Ideas for Shoebox Floats

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Add sparkle and interest to your float with leftover buttons and beads.

Creating a shoebox float is a craft project that lets kids participate in a variety of holidays. An empty, upside-down shoebox serves as the base of the float. Glue the lid standing straight up on one end of the shoebox to create an optional backdrop for your float. Punch a hole in the front of the shoebox and run a piece of yarn through it to drag it along in an indoor shoebox parade.


Mardi Gras Float

Create a Mardi Gras shoebox float to teach kids about the traditional Fat Tuesday celebration. Flip the shoebox upside down and paint it in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold. If you don't have paint, glue paper to cover the float.


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Show kids photos of real Mardi Gras floats to give them inspiration for decorating floats. Make the float sparkle by gluing sequins or tin foil and attaching Mardi Gras beads. Kids can include figurines dressed in bright Mardi Gras costumes and masks, cut out instruments from cardboard to create a Mardi Gras band, or include Mardi Gras expressions like "Laissez les bons temps rouler," or, "Let the good times roll." Once floats are finished and dried, put on some Mardi Gras music and parade the floats around the room.


Memorial Day Float

Memorial Day shoebox floats are a creative way to teach kids about American history and the bravery and sacrifices of our troops throughout the years. Help kids to select and research a particular war or war hero in U.S. history, then commemorate it with the float. Paint the shoebox in patriotic colors of red, white and blue.


Have kids use soldier figurines or cut their own soldiers from cardboard to decorate the float. Kids can make small flags from construction paper for the soldiers to hold, along with other accessories like jeeps, tanks and miniature airplanes. Finally, have kids write the name and dates of the war or name and dates of the war hero's life on the float. Look online for appropriate quotes to write on the float, such as the one by Rudyard Kipling: "All we have of freedom, all we use or know--this our fathers bought for us long and long ago."


Rose Bowl Parade Float

Making a Rose Bowl float is an activity to keep kids busy while on long Christmas breaks from school. Have them select a theme for their floats such as animals, Mother Earth, cowboys, pirates and dancing dolls. Look on-line at photos of past floats for inspiration. Carve styrofoam balls or cut figures out of cardboard to suit the theme. Pluck petals from fake flowers and glue them to the float and figures to create the Rose Bowl float look. You can also have kids go into the yard and collect fresh greens to incorporate into the float. Have kids parade their floats around as they watch the parade on New Year's Day.



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