Earth Day

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. What can you create? Repurpose materials to make something new.

Make a Dragon Puppet with Recycled Materials

In honor of the Museum’s Children of the Dragon celebration, an event celebrating Vietnamese culture, we will be making a dragon puppet. The dragon is an important symbol in Vietnamese culture. Dragon dances are performed to scare away evil spirits and to bring good luck, health, and prosperity. It is thought that the longer the dragon dances, the more luck it will bring. Dragons represent water, life and royalty as well as the origin of the Vietnamese people and their country.



  • Cardboard egg carton (1 dozen size)
  • Tempera paint (traditional colors: red, yellow, orange, gold, and black)
  • Paintbrush
  • 2 pom poms or cotton balls
  • 2 googly eyes (or small piece of white and black paper for eyes)
  • Red construction paper (small piece)
  • Scissors
  • Liquid glue


  1. Remove the egg carton’s lid by cutting it off. Set it aside as this part will not be used.
  2. Make the Body. Cut the remaining egg carton (egg cup side) in half, lengthwise. One egg carton will make two dragons.
  3. Make the Head. Cut and remove one cup section from the end of the carton.
  4. Decorate the Body. Paint your long egg carton piece with any colors that you choose. Traditional colors are red, yellow, orange, gold and black.
  5. Decorate the Head. Paint the outside of the single egg cup you removed for the head any color that you would like.
  6. Prepare the Mouth. Paint the inside of the single egg cup (head) black, this will be the mouth of your dragon.
  7. Attach the Head to the Body. After the paint dries, glue the head to the body. Create and attach eyes. Glue your googly or paper eyes to the pom poms, then glue the pom poms to the head.
  8. Make a Tongue. Cut out a long strip of paper to create a tongue for your dragon, and glue it inside the dragon’s mouth.


  • Supports fine motor skills through painting, cutting and gluing.
  • Encourages step-by-step directions to create a final outcome.
  • Develops language and literacy skills as children discuss the process of creating.


  • Supports science skills such as observation and experimentation
  • Develops science and math language such as smaller/bigger, colors, shapes
  • Actions such as cutting, coloring and sticking develop fine motor skills


Turn your dragon into a puppet! Make your dragon dance! Glue a streamer, ribbon or yarn to the inside or outside of the body. Dance your dragon around the room! Remember that the longer your dragon dances, the more luck it will bring!