I will admit that I depend greatly on the schools for celebrating the Derby with my kids. They always have stick horse races, float parades, and other fun and games. I guess it's like a local holiday - the kids even get out of school the day before on Friday for the Oaks Race. Here are some ideas of fun my kids have had thanks to their teachers and schools (and a bit of help from mom)-
1 - Derby Floats and Parades. In kindergarten, my oldest boy, Trevor, and I worked on a Derby Float that would be walked around the school in a parade along with all the other kids. We took small squares of tissue paper and wrapped them around the tip of a pencil and glued all over a shoe box. The highlight was the glittered horse on top. Trevor is 11 now and we just said goodbye to that float last year because he loved it so much.
I don't have a photo of Black Nitro (although I did just put him away in the boy's room, but there is an example of one like him being carried by the boy behind my son)
2 - Stick Horse Races - Another great event the kids do at school and we have done at our church Derby Parties. It's as simple as making a horse head out of poster board (doubling it) and stuffing it lightly with newspaper. Then, staple it all the way around, putting a large dowel rod in the neck. The one my oldest (again) made in Kindergarten is still around and he named him Black Nitro. The younger siblings still ride around the house on him. Of course, when you have an entire school that has made these, then a great horse race ensues.
3 - The Hats! If you pop on over to The Polka Dot Chair, Melissa's friend, Ali, has posted a few ways to make Derby Hats with your kids. There is no such thing as a visit to the Derby without a hat. It's what hats were made for.
We spend Derby Day one year with our friends, the Deshlers. They had a great way to get all of us cheering for certain horses in all the races throughout the day. Did you know there are many races on Derby Day and the Kentucky Derby is only one of the many and not even the last race of the day? Well, you can easily find out all the names of the horses in each of the races online. Print out their names and numbers and for each race, let everyone pick a name out of a bag or hat. You become enamored with that horse and it's amazing how a no name one minute becomes YOUR horse as your cheer them on. The winner gets to pick a candy bar out of a bag. My kids loved it and it is something that we have done ever since we learned it from our friends.
Okay, now for the winner of the giveaway from yesterday - #6 Baby.Got.Craft
email me and send me your address and I will mail this little horse pendant to you ASAP. Thanks for all the kind comments and I love that there were so many horse lovers.