Dragon Tag icebreaker activity, you will need an area with a lot of space. Divide the participants into teams of 4-8 people. Each team should form a human chain by having team members hold on to each other’s waists or link elbows. The last person in the chain should have a scarf or bandana placed in the back pocket, acting as the “tail” of the dragon. It is important that all team members stay connected and do not let go during the game.

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How to play Dragon Tag

  1. Form Teams and Create Human Chains: I gather 4-8 people together to form teams. Each team creates a human chain by having members hold on to each other’s waists or link elbows, with one person holding a scarf or bandana in their back pocket.
  2. Designate Team Roles: The first person in the chain is the “head” of the dragon, while the last person with the scarf or bandana is the “tail.” The tail should ensure that the scarf or bandana is easily reachable for other teams to grab.
  3. Understand the Objective: The aim of the game is for the head of each dragon to successfully grab the scarf or bandana from another team’s tail while remaining linked. Remember, if any part of a team’s dragon gets separated, only the head and those directly attached can move until the body is reconnected.
  4. Defend Your Tail: A team can protect their tail by curling up into a ball shape, making it harder for opponents to grab the scarf or bandana. This defensive maneuver can be performed as a whole dragon or just the tail if the head has been detached. All teams aim to do this simultaneously when any team loses their flag (i.e., when another team grabs their flag), making it an exciting group challenge.
  5. Elimination and Victory: When any team’s flag is successfully grabbed, that team is out of the game. The last remaining team is declared the winner!

Remember to follow these instructions in a spacious outdoor setting with enough room for all teams to move around safely. Encourage fair play, communication, and teamwork throughout the Dragon Tag icebreaker activity.

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Benefits of Dragon Tag

  • Encourages Teamwork: By forming human chains and working together to grab the scarf or bandana off another team’s dragon while staying linked, players learn the importance of teamwork and communication.
  • Promotes Physical Activity: Dragon Tag involves a lot of movement and running around, making it a great way to get some exercise and have fun at the same time.
  • Enhances Problem-Solving Skills: Players need to think strategically about how to defend their own dragon’s tail while trying to grab another team’s flag. This requires problem-solving skills and quick thinking.
  • Builds Trust: By relying on their teammates to hold on tight during the game, players build trust in each other’s abilities and dependability.
  • Fosters Competition: Dragon Tag is a competitive game that encourages players to strive for success and be proud of their achievements when they win.
  • Improves Reflexes and Coordination: The fast-paced nature of the game helps improve players’ reflexes, agility, and coordination skills.
  • Encourages Creativity: With the option to curl up into a ball for defense, players can come up with creative ways to protect their dragon’s tail and outsmart their opponents.
  • Provides an Opportunity for Socialization: Dragon Tag is a fun and engaging icebreaker that encourages social interaction and relationship building among players.

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Skills built with Dragon Tag

  • Communication skills: Players need to communicate effectively with their team members to coordinate movements, strategize, and make quick decisions during the game.
  • Teamwork and collaboration: Dragon Tag promotes cooperation among players as they work together to form a chain and defend their tail from being grabbed by other teams.
  • Problem-solving skills: Players must think critically and creatively to find effective ways to grab other teams’ tails while protecting their own, requiring strategic planning and quick thinking.
  • Agility and coordination: The game involves physical activity such as running, turning, and stopping suddenly, which can help improve players’ agility and overall coordination.
  • Body awareness: By forming a human chain and moving together, players develop better body awareness and learn to control their movements in relation to others around them.
  • Competitive spirit: Playing Dragon Tag encourages a healthy sense of competition as teams strive to be the last one standing and win the game.
  • Resilience: Facing challenges such as getting separated from the chain or having one’s tail grabbed requires players to bounce back and continue playing, building resilience.
  • Self-confidence: Successfully grabbing another team’s tail or successfully defending one’s own can boost self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

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Why I like Dragon Tag

As someone who enjoys both physical activity and team-based games, I find the Dragon Tag icebreaker to be a highly engaging and entertaining experience. The concept of transforming traditional tag into a more strategic and interactive game by adding chains of players and “flags” in the form of bandanas creates an exciting atmosphere that encourages communication, cooperation, and competition among participants.

One aspect I particularly appreciate about Dragon Tag is its adaptability to various age groups, making it suitable for team-building activities at conferences, parties, or community events. The game’s simplicity allows players to quickly grasp the rules and mechanics, yet it still offers depth through defensive strategies and evasion techniques, ensuring that every participant remains engaged throughout the session.

The game’s requirements are also minimal – a spacious area, some willing participants, and a bandana or scarf for each team – making it an accessible and budget-friendly option for event organizers. Additionally, Dragon Tag provides players with ample opportunities to break a sweat and have fun without the need for complex equipment or extensive setup time.

In summary, I like the Dragon Tag icebreaker because it offers a dynamic, engaging, and adaptable experience that fosters teamwork, communication, and friendly competition among participants while being easy to organize and play.

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Tips for making Dragon Tag more inclusive

  • Tip: Use descriptive language to form teams When forming teams, use descriptive language to ensure that everyone understands who should be on their team. For example, you could say “Find a group of people who are wearing the same color shirt as you and link up to form a dragon.”
  • Tip: Offer visual or tactile modifications for players with vision impairments For players with vision impairments, consider offering visual or tactile modifications. For example, you could use different colored bandanas for each team or attach a textured object to the tail of each dragon.
  • Tip: Use gender-neutral language when giving instructions When giving instructions, use gender-neutral language to ensure that everyone feels included. For example, instead of saying “guys,” you could say “everyone” or “all players.”
  • Tip: Encourage teamwork and communication within each dragon Encourage teamwork and communication within each dragon by reminding players that they need to work together in order to win. You could say something like, “Make sure everyone in your dragon is included and has a chance to participate in the game.”
  • Tip: Modify the rules for players with mobility limitations For players with mobility limitations, consider modifying the rules of the game. For example, you could allow them to use a wheelchair or other assistive device as part of their dragon, or you could give them a head start in the game.

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Reflection questions for Dragon Tag

  1. What strategies did you use to protect your dragon’s tail and try to grab other teams’ tails? This question can help participants reflect on their problem-solving skills and teamwork during the game.
  2. How did you feel when your team was being chased or when you were chasing another team? This question can help facilitators understand the group’s emotions and how they react under pressure.
  3. What challenges did you face while staying connected in your human chain, and how did you overcome them? This question can help participants reflect on their communication and collaboration skills.
  4. How did you feel when your team lost its flag? Did you feel disappointed or motivated to do better next time? This question can help facilitators understand the group’s resilience and ability to handle setbacks.
  5. What similarities and differences did you notice between Dragon Tag and other tag games you have played before? This question can help participants connect their experiences and make connections between different activities.

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About the author

Jon Zajac

Jon Zajac

Founder & Chief Icebreaker

I started Icebreaker Spot because I truly believe that strong connections are the foundation of successful teams. I wanted to create a platform that would make it easy for people to find and share icebreakers and team building activities, empowering them to build trust, foster collaboration, and ultimately, achieve greatness together.

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