Adventure is out there! It’s also right here at our house! How does a mom continue to engage a less than enthusiastic reader in the excitement of books? Well, it has tested my creativity for sure but-Challenge Accepted!! This is the third week of our movie/book journey. This time we decided we needed to go UP!! Grab a big ol’ bunch of balloons and join us for dinner and some art!!
If you’re just tuning into to this reading journey let me explain the idea quickly. Each Sunday we will pick a movie for our end of the week celebration. We will then borrow a book that corresponds to that theme and read it all week. This allows some practicing of our reading skills while also getting excited about the celebration. At the end of the week we will uniquely celebrate with a themed meal/snack and a fun activity.The kids chose Disney Pixar’s UP and off to the library we went. We really lucked out because they had two fantastic books- A read aloud story of UP and The Art of UP. I like that this movie was chosen because my youngest didn’t remember ever seeing the movie so it was a blank slate. While we were picking out our books we also reserved the DVD for the end of the week as an additional incentive.The read aloud book was very large and detailed, it literally told the whole story from the movie. This was a bit of a challenge for an easily frustrated new reader. We broke the book into sections and just focused on that particular section with help from a different “assistant”-mom or brother (dad was on a business trip).At the same time, I began looking through my trusty Pinterest for ideas for a meal or snack and an activity. I also was flying solo with my husband away on business so I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t be overfilling my already full plate with ideas that were too time intensive.
I ultimately took inspiration from the second book, The Art of UP for the activity. The plan was that the kids would have the opportunity to paint their own UP art after eating a themed dinner.The menu was found on Pinterest, a more clever person than I am had thought of some great ideas and I have no problem saying I used almost all of them. Our menu would be the following:
Dug’s Hot Dogs
Ellie’s (we don’t like grape) Juice..they don’t like grape so it was lemonade
Paradise Falls StrawberriesFor dessert:
Carl-Mel popcorn (Crunch and Munch)
Kevin’s Mini Chocolate Bars
I poured each in a couple of bowls with two dog statues that usually live on our mantle to guard the treats.After the meal was planned I moved on to the decorations for the dinner table. I don’t believe in purchasing new items for these celebrations, I just use what’s on hand. I did type up the menu and a little Adventure Is Out There Sign..it wasn’t until I started getting it all put out that I realized I left Out out of the wording. Mistakes happen and this was for my kids-who don’t need perfection so I just wrote it in with a marker.We have a world globe and a vintage suitcase above our kitchen cabinets as part of the decor, I thought they’d be perfect for the travel vibe so I added them. I also added one of our books of the week. A newly empty large plastic container (originally contained pretzel rods from Costco) I labeled our Paradise Falls Fund and threw in some spare change for effect.The only thing left to finish the table off was Carl’s house. We had this toy house in the garage waiting to be donated that was the perfect size. I blew up a few balloons from our party supplies and literally scotch taped them to the house. This house was the biggest hit with the kids!!Here’s a look at the final set up. This took all of 15 minutes to do!We enjoyed our “dogs” and I enjoyed the easy meal prep and post meal clean up!! Once we finished it was time to make some art! To be perfectly transparent after cleaning up inside I didn’t want the possibility of having to do so inside again post painting so I set up the art studio on our lanai.Our other book of the week was our focal point and a resource while painting. My son was gifted these canvases and this painting set on his last birthday so we already had some professional art supplies right here! My daughter likes her pastel colors so I added a few other options for her, some extra paint brushes and a plastic tablecloth to protect our table. It’s a fun print, I got it on clearance last year for $0.66 and it has been used several times!Our masterpieces below:So there you have it-a fun and easy celebration of UP! Followed of course by watching the movie after some post paint hosing down of the kids 😀. The painting was the part they enjoyed the most, although it may have tied with dessert for the best thing! Total prep time-less than an hour! Reading enthusiasm is bit higher and climbing so that to me is a win!! As I type this they are discussing our next book options..I hope you’ll come back next week to see what we are going to get up to!! Janet