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Zach’s job never has consistent hours. Most days he’s home around 5ish but sometimes it’s later than that and sometimes he is out of town for several days at a time. I am a big believer in parenting being a 100%/100% job. When we just had Kye it could be a 50/50 thing but now with two kids? We both have to give 100% as parents! I can cope with the whole “single mama” thing when his job takes him away during the week…but the weekends? That’s tougher for me.
The last weekend in September Zach had a team camping trip. Zach is in a management type position now and loves to do incentives for his team (which is not common, so I think his team is pretty lucky to have him!). One of their favorite things has been this camping trip! How random is that?!?! Anyways…he was going camping and it had to be on a weekend. So I wanted to make the best of it for us at home and have me a FUN weekend even with him gone!
That morning I decided to have it be all about the kids. Back when Brave first came to theaters we took Kye to see it. I didn’t even think about it being age appropriate or not and Britt was really young so I was in that whole “omg-I-have-two-kids-I’m-so-overwhelmed” stage. I didn’t even consider researching about the movie beforehand, I was just glad to get out and go see a movie!
I regret not having done my homework. I LOVED the movie, but it was over Kye’s head and caused him to have a fear of bears. Since then he’s had legit nightmares on a regular occurrence about bears. He typically has the same dream again and again and it’s creepy. He dreams that he wakes up in the night and a big bear is sitting in his chair staring at him and then it stands up and comes over to the bed and someone shoots it and it falls, dead, on top of him in his bed. He does NOT like the woods or bears and says when he grows up one of his jobs will be chopping down all the trees so there won’t be any more woods. Obviously he saw this movie too young…total mom fail!
When the movie was first released on DVD they had a big coupon offer for it for only $10. So I bought it and figured he’d be able to handle it someday down the road. Recently Disney had all their Brave merchandise on clearance and I can’t resist a good deal. So the kids are getting some Brave themed toys for Christmas this year 😉
I decided that a good way to 1) help Kye deal with his fears 2) re-introduce the movie to him and let Britt enjoy it for the first time and 3) make the kids enjoy the gifts I got them at Christmas was to have a Brave themed day. And since Zach was going to be gone I thought it was the perfect time to do it!
I searched Pinterest and found some great ideas and pumped Kye up about it a lot in advance. I told him it was a special surprise day and was going to be so fun! The kid LOVES crafting so he was pumped! My main focus was on the bears. I wanted to help him not have this bear issue anymore and thought if I presented them in a fun way that maybe it would help? I mean I’m not a therapist or anything but it made sense to me 😉
Here is what our Brave Day included:
1) Crown Making: Watching a princess movie? Crowns are a must-have of course! I meant to print off a free printable online somewhere but forgot. So I winged it and drew my own crown and cut it out for them to paint. We started with this project first so the paint would be able to dry. I just used one piece of white card stock for the crown and a sheet of computer paper to wrap around their heads to make it wearable. Once the crown part dried and was decorated, I stapled it onto the head piece. Simple! And they LOVED them!
Kye has pretty much moved past his pink phase but did choose it for his crown color. Who am I to stop him? And Britt chose green as she is fond of that color after doing our halloween crafts!
2) Bear Print Painting: My goal in all this was to focus on the bears not being that scary. We have several Little People brand bears in our playroom so I grabbed a couple and let the kids make “bear tracks” with their paint. Polar bears, panda bears, and koala bears are totally in Brave right? 😉 Whatever…they are all still bears and it was a fun craft project! I just let them use the same paint at their crowns! I love how Kye did all of his in a neat row 🙂
Britt got distracted by the love affair between her two bears 😉
Glad the paint in non-toxic. Paint and a finger sucker don’t mix too well haha
3) Construction Paper Castles: This is a FABULOUS craft for a preschooler! Kye is learning to cut and also learning shapes 🙂 I had him draw some of the shapes and I did some as well and then he cut them out (I did help cut the triangles though as it’s tough to navigate those turns!). Then he glued all the pieces on the paper. I did pretty much everything for Britt, but she did help me glue and LOVED the glue stick. I think she thought it was lipgloss? She kept trying to eat it which she doesn’t typically do with stuff?
Her entire thing was covered in glue…glad it’s clear 😉
When Kye finished he wanted to draw some people for the castle so he drew a king and queen and princess. I showed him how to draw a crown then he was SO proud that he could draw them on his own! He even added in the little brothers from the movie!
4) Bear Printable: I found the “mean bear” in a printable and had the kids color it. We talked a lot about him and I explained the storyline to Kye so he’d understand it better. I think the whole mom-turns-into-a-bear thing was hard for him to grasp when he wasn’t even three years old yet at the time! He understood much better this time around though!
5) Bear Claw Cookies: What is a themed day without some treats, right? I learned from our Father’s Day Crafting not to bake the cookies prior to doing our crafts…so we waited until the end! It went MUCH smoother this time around. My kids have entered the “bickering” stage so trying to come up with ways for both of them to help equally was a tad tricky.
I was feeling frustrated with them both. The annoyance of making them share the wisk. Take turns stirring. Britt crying when it wasn’t her turn. Britt making a mess when it was her turn. I went to the pantry to grab some vanilla and turned around to see this. It totally melted my heart and made all the annoyances well worth it 😉
What will I do when I have more than two children when it comes to licking the beaters???
I started baking the cookies while the kids decorated their crowns! I pulled out beads and random stickers and pom pom things that I had in my craft closet and let them do their thing 🙂
We went ahead and started the movie and then paused it to eat lunch. I picked through the animal crackers to find the bear cookies for them to eat to stick with our theme!
Of course the kids rocked their crowns for the whole movie! We also went around the house and found all the bear stuffed animals we could find to sit with them for the movie (there are several surrounding them on the couch that aren’t pictured!). I sat with them the majority of the time and talked through any worrisome parts. I reminded Kye that the mom/bear would turn back into the mom at the end (spoiler alert…). I do think it’s okay to “spoil” the endings of movies for the kids. Kids like predicability and like to know what to expect.
Our bear claw cookies turned out AWESOME!
We paused the movie to indulge in our treats and, yes, I let them eat them in the living room (huge mess…I don’t recommend it!)
Our first ever movie themed event was a MASSIVE success! It was SO SO SO FUN. If you know me in real life then you know I love me a good theme 😉 Both kids really enjoyed the movie. It was hilarious because Britt actually laughed every time the bear came on the screen and enjoyed roaring along with the bear. I think our activities combined with Britt’s reaction helped Kye to cope with his bear fears and he hasn’t had a nightmare about them ever sense!!! It has become one of Britt’s favorite movies (I think the “no fear” thing with her is her age. She’s too young to be fearful yet really…I think it’s a good age to introduce potentially scary movies like that as she won’t ever fear them b/c she already is familiar with them, ya know?) and one that I enjoy watching again and again as well!
I am excited to do another movie themed day in the future!!! Any tips or suggestions? As I think of things I will be pinning them to my Movie Theme Pinterest Board 🙂
I try my best to give credit where credit is due! The idea to have a Brave Movie Day was completely my own but I was inspired for many of the projects via Pinterest:
- inspiration for the crown craft (and free printable that I forgot to print!)
- inspiration for castle craft
- Free Brave Bear printable
- Recipe for Bear Claw Cookies