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Every summer, the kids and I enjoy doing special activities, crafts, and projects. We read books, cook, play games, and do art together. This summer, in anticipation of our upcoming trip to Disneyland, I decided to do “Disney Days” with the kids. Today we are kicking off our Summer with Supermom Disney Days series! I hope you’ll join us throughout the summer!
Since this will be the kids’ first trip to Disneyland, I wanted them to become more familiar with the movies that many of the attractions are based on. While they are well-versed in the language of Pixar and have movies like Frozen practically memorized, there are many of the old classics they’ve only seen a time or two. So this summer, we’ll be spending time with some of my favorite Disney characters – learning, crafting, snacking, and playing. I hope you’ll join us on this Disney adventure!
First up – Peter Pan!
We started our day by watching the classic animated feature. Peter Pan was originally released on February 5th, 1953. The attraction Peter Pan’s Flight, located in Fantasyland is a guest favorite at Disneyland. I cannot wait to take a ride on a magical flying ship with my kids this summer.
Grab a copy of Peter Pan on DVD
In the original Peter Pan, Tinkerbell isn’t the sweet and loving fairy we’ve all come to love in the new Tinkerbell movies. My kids decided that Tinkerbell might be happier if she had a fairy house.
Fairy houses are super fun to make and require very little in the way of special art supplies. The great thing about crafting a fairy house is that you can use practically anything. Find some outdoor items like leaves, sticks, moss, petals, etc and add a dash of creativity (and a little bit of good glue!)
Our intention was to do a nature walk around the neighborhood to gather supplies. However, in true NW fashion, it was pouring on Peter Pan day, so we had to settle for quickly gathering some things from our front yard. The kids loved seeing what they could find and it was fun to hear their imaginations at work, figuring out what they could use.
*We used small plastic cups as the base of our fairy house, but for a more permanent house, you could use a small pot.
When the fairy houses were finished, we set them up outside with bits of fruit inside for the fairies to eat. In the morning, the kids were delighted when the food was gone.
Snack: Second Star to the Right Cookies
“The second star to the right, shines in the night for you. ” Every Peter Pan fan knows that to get to Neverland, you follow the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning. I thought it only fitting that we make star cookies to honor and celebrate Peter Pan.
We used our favorite lemon sugar cookie recipe, but you could certainly use a roll of store-bought dough to save time. I love getting the kids involved in baking. Baking with kids is a great way to teach basic math skills. The kids all took turns rolling out the dough and helping cut the star shapes. We used a basic star-shaped cookie cutter.
Game: Follow the Leader
My children absolutely LOVE the song “Following the Leader” from the film. (It’s featured on one of their favorite Disney Sing Along Songs DVD’s.) For a simple game, we took turns being the leader. Buy the soundtrack HERE.
It was a lot of fun to watch the different personalities of my children come out as we played the game. While one child took a more reserved approach, others danced, twirled, and hopped as the leader.
In addition to providing some physical activity, Follow the Leader helps young children make choices and develop self-esteem. (*As a bonus, it requires no prep work or materials!)
In Peter Pan, Peter has lost his shadow. He is seen trying to re-attach his shadow with soap. Wendy giggles, and helps him properly re-attach it (by sewing it back on of course!)
The shadow scene opens the door for a great learning opportunity. What is a shadow? How is it made? Why can’t we see our shadow all the time? Do other things make shadows?
We had to wait a few days to do our shadow activities, but it was worth the wait! Here are a few of the shadow activities we did:
- Traced our shadows
- Went on a shadow hunt
- Compared the shape/size of shadows from different objects
- We enjoyed the shadow (shade!) of our large tree
Writing: What is Your Happy Thought?
In Peter Pan, if you want to fly, you think of a wonderful thought – any happy little thought. We typically do a couple of writing prompts each week, and I loved seeing what my kids came up with for this one.
I had each of my school-aged children answer the question, “What is your happy thought?” This is an activity that practically guarantees a smile. Since doing this activity, we’ve had this conversation multiple times – thinking about the things we love and cherish. Love raising kids who focus on positivity and their blessings.
Alternate Writing Prompts:
- Would you rather be a pirate or a lost boy? Why?
- Peter Pan didn’t want to grow up. Do you want to grow up? What are the good things about being grown up and the good things about being a kid?
Math: Tinkerbell Venn Diagram
Tinkerbell wasn’t always sweet and kind. In the original Peter Pan she’s feisty, jealous, and fairly conniving. The obvious contrast lent itself to a great compare and contrast activity.
If your children are not familiar with a Venn Diagram, this is a fun way to introduce them to it. Venn Diagrams are not only used for math activities, but are now commonly used in the classroom for many Language Arts activities as well. It is a great tool for your children to be familiar with.
Label one circle, “Tinkerbell in Peter Pan” and the other circle, “Tinkerbell in the Tinkerbell movies.” Have your children come up with traits and qualities about Tinkerbell from each of the films. In the space where the circles intersect, write down the traits that are the same for both. It was fun to see what they came up with. This is a great critical thinking activity.
Other Activity Ideas
- Create a treasure map for your children. See if they can follow the map and find the treasure.
- Let your children take turns creating maps.
- Star-gazing! Get outside and see if you can find the second star to the right. While you’re at it, learn about the constellations you can see.
There are many elaborate ideas out there. You could make pirate, mermaid, and fairy crafts, snacks, and projects for the next ten years. My aim with these activities (and with those to come) are not to be the fanciest or most “pinnable.” I wanted to have an afternoon of meaningful time with my kids. These ideas are doable and realistic….and we had a ton of fun AND great conversation! When you play and interact with your kids, fabulous opportunities for learning open up.
I hope you’ll join us on our Disney journeys this summer. Until then, think of a happy thought and you can fly! See you in Neverland!