What you'll need 2 paper towel tubes, 2 toilet paper tubes, green, orange and red acrylic paint, foam brush, scissors, dragon template (download at parents.com/puppets), pencil, hot glue, googly eyes, hole punch, yarn, two 18-inch long sticks
1. Paint 2 paper-towel tubes and 1 toilet-paper tube green. 2. Cut 4 1" pieces from first green paper-towel tube for the tail segments. Keep remainder of tube for dragon's body. 3. Wrap wing templates around the second green paper-towel tube, trace, and cut out. Trace feet and tail end templates onto remainder of tube and cut out. 4. Head: Cut a 3" segment from green toilet-paper tube keeping two half-circle tabs, as shown. Glue eyes to tabs. 5. Hot-glue wings together, then to the body at center back. 6. Paint 1 toilet-paper tube orange. Add red streaks for flames; let dry. Cut flame shapes from the orange and red toilet-paper tube and hot-glue inside the mouth. 7. With a hole punch, make 2 holes in dragon's head for nostrils, then punch a hole just under his eyes for stringing. 8. Punch a hole at each end of the dragon's body, 2 holes in each tail segment, and 2 holes in the tail end. Thread a 60" length of yarn through holes to connect the pieces. 9. Punch a hole in each foot and 2 holes in the bottom of each end of the body. Thread an 8" length of yarn through each end of the body; knot under foot shape to create legs. 10.Handle: Cross sticks at center; tie with yarn to secure. Tie ends of 60" piece of yarn to 2 opposite points of one stick.
Originally published in the November 2012 issue of Parents magazine.