For the last few years while I have been working as the lead teacher for the after school program we have been doing "parades" around the hallway of the schools. We do one for Chinese new year where the kids all put a large piece of paper over there heads to be a parade dragon. Every year I pull the dragon out of storage and well add new decoration to it. I have a large head I made from a brown paper bag and some card stock with a Styrofoam ball for the nose. I made the dragon first in 2007 when I was teaching preschool at a daycare and he is getting a little worn out. I also brought in a gong and some other instruments for the kids to play.
this year was the year of the snake so we also made red money envelopes with 2013 year of the snake on them. we made the paper dragon parade puppets from a template and we made recycled bottle cap snakes.
We also like to do a Mardi gras parade. for our Mardi Gras parade kids decorate cardboard boxes and make parade floats from them. We put large strings on them so kids can drag them in the ground behind them. Kids bring in stuffed animals from home to put in their boxes so that the animals can ride the floats and be in the parade.
Now that I have an iphone we were able to pull up videos on youtube of real dragon parades and Mardi Gras parades so kids can see where the idea comes from. I always preview the videos at home and save them in a list on my favorites to make sure the content is appropriate.