Our family project in 2020 is to watch the collection of Disney animated films from the beginning, in release order. (Huzzah for streaming services, because that’s a lot of DVDs to track down.) With every film, we make sure we always have some reading, some making, and some play! We’re up to Sleeping Beauty just in time for Mother’s Day in America… or hopefully the arrival of some warmer weather here in the UK. Our Mother’s Day is in March, but the lovely Hailee and Jasmin from Bounding on a Budget are from California, and they invited us to play along with the quarantine challenge of a Disney-themed mother and child day, with crafting and snacks! Sounds like our kind of day, and shhh, but I am cool with having two Mother’s Days this year.
Dressing up is a big part of play in our house, and Wonder Boy (now SIX YEARS OLD?!) loves Disneybounding (or ‘dressing like characters’ as he has long called it) so much that he will choose my clothes as well as his own. We dressed as the always brave Prince Philip and a very ‘make it pink’ Aurora. His top tip for princes: a red cape comes in handy! He cut this one himself from some plain red cotton fabric, and has worn it to be Snow White’s prince as well.
I was just slightly too old when Polly Pocket toys hit the scene: they were always the toys my little sister had that I secretly wished I had too. We love the Disney Animators’ Micro Playsets for a very similar reason: all the little pieces and lots of detail! They come with a good selection of characters for retelling a story or making your own adventure, so that’s brilliant for youthful creativity! The Sleeping Beauty set includes Briar Rose, Prince Philip, Flora, Fauna, Merryweather, Owl, and the leaning birthday cake and a table, plus there’s a blind bag. He got a squirrel to add to the woodland adventures! He’s a big fan of how these little sets pack up with a handle so you can take them along for adventures. He’d quite like to take this one to the wooded part of our park once it is open again!
Then time for some making! His request today was painting, so we brought out our watercolour paper and Mickey-shaped paints! There’s a Sleeping Beauty Mother’s Day card on the Disney Family website, and I printed that design straight onto the watercolour paper. (The thicker paper may need a little help to get picked up by the printer wheels, as a heads up!)
We like to tape the paper to the desk or a clipboard with watercolour, so it’s less likely to accidentally smear the painting with your non-painting hand! If you have little ones who tend to rush their painting and not be totally happy, and you have the luxury of the time, you may find they slow down if you sit near them. WB will slow right down and look at little details if he can tell me all about them. As soon as I stand up, he heads back to big broad brushstrokes. Though at this age, I love both!
We had two Sleeping Beauty books for our reading list today: one old and one new! We’ve been picking up secondhand copies of the Disney Wonderful World of Reading collection for years, and have a beautiful rainbow of their spines on our bookcase. Of course there was a Sleeping Beauty title in the collection! These books always have to leave out substantial parts of a movie to get the storyline to fit the short story format, so a great way to link the books to the films and check understanding is to ask your child what’s missing from the storybook! This book left out the entire time Aurora went to live with the fairies in the cottage! Our new book is such a beautiful treat: there’s a Sleeping Beauty edition of the Story Orchestra, a special series of books that play classical music as you read the story. We know Disney films for including hundreds of brilliant original songs, but Sleeping Beauty’s music is largely based on Tchaikovsky’s ballet, so it’s a great way to introduce a classical piece and to tune in on melodies we might recognise even when they don’t have words. (I particularly like that these books can grow with the child, as they tell a fairy tale and play pretty music, but they also include musical terminology and information about the composer and his style at the back of the book.)
While his painting dried, we mixed up some pancake batter to make a Sleeping Beauty snack: a towering stack of pancakes with blue whipped cream and sprinkles – just like Briar Rose’s birthday cake! Hands down, my favourite pancakes in the world are from Clinton Street Bakery in New York (please don’t tell Mickey) and learning that they whisk their egg whites was a game changer for our breakfasts. Later a WDW chef told me they follow the same technique with the batter for Mickey Waffles! We made our pancakes with just a tablespoon of batter each, so the stack could be as high as possible, then topped them with blue whipped cream (literally whipping cream, blue food colouring, a sprinkle of sugar, and whisk until it thickens!) and plenty of sprinkles! We use this recipe, but substitute the milk and butter (as well as the whipping cream!) for the same quantities of dairy-free alternatives to cope with an allergy. I’ve had both versions over the years and the recipe comes out delish either way.
Wishing you a very happy day, wherever you may be, and may it be filled with the magic of Sleeping Beauty! Thank you Hailee and Jasmin for inviting us to share our day with you!
10 May 2020