Some people see parabolas just on the blackboard or smartboards in the mathematical context. These people are obviously wrong, as parabolas are virtually everywhere, like, say, taxes or Starbucks. To give you a quick example: a goal kick in football, human-cannon shot or angry birds game as Tim Chartier writes in his blog post. They all involve a body (sometimes literally) moving in a parabolic motion.
At yTeach we prefer playing basketball to practice parabolas (more sweat and fun + no birds get hurt). And you can easily explain how they work in the context of a game with all math input right there on the same screen. Take your own parabola personal free shot here. Show it to your students and don’t forget to bring an actual ball of some kind into the class.