Step by Step: Milly and the Macy’s Parade


Like many in New York City, I am getting very excited for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade next week. We are extremely lucky here at the New-York Historical Society because we get a front row seat for all the action. Every year, they blow up the balloons right in front of our museum on 77 th Street at Central Park West. I can tell it’s getting close to the big day, as they have already started lining Central Park West with those metal bleachers.

To celebrate Thanksgiving and the parade, we are reading Milly and the Macy’s Parade by Shana Corey and Brett Helquist during Little New-Yorkers on Tuesday, November 20 and Friday, November 23. Milly is a historical fiction picture book about the origin of the iconic parade. It takes place during the holiday season in 1924. Milly and her family are Polish immigrants living in New York City, and Milly’s father, like many other immigrants, works at Macy’s Department Store. Milly notices that her father and his coworkers are homesick, as they miss the holiday traditions from their home countries in which people play music and celebrate in the streets. To cheer them up, Milly convinces Mr. Macy to put on the very first Macy’s Parade, and a tradition is born.

The Little New-Yorkers art project for the book is creating an elephant stick puppet inspired by classic parade floats. Follow the steps below to create your own at home!

-elephant template (download here)

-accordion template (download here)

1) Download and print out the elephant and accordion templates.

2) Color the two halves of your elephant and the accordion piece as you choose.

3) Cut out the two elephant pieces and then cut out the accordion piece.

4) Now that you have three distinct parts of your elephant cut out, start making your accordion folds on the accordion template. Make your first fold by turning the paper over so the white side faces up. Flip up one side and make a crease on the first line. Turn the paper over so the lines face up and make your next fold on the next line. Keep repeating these steps until the entire paper is folded so it looks like a fan, or accordion.

All your pieces should now look something like this:

5) Now it’s time to glue all three pieces together. Turn them all over so the white side is facing up. The head part should be on the left, and the part with the elephant’s bottom should be on the right, with the accordion in the middle. Take your glue stick and spread glue up and down along one side of the bottom piece. Now take one rectangle on the accordion and press it into the glue. Repeat this step, attaching the other side of the accordion to the other side of the elephant.

When you’re done with these steps, your elephant should look like this:

6) The next and final step is attaching the popsicle sticks. Turn your elephant over again and spread some glue on one side of your elephant where you want your first stick to go. Now press the top of your stick (approximately one inch will do the trick) into the glue. Repeat on other half of the elephant so you have one stick attached to the head part and one stick attached to the bottom part.

7) You’re all done with your elephant stick puppet- congratulations, artist!

Here’s me with my puppet. (Please excuse my messy desk!)

Come to Little New-Yorkers in the DiMenna Children’s History Museum on Tuesday, November 20 or Friday, November 23 at 3:30 to listen to the story and make your elephant puppet at the museum! I hope to see you there. Happy Thanksgiving!


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