Many early parade floats used fairy tales, folklore and nursery rhymes as their featured themes. The very first Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade had nursery rhyme floats including the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe and Mother Goose. There are many nursery rhymes from which you can choose when planning a float theme for a children's parade. Your choice depends on how many people will be part of the float and how extravagant you wish to make the float.
Mother Goose nursery rhyme floats are among the most popular types used and can be very simple to do. "Jack and Jill" floats typically require two main characters, a bandage to wrap around Jack's head and a bucket of water. The characters can be on a float base with a simulated hill. "Little Miss Muffet" floats usually have a main character sitting on a cushioned chair on the float base, eating a bowl of oatmeal. Another character may be dressed as a spider, or a small fuzzy spider may be strung and hung above the Little Miss Muffet character.
"There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe" may be a good choice if you have multiple float participants and intricate float building skills, in order to build the shoe. "Humpty Dumpty" usually requires only one character on the float with a simulated wall. "Three Blind Mice" can use three characters dressed in mice ears, wearing sunglasses and holding canes.
Hey Diddle Diddle
"Hey Diddle Diddle" floats can include many characters, including a cat, cow, dog, dish and spoon. The float base typically needs a moon, and the cat character needs a fiddle accessory. Depending on the size of the float base, the characters may ride on the float the entire time, or chase each other around its base.
Three Little Pigs
The "Three Little Pigs" float is easily recognised and may be elaborate or simple. For the elaborate design, three houses (straw, wood and brick) must be built onto the float base. For a more simple design, the brick house can be built using cardboard, with the three pigs hiding in it. You can build only three sides of the brick house to allow parade viewers to see the fireplace inside. The wolf character can walk around the base of the float during the parade route.
Little Red Riding Hood
"Little Red Riding Hood" floats usually have two main characters: Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf. The Little Red Riding Hood character typically wears a red hooded cape or sweatshirt jacket and carries a basket. You can dress the wolf in a flowered "grandma" dress, reading glasses and headscarf.