Jeff Koons inspired Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon project for students in 2nd grade through 5th grade. Art projects that incorporates form, collage and paper.

Jeff Koons Inspired Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Project

There’s something about watching the mix of the colorful, larger-than-life balloons traveling high above the streets of New York City paired with the sounds of marching bands that make the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions.

I watch it in between prepping the turkey and baking pies on the big day and the background is always a seasonal trigger for me. I’m probably not alone as it is an event that has been intertwined in American Thanksgiving celebrations for nearly 100 years.

Along with recognizable characters from movies and television, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has also featured balloons inspired by artists including a Yayoi Kusama sun, a Keith Haring figure and a Jeff Koons rabbit.

Jeff Koons inspired Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon project for students in 2nd grade through 5th grade. Art projects that incorporates form, collage and paper. Inspired by the book, Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

This lesson puts a fun twist on the traditional balloons, with a sleek, shiny, balloon inspired by Jeff Koons’ signature style. Featuring simple techniques and supplies, this lesson is perfect for students from second grade and up.

Download this handy drawing guide before you get started.

Click here to subscribe
white line

THIS IS WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

– 9″ x 12″ white sulphite paper

– 9″ x 12″ colored sulphite paper (light colors are best)

– Small scrap of white paper

– Sharpie

– Colored markers

– White oil pastel

– Pan watercolor

– Posca paint pens or chalk markers (construction paper crayons would work, too)

– Scissors & glue

DRAWING THE BUILDINGS

Turn the paper horizontal. Use a Sharpie to draw several large buildings that fill the entire paper from left to right. It’s okay if they are different heights.

Add windows and doors, but don’t add any other details just yet.

Jeff Koons inspired Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon project for students in 2nd grade through 5th grade. Art projects that incorporates form, collage and paper.

Paint the buildings and background with watercolor paint.

Jeff Koons inspired Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon project for students in 2nd grade through 5th grade. Art projects that incorporates form, collage and paper.

While the paint dries, start creating the balloon dog.

DRAWING THE BALLOON DOG

Use a Sharpie to draw the separate pieces of the balloon dogs on a light colored piece of paper. You should have a body, head, two legs, two ears and a tail. Don’t forget to download the drawing guide for a visual reference.

Use a white oil pastel to make a curved highlight on one side of each piece. For pieces that are horizontal, like the body and head, the highlight will be on top. For pieces that are vertical, like the legs, ears and tail, the highlights will be on the right side.

Jeff Koons inspired Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon project for students in 2nd grade through 5th grade. Art projects that incorporates form, collage and paper.

Use a marker in a darker shade than your paper to make the shadow. For the head and body, the shadow will be on the bottom, For the legs, eats and tail, the shadow will be on the left side.

The highlights and shadows are what helps give the dog the rounded three-dimensional appearance.

ASSEMBLING THE BALLOON DOG

Cut out all pieces, leaving the black outline intact. Glue the pieces together to make the balloon dog.

Jeff Koons inspired Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon project for students in 2nd grade through 5th grade. Art projects that incorporates form, collage and paper.

Cut two eyes from the scrap of white paper and glue onto the face. Outline and add pupils with the Sharpie. Draw a nose and mouth. Add a white oil pastel highlight to the tip of the nose.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Use Posca paint pens or chalk markers to add details to the buildings, including; window panes, awnings and decorative architectural details.

Glue the balloon dog to the background. Make sure it’s floating nice and high above the street.

Jeff Koons inspired Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon project for students in 2nd grade through 5th grade. Art projects that incorporates form, collage and paper.

Use the Sharpie to add a few lines that extend from the dog’s feet to the bottom of the paper. These are the ropes that handlers use to navigate the balloon through the streets.

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet us a perfect companion to this lesson, which tells the real life story of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer who developed the first Macy’s parade balloon.

Jeff Koons inspired Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon project for students in 2nd grade through 5th grade. Art projects that incorporates form, collage and paper. Inspired by the book, Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Want more in-depth lessons with accompanying standards and assessments for similar projects? The Sparklers’ Club has thousands of fully standardized lesson plans to make curriculum planning effortless. Join the waitlist for the Sparklers Club.

Pin Me!

Jeff Koons inspired Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon project for students in 2nd grade through 5th grade. Art projects that incorporates form, collage and paper. Inspired by the book, Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

This lesson was created and written by one of our lesson developers, Heather Sparks!

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

  • Julie Reardon

    I used to use this book in my RAW ART (Reading And Writing with ART) classes when I taught k-6. I Love this piece so much!!!! Thanks for sharing! Now I need to think how to up it for my junior high artist. We may do it using drawing in 2 point perspective for the buildings…. my mind is racing.

  • Melanie Racanelli

    Thank you so much- what an amazing project-

  • Barbara

    What a beautiful and wonderful way to teach about Koons and a beloved tradition! Thank you Patty for all that you do to make our lives as teachers magical! You truly are Oz!!!

  • Debi

    Love this

  • M rifkin

    Love it because it relates to the bubble method of drawing figures or animals or lettering.

  • Moon

    Hi I am interested with your teaching material is nice and simple. However, may i know what is the suitable art lessons for the children from age 6 to 9 years old

    • Valerie

      I did this lesson with my first graders (6 & 7 year olds) and they did a fabulous job. I started by doing the project as a directed drawing and made sure everyone had the buildings the correct size. The only thing I would do differently next time is to make sure they know about how many windows should fit in each building. Some wanted to draw the windows super small and fill the whole building with windows. Since they started out with pencil it was easy for them to erase. I was afraid the pencil marks would show through anyway, but they did not. I too was shocked by how many have never seen the parade.

  • Amanda

    My students are having a blast with this one! I was shocked that most of my students had never seen the parade! So, along with the book and lesson I had to also show them clips of the parade. Needless to say they will all be nagging their parents to watch on Thanksgiving morning!

  • Stephany Schefers

    This year will be the year I finally nail the turkey. Let’s just say my family has been less than pleased the last few years. For some reason I just can’t get the bird to turn out moist and soft. This year is gonna be the one!

Follow Us


In stores 8/21

BUY NOW

The {lesson_title} Lesson is Locked inside of the {bundle_title}

Unlocking this lesson will give you access to the entire bundle and use {points} of your available unlocks.

Are you sure?

No Yes

The {bundle_title} is Locked

Accessing this bundle will use {points} of your available unlocks.

Are you sure?

No Yes

{{error}}

Close

The {lesson_title} Lesson is Locked inside of the {bundle_title}

To unlock this lesson, close this box, then click on the “lock” icon.

Close