Fiesta is an event that only happens in San Antonio, but it overtakes the entire city for as week. The Battle of Flowers parade is so big that all schools in the city are closed for the day, and most downtown businesses are closed due to traffic and pedestrian congestion. Said parade has also spawned the endless tide of shoebox floats. It is a rite of passage in our community - loved by some, dreaded by others. The process of creating a shoebox float is relatively simple: you cover a shoebox in colored paper and decorate it. That's it. There are no rules. The only guidelines are those set by individual contests - and almost every elementary school has one.
Lily Ruth's Parent's Day Out program has an annual Fiesta parade and party. The 'older' kiddos (3-5) either make a shoebox float or decorate their tricycles/bicycles. The younger kiddos (infant-2) are pushed along the route in strollers and wagons covered in paper flowers and bright ribbons. Then we all head inside and eat entirely too much food - all of it lovingly prepared by the nursery staff.
I jumped at the chance to make a float. I have fond memories of the fun and frustration of covering an entire shoebox in tiny tissue paper 'flowers' in the wee small hours of the morning (it was probably 10 pm :-P) the night before my Brownie troop parade. I was eager to share the fun with my daughter... I tend to overestimate her attention span and her interest in any process...
To be fair, I chose a design where she could help with every step. For the most part, she declined... choosing instead to wander off with each design element as it was completed, and play happily on her own.
I decided to make a garden themed float. As you well know, we're in love with our garden. The most exciting parts for Lily Ruth are using garden tools and growing a bean tee pee. It was a no-brainer to play on those things...
O.k., so, to start, we (yes, she helped with this part) covered the shoebox - and our hands - with school glue, then slapped on some green tissue paper. If your shoebox is a dark color or has a logo, you might need to paint it a solid color first or cover it in heavier paper. Our box was white with tiny green flowers (a giant 'thank you' to Ms. Kyla who gave baby Lily Ruth presents from Janie and Jack) so we got off easy:
I made squirmy worm-ies out of pipe cleaners and googly eyes. Those were immensely popular. It took a good half hour of play before she was ready to hand them over.
From there, it was just glue-ing the elements in place. Lily Ruth chose Belle, Hiccup and Ken to ride on the float. Once everybody was secured with hot glue, I cut small squares of tissue paper. Each square got wrapped around the eraser end of a pencil. Add a dab of glue, press into place and hey, presto: PINK flowers!