Learning- with a Little Pixie Dust

Disney World is definitely my favorite place on the planet! There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get walking through the gate and seeing Cinderella’s castle at the end of Main Street USA. Since Disney has been closed due to COVID, we’ve been looking for ways to add a little Disney magic to our days at home- not that we go there all the time, but there’s nothing quite like Disney to turn a hum drum day into a zippidee do da day! There are so many fun Disney centered learning (and play!) activities that make your day a bit more magical- check out the ones we did this week below, then hop on Dumbo and fly on over to my Disney themed toddler post to check out more fun Disney art and sensory activities you can do with your preschooler too- including a few Disney World inspired snacks- you don’t want to miss it!

-Literacy

-Pinocchio read and compare: We read the original version of Pinocchio and then the Disney version. As we were reading the Disney version we paused after each page and discussed how the stories were alike and different. You can do this with any Disney story and original fairy tale you have on hand!

-Toy Story playtime retelling: We read a book based on Toy Story, then I had my little think of who the main characters were and find toys to match the characters. Then he played Woody and Buzz and I played Andy and Sid and we acted out the story together. This works on retelling skills in a fun way that just feels like play! It can be done with any story you have the matching toys for!

-Story elements with The Little Mermaid: We read The Little Mermaid then I had my little tell me who the characters were, where the settings were (this one was tricky- I had to explain that setting means where the story happened and reexplain that you had to think about where the characters were throughout the story), and what happened in the story. I wrote his answers on a Mickey graphic organizer I made by tracing dinner plates on chart paper!

-Mickey name spelling: I traced our Mickey cookie cutter on construction paper and wrote the letters in my little’s name on each Mickey. Then I scrambled them up and had him spell his name with the letters. (We did his first and last name, but you could also do this with all of the upper and lowercase letters).

-D is for Disney: I made this page for writing practice and letter recognition featuring capital and lowercase D then tucked it in a page protector to be used later too!

-Math

-Count and circle Mickey: I found this cute worksheet at Chart-sheet! You just have your little count up each Mickey outfit part then circle the coordinating number!

-Dot to Dot Mickey: My little loves doing connect the dots because he gets to “draw” things that may be hard for him to draw alone! I help him find the numbers while he counts and follows with his pen! I got this free printable at Woo Jr.

-Mickey number ordering: I traced our Mickey cookie cutter on construction paper, cut them out, then wrote the numbers 1-10 on them and had my little put them in the correct order.

-Shape castle: I cut out rectangles, squares, triangles and circles in the colors of Cinderella’s castle. We reviewed each shape then I let my little build his own castle using the shapes! We continued to discuss the shape names as we went!

-Mickey color by number: I printed these for free from Simple Everyday Mom then my little and I reviewed numbers 1-5 by coloring each number with the matching color on the bottom of the page.

-Science/Social Studies

-Build Lightning McQueen’s racing ramp: We’ve done a few ramp building activities the past few months, starting with simply building a ramp using a step stool and a cookie sheet and testing different cars by putting them down the ramp and marking where they stopped with tape to see who won. Then we tested different surfaces (the tile floor, the short pile carpet and the long pile carpet) to see how friction effects how far a car can go (we put the car down the ramp and measured how far it traveled on each surface). I got both of these ideas from the PBS Kids email, which you can sign up for for free here– it’s right at the top of the page! Since my little had some ramp building experience this time I said “Ok, we’re going to build a ramp for Lightning McQueen- what do you think we should use?” and I let him engineer his own ramp! He started with a stuffed animal for the base and chose a cookie sheet for the ramp itself, but soon found out the animal was too squishy and floppy so he switched to his brother’s ride-on bumblebee! This encourages critical thinking and problem solving skills as they test and change their ramp to make it better. Once you have a good ramp- go ahead and just let them play!

-Magic disappearing color: Ok, this was seriously SO cool! I got the idea from Mess for Less then just modified it so it was Disney themed! This involves bleach so be VERY careful to closely supervise your kiddo! You can do it two ways- you can fill a clear cup about half way with water and add one drop of yellow food coloring. In a different cup, put about 1/4 cup of bleach. Have your little sprinkle some “pixie dust” (glitter) into the bleach. Pour then stir the bleach into the colored water while saying “Bibbity Bobbity Boo!” and the yellow will “magically” disappear! If you want to make the bleach less stinky and have your kiddo stir- you can add about a cup of water and 1/4 cup of bleach to a clear glass. Have them sprinkle in the pixie dust then add one drop of yellow food coloring. Have your little stir and watch as the water changes from yellow to clear (you can do it this way over and over about 5 times! It’s crazy!)

-Disney map making: First I printed out 5 pictures of rides from Disney World. Then we discussed that maps are used to help people know where things are and get from place to place. I told my little he was going to design his own Disney park and make a map so people would know how to get around. He named his park and I wrote the name on the map. Then he cut out and glued each ride to a piece of paper and connected them by drawing a path between the rides.

-Art

-Tin foil castle with fireworks: Make Cinderella’s castle out of tin foil (or if your child is older, they can make it themselves but it’s pretty tricky to cut and glue smoothly) on black paper. Cut some toilet paper tubes in a fringe cut around one end. Dip them in paint on paper plates and have your little use them like a stamp to make fireworks above the castle! You can also watch a beautiful prerecorded Disney fireworks show at the Disney World Blog which is a great place to get more recipe ideas and watch more magic inspiring clips- I highly recommend anything by the Dapper Dans, like this at home recording of A Dream is a Wish and also the time lapse sunrise over Cinderella’s castle! I follow them on Facebook and they never fail to add a little magic to my day!

-Belle’s stained glass window: This came out so pretty! I blocked off a rose using painter’s tape on the concrete slab behind our house then had my little color it in with sidewalk chalk. He peeled the tape off to reveal a stained glass window rose! I got this idea from my friend Megan then just Disney-fied it!

-Shopping/Supply list:

  • 3 or more Disney story books
  • a traditional fairy tale to match one of your Disney stories above
  • toys to match one of the other Disney stories above
  • cookie sheet or cutting board
  • small step stool or small chair
  • cars- particularly Lightning McQueen if you have him!
  • chalk
  • painter’s tape
  • paper plate
  • tin foil
  • toilet paper tube
  • Mickey cookie cutter
  • Bleach
  • Glitter
  • Food coloring
  • Clear cup
  • Spoon

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