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Archive for the ‘Spirit Parade’ Category

Host a Holiday Spirit Parade at Your School

Posted by Stumps Spirit on November 13, 2012

The holidays are right around the corner and you know what that means, it’s time to celebrate! And instead of spending the last couple of days before the holiday break in a homework slump, host a Holiday Spirit Parade at your school and you can have a little fun while adding to the learning environment, too.
Everyone knows that Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but beyond the turkey and stuffing, presents and carolers, they may not be able to tell you what the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays signify. To help your students relate to the true meaning of the holidays, you can add a little educational fun to your classroom by hosting a holiday spirit parade.

Bringing the Holidays to the Classroom

Teachers would agree that students enjoy learning when they are interested in and actively engaged in the classroom concept. To start, have a list of people or themes surrounding the events. For Thanksgiving, some concepts may include: pilgrims, food, clothes, history, the land, religion, fasting, and the celebration. For Christmas, some concepts may include: St. Nicholas, heritage, the third century, religion, poverty and hunger, Santa Claus, how the giving of gifts came about. You can adjust the themes and concepts according to their age/grade to meet their educational needs. For younger students, keep it simple and for older students, attempt to divulge higher order thinking. Divide the children according to their chosen interests. Group activities are often the key to students having fun while learning. Let the kids research and explore their given topics. Once they’ve researched their concepts, let them put it all together.

Putting it All Together

Have students come to the parade dressed accordingly to the holiday they’re studying. Make or pass out recipes of meals that would coordinate with the events. (For Elementary students, try having your classroom invite another classroom over for a Thanksgiving meal. But, don’t forget your place settings). Decorate the classroom, hallways, cafeteria, etc. with the appropriate look to recreate the original Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities. Hang a Thanksgiving banner or Christmas banner at the entrance of your classroom to welcome your holiday tourists or carry it at the front of the parade to welcome your parade onlookers. Place cornstalks around the classroom, hallway, or school to show recognition to the first Harvest or a nativity set to honor Christmas. Talk to your band or choir teachers, see if they can teach their students a Thanksgiving or Christmas related song and have them follow along with your class as you parade around the school sharing the knowledge and good news of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Learning in Motion

You can make your parade as big or small of an event as you and your school are able to accommodate but the key is turning a hands on activity into a fun and educational event all at the same time. Children will enjoy learning the true meaning of the spirit all while having a jolly good time.


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Best Looking Homecoming Parade Floats

Posted by Stumps Spirit on August 21, 2012

Does your high school have a parade during homecoming week?  Whether yes or no, why not put together a fun, friendly competition with the other high schools in your area?  Gather together and recruit a parent to drive the vehicle that will pull the parade float.  Then gather a group of students—a few representatives from each class, so all the students have a hand in decorating.  Find a trailer sturdy enough to hold your float and four students—one member of each class.  When you begin decorating, you must ask yourself a few questions: what do the memorable parade floats use as decorations?  What do the best-looking parade floats rely on?

Spirited Float Decorations

A good base for decorating your parade float is to obtain a book on how to build a parade float.  You’ll want to start with a decorating kit.  This will take care of your basic decorating needs for the trailer part of the float.  You’ll either want grass mats or scatter grass for the floor of your float.  Then, hang metallic fringe in your school colors around the bottom of your float.  Add bunches of balloons to the corners of your float—opposite colors in opposite corners.  Then, make a few sign using colored paper to decorate and Styrofoam letters and stars to get your message across.

Spirited Float Team

It’s also important to “decorate” your float team.  You can make t-shirts for them to wear, but you can also stock up on boas and temporary tattoos for your team members to wear.  Look for wigs for your spirited team members to wear, too. The more school spirit your students show, the better!  Also, what spirit float would be complete without pom-poms? Make sure your float members carry their pom-poms and noisemakers and let their spirit ring loudly during your homecoming parade!

The most important part of the equation that makes up a good parade float is the spirit that your float team portrays.  Without spirit in a homecoming parade, the parade won’t be as much fun for the students or the audience.  Get your students in the homecoming spirit by involving them as much as possible in the parade planning and float building process.

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Design the Winning Homecoming Parade Float

Posted by Stumps Spirit on August 24, 2011

The parade float contest is a fun and challenging Homecoming tradition. Designing a winning Homecoming parade float may seem daunting, but with some basic design concepts and the right tools, you’ll be on your way to parade victory in no time.

Parade Float Design:
Creativity is the secret to designing a winning parade float. If your parade has a theme, try to come up with a unique spin on the theme. Rather than creating a straightforward interpretation of the theme, think of a different angle. For example, if it’s a retro theme, try making a time-travel parade float, rather than recreating a single decade. If you have a Western theme, try a more urban cowboy look. The unexpected approach often wows judges.

When you design your parade float, don’t overreach your time and budget. Elaborate floats can be stunning, but if they’re not well-crafted they often come out worse than simpler floats that are expertly assembled. When you plan your float design, think about how much space, money, and other resources you have. You can always add more embellishment once your basic design is perfected.

For building decorations, think about shapes that you can construct. Parade float decorations are often made out of chicken wire and tissue squares, corrugated cardboard, plywood, and heavy paper. Design your float using basic lines and shapes that you can make out of these materials. Once you have the design basics figured out, you can get as creative as you want! Stumps Spirit also has a wide selection of Homecoming theme decorations that can be used on your parade floats.

Parade Float Supplies:
Many floats are built on a 8’ x 16′ farm wagon with the back removed. A similar size trailer, used to move small construction equipment, might be borrowed from a local construction company. Or, a float could be built on the back of a flat bed truck.

To decorate your float, create a light wooden frame around the wagon using #2 1 x 3 pine. The frame should extend from the top of the wagon bed to about 15” from the ground. A basic frame this size requires approximately 140’ of lumber.
To calculate how much floral sheeting you need for your float, measure the distance around in feet and divide by three to get the yardage. Floral sheeting is sold in square yards. Use the floral sheeting to cover the frame and floor of your float or to build decorations with.

Use metallic fringe to hide the wheels and create the illusion that the float is floating. This size float requires five 10’ packages of metallic fringe. Fringe can be added in your school colors or colors that match your float design.
Edge the perimeter of your float in festooning. This size float requires three, 48’ rolls of festooning. The floral sheeting, festooning and fringe are all made of the same plastic material (waterproof, fade-proof and flameproof) and reusable for another float at another time if you remove the materials carefully after the parade. Festooning is also useful in building larger decorations.

Add your team name or spirit slogan to the side of your float using Styrofoam letters or numbers. Tri-fold float signs and custom banners also work really well for this purpose and they can be reused later for other Homecoming events. Don’t forget a custom banner for team members to carry in front of your float in the parade.

Check out all of Stumps Spirit’s float building supplies and parade float tips!

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