Teaching Kids about Walt Disney

I have exciting news! We will be going to Walt Disney World this week!  The last time we went, our oldest children were two years old and 6 months old, and while we had a wonderful time, they were also really little. So we are REALLY excited to experience it with them now that they are older and more aware of what Walt Disney World holds. Even our youngest son is more aware of Disney World than his brother and sister were when they went on our first trip. My kids know about and love the princesses, they love Toy Story, Mickey Mouse, and other famous Disney characters and movies, if the tv is on at our home, we are watching Disney Jr. We LOVE all things Disney. For this trip, I wanted to focus on the original and creative mind of Walt Disney.

When I found out we would be going to Walt Disney World (due to the generous gift of park hopper tickets given by Walt Disney World), I knew I wanted to focus our reading and exploration on Walt Disney’s life and about cartoon animation. We’ve listened to several amazing audiobooks that are also Disney Movies such as Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins. Yet, I realized my kids didn’t know that Walt Disney World (or, how they call it, “Disney World”) is the creative genius of one man with big dreams.

We started by reading this awesome little biography on Walt Disney. It was full of great information and my kids were very engaged by the story. I’m always amazed by Walt Disney’s dream, the hardships he faced, and his go-getter attitude. He is such a wonderful example of pursuing your dreams no matter the obstacles you face! I also grabbed the book, Who Is Walt Disney? While it is a book about Walt Disney, it isn’t endorsed by the Disney brand. However, I struggled to find a various Walt Disney biographies that were age appropriate for my kids. We aren’t afraid of chapter books (even though my kids are under 5 years of age), so I decided it would be a great resource.

I really love this quote by Wal Disney. I think it is very inspirational to set the bar high on your dreams and to go after them NO MATTER the cost. Walt Disney is a great example of this; he had HUGE dreams that people thought were crazy, but he did not let the naysayers control the outcome of his dreams. He went after his dreams with gusto. It’s safe to say, his dreams continue to grow and become greater and greater!

 

We made sure to read several classic Disney Golden Guide books like Monster’s Inc, Peter Pan, and Ariel. I love being able to read books to my kids when they are familiar with the story (Peter Pan, for example), they can identify and recall parts of the story. They get so excited to connect with a beloved story. The Target Dollar Section has a great selection of Cars 3 board books, so we snatched up one (seen in the picture at the top)

We’ve also spent quite a bit of time practicing cartoon animation drawing. For several days, we had pens and graph paper scattered about our kitchen table, as we would practice our drawing. My 4 year old daughter was much better at drawing than me! We had such a great time practicing drawing Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Daisy. I will tell you, drawing Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse may look easy, but it was a challenge for sure!

I grabbed the Frozen, Star Wars and Cars notebooks from Target Dollar Section to inspire my kids to draw while we traveled or to collect character autographs when we go to “Disney World (As seen in the photo at the top!).

The great thing about reading the books and practicing our drawing (along with watching tons of Disney movies like Cars 3) is that our excitement as a family only grew. Because of incorporating books into our Disney countdown, not only has our anticipation grew, but the list of things we want to do in the Walt Disney Parks has also grown.

* The picture with the Walt Disney Quote was taken by me at Disney Springs, Orlando, FL*

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