Have you ever seen the amazing balloon floats flying high above the streets of New York at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Well, here’s your chance to make your own balloon floats and have a parade of your own!


  • Practice creativity and identity development by making balloon floats of their favorite animals or characters
  • Explore the design process
  • Fulfill criteria while staying within constraints

Lesson flow

  1. prepare the materials
  2. introduce the topic
  3. watch the video
  4. build your floats
  5. have a parade to show them off!
  6. Give out awards for best floats if you feel like it!


  • Balloons in an array of colors
  • Hand pump to inflate balloons
  • Craft materials such as pipe cleaners, pompoms, and construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape (clear tape may work better than masking tape)
  • Sharpies (optional; but Sharpies are the only thing that can draw on balloons)
  • Skewers
  • Paper plates

What do you guys know about the Macy’s Day Parade? Let’s watch a story about this yearly tradition in which companies sponsor giant balloons of characters and animals that float in the sky, kept from flying away by people holding ropes. They march down the streets of New York City, just for fun!

How to make the parade floats

Choose your character/animal.

Choose your balloons.

Use the hand pump to blow up your balloons, being mindful of relative size (e.g., Sophia made her snail’s head smaller than the shell)

Decorate your balloons any way you want, using the craft materials and tape (don’t use hot glue as it may pop the balloons!).

    • Once the animal is finished, tape skewers to its sides, and poke the skewers into an upside-down paper plate. It may be easier to poke the skewers through the top of the plate first, then turn the plate around and place the skewers in the holes. You may also need to use a blade to make the holes.

Ta-da! Your balloon float is complete! Now parade around your Club, hoisting your floats into the air!

Other examples: