top of page




The Thanksgiving Parade

This guide will help you bring some speech-language spirit to your Thanksgiving parade exprience, whether you watch one in Silver Spring, New York City, or from the comfort of your couch at home.


EXPLORE: Expressive Grammar
ENRICH: Use of Conjunctions

ENGAGE: The ability to answer "why" questions with "because"


As you watch the parade, comment on the variety of floats, balloons, and performances. After the parade is finished, engage your child in a conversation about favorite parts of the parade.



  • Ask your child, "Which part of the parade was your favorite?" Encourage him/her to use a complete sentence to respond: My favorite part of the parade was ___.

  • Then, ask your child, "Why was ___ your favorite part?" Remind him/her to use a complete sentence and the word "because" in their answer: I liked ___ because ___.


BONUS: Watch videos of Macy's Thanksgiving parades from the past, such as

this one from 1935. Ask your child, "How is that parade different from the parade we just saw?" They can use the pattern sentence, "This parade is different from the one we saw because ___"


EXPLORE: Listening Comprehension
ENRICH: Understanding Oral Passages

ENGAGE: The ability to listen for details


Either before or after attending the parade, watch this video about the history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City and practice oral comprehension skills with your child.



  • Watch the video in the link above with your child.

  • Next, watch the video again. Before watching the second time, tell your child you want them to listen for the answers to three questions:

    • When did the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade start? (1924)

    • Where did the animals in the first parade come from? (Central Park Zoo)

    • Why did the parade take a 2-year break? (Because of WWII)

  • After watching the video, have your child answer the three questions in complete sentences. If your child does not know the answer to a question, you can use one of two strategies:

    • ​1) Replay the video until the answer to the question is stated, then pause the video and ask your child the question again.

    • 2) Give your child verbal choices. For example, "Where did the animals in the first parade come from? The zoo or the pet store?"


EXPLORE: Phonological Skills
ENRICH: Appropriate Speech Patterns

ENGAGE: The ability to produce final stop consonants


Producing final stop consonants (sounds made by blocking and then releasing airflow, such as /p b t d k g/) is an important skill that contributes to a child being easily understood by others when speaking. You can practice this skill at the parade by talking about things in the parade that end in stop consonants.



  • Remind your child that he/she needs to pronounce strong sounds at the ends of words so that others know what he/she is saying. Give them an example, such as "white" - without a strong /t/ sound, someone might think you are saying "why."

  • As you watch the parade, have your child practice the following ten words in complete sentences with strong final sounds:

    • /p/ - claP

    • ​/t/ - streeT, floaT

    • /d/ - paraDe, banD, crowD

    • /k/ - biKe, musiC

    • /g/ - lonG, doG

EXPLORE: Social Pragmatic Skills
ENRICH: Perspective-Taking

ENGAGE: The ability to give appropriate background information


Telling someone a story about a fun event is a social language activity that is motivating to many children because they can talk about their own personal experiences. Use the parade experience as a means of practicing re-telling a story and providing appropriate background information to a listener who is unfamiliar with the parade.



  • After the parade, have your child pick a friend or family member to recount his/her experience to. Remind your child, "Remember, ___ did not go to the parade with us. (S)he might not even know that we went to the parade. You have to start by filling him/her in with that important information before you tell the story."

  • Have your child use the following framework, if needed, to give adequate background information:

    • When - yesterday, on Saturday, last weekend, etc.

    • Who - I, Daddy and I, my family, etc.

    • What - went to a parade, watched a Thanksgiving parade, etc.

    • Where - in Silver Spring, near the ice cream store, in the street, etc.

    • For example, "Yesterday, Mommy and I went to a Thanksgiving Day parade in Silver Spring."


bottom of page