Throw a Kid-Friendly Mardi Gras Party (page 2)

Throw a Kid-Friendly Mardi Gras Party

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Updated on Feb 13, 2009

Mardi Gras Parade and Floats

Parading and music are a big part of the Mardi Gras celebration. In New Orleans, organized groups called "krewes" arrange parades, elaborate floats and/or balls during the Carnival season. In addition to floats, Mardi Gras parades are known for "throws," that is, the throwing of treats and small items such as beads and "doubloons" (aluminum coins).

Make a Mini Mardi Gras Float
Krewes spend months working on their Mardi Gras floats, but your child can enjoy the fun in far less time with this miniature float activity. All you need is a shoebox, some crafts supplies, and a little imagination!

What You Need:

  • Shoebox
  • Assorted types of paper, such as wrapping, tissue, and construction paper
  • School glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Assorted craft materials, such as sequins, craft jewels, lace and other fabric, pipe-cleaners, beads, and glitter.
  • Small plastic figurines of people, animals, and other items to adorn the top of the float (optional)
  • 2 wooden dowels, approx. 9-inches long
  • Sturdy cardboard

What You Do:

  1. A shoebox, like a parade float, can be anything you want it to be, so the first step is figuring out what theme you want your float to follow. Is it a ship with pirates? A flower fairy hideaway? A royal King and Queen ofMardi Gras?
  2. After your child has decided on a theme, she will need to use her imagination to make the shoebox come alive. Using wrapping paper in a color that works with her theme and regular glue such as Elmer's, have her first wrap the outside of the box (you can set aside the lid) and tuck the edges of the paper on the inside.
  3. Before you begin decorating, turn the box over (open side down) and make four holes towards the bottom of the inverted box, one towards the end of each long side. Make these big enough that the dowels can fit through them - you'll attach wheels later on to turn the float into a rolling marvel.
  4. Next, have your child use paper and whatever other supplies she desires to decorate the sides and top of the float. For example, if she is shooting for an underwater wonderland, she might use different colors of blue tissue paper and construction paper to make waves on the sides of the box, then cutout colorful fish and glue them onto the sides and top. Using sequins and glitter to accent the scene is a must.
  5. For the top of the float, your child may want to glue on small figures of animals or people. If you don't have any, have your child draw the characters she wants on a piece of white paper. Cut out the figure, glue it to a small piece of cardboard, then cut the cardboard out to make for a sturdy figure that your child can glue to the top of her float.
  6. Once the float is finished, push the dowels through the holes on the bottom of the float to form axles. Then, cut out four round wheels from your sturdy cardboard. Using the hot glue gun, affix each wheel to the end of each dowel. Let dry, and let the parade begin!
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