For a summer parade that's lots of fun, gather kids of all ages in your neighborhood or apartment building. Decorate bikes, trikes, in-line skates and wagons, wear a funny hat and strike up the band!
* Make and deliver fliers to announce the parade. Designate a place where youngsters can bring their bikes for a pre-parade decorating party. Tie ribbons, streamers and flags to bikes and wagons. Make signs and banners.
* Put your child's teddy bear and stuffed animals on parade, too. Attach a mini garden fence to the long sides of a wagon to make it look like a circus wagon. Fill it with favorite stuffed animals. Set a battery-operated cassette player next to the animals to play festive marching music. Dress like a clown and bring along the kids dressed as the circus ringmaster and tightrope walker.
* Teens will enjoy participating, too. They can hand out brochures along the parade route or wear a sandwich board advertising their services for mowing lawns, baby-sitting, collecting mail and papers for vacationers.
Make the day a real picnic and top off the event with a potluck meal or ice cream social. Your driveway, yard or a nearby park can be the gathering spot. If you have a meal, each family should bring their own plates, utensils, beverage and main dish, salad or dessert to share.
For a dessert bar, set up tubs of ice cream on a picnic table. Ask families to bring their favorite toppings.
Be sure to plan a few games everyone will enjoy, such as an egg toss, water-balloon volleyball and relay races. Encourage participants to match up with new families on the block so everyone gets acquainted.