On Memorial Day, Americans honour the brave men and women in the Armed Forces who gave their lives fighting for their country. One educational, entertaining way to get children involved in observing Memorial Day is to let them make shoebox floats for their own holiday parade. You won't need permits or to close off streets for this parade, though. A shoebox parade is a parade in miniature, with tiny model floats made out of shoeboxes and craft supplies. Shoebox floats can be proudly carried in a procession at any holiday event.
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If you've got a shoebox, you've got the platform for a shoebox parade float. Choose a box that is sturdy, and avoid boxes that are crushed or tearing as they may be difficult for children to decorate. Turn the box upside-down. Take the cover of the box and glue or staple it to the back end of the "float" for a high wall to decorate. For a large float, use an adult boot box. For smaller floats, use boxes for baby shoes. If you can't find a shoebox, an empty cereal box or pasta box will suffice.
Before decorating, think of a theme for your float. You might want to decorate your float using a specific war for a theme, or one specific branch of the armed services. You might prefer to design your float around the bald eagle, the founding fathers or Uncle Sam. If you have any fallen soldiers in your family, your float can be a tribute to that person. Your theme can help you choose colours, decorations, pictures or slogans for your float.
Use craft supplies and holiday decor to make your float festive. Paint your float red, white or blue, or wrap it in patriotic wrapping paper. Hot glue ribbons or bows on the float, or cover it with star stickers. Glue photographs, photocopies or printed images that move you onto the float, and glue scrapbooking page borders around the image to frame it. Get some miniature flags and hot glue them to the float. If the float parade is taking place at night, dress up your float with glitter and glow sticks to make it stand out and sparkle.
Glue miniature figures on top of your float. Purchase a package of small plastic toy soldiers from a toy store and hot glue them to the float. Alternately, print out some clip art, glue the figures on cardboard and cut them out like paper dolls to affix to the top. You might also prefer to glue a large toy eagle to the float, or a small teddy bear dressed like Uncle Sam waving a flag tied to his paw.
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