Sword in the Stone

The Sword in the Stone is another one of my childhood favourites. We spent the morning doing the craft and preparing the treat. The kids are watching it right now and I am in seventh heaven listening to them absolutely kill themselves laughing.

We did Sword in the Stone cupcakes (which my daughter baked) with grey icing and I printed off cupcake liners with a rock pattern on them because my husband said they looked like cupcakes with grey goop on them (which I suppose they were). I got the outline here and just added rock clip art to the inside of the pattern. The kids cut the liners out and my son loaned me some of his swords from his toy knights and there you go! I also went and bought a pair of silver goblets from the Goodwill and the kids decorated them with sticky jewels from the dollar store.

Then for the main craft the kids made hats. My daughter made a Merlin hat from purple construction paper and we had a great idea and attached the long skinny left-over piece of fluff from the Aristocats tissue box as a beard and eyebrows. My son and I made the crown with gold sparkly paper and red tissue from the dollar store. My daughter decorated her hat with stars punched out of my son’s left-over crown scraps and he decorated his with more sticky jewels. I got the instructions for the crown here. So for supplies for the two hats, you’ll need purple construction paper, sparkley gold paper, a star hole punch (if you have one), red tissue paper, sticky gems, a grommet, tape, scissors, and glue.

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Tron

Instead of a movie night this past weekend we welcomed a new baby into our hearts, so I am posting a movie night we did this past summer. As a child, my husband loved Tron. When the new one came out he thought that the original was so much more exciting and ground breaking but he was still very happy to step back into that world with his son. They both had a great time watching this father/son double header story.

 

 

 

For the snack I made chocolate “Disc” cupcakes with glow stick bracelets on top. We also had blue Gatorade and added the kids glowing ice cubes from Artist’s Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. My daughter’s cube is loosing it’s glow so we have to go back soon to replace it! Finally, we added bright blue icing around the edges of some Oreos and the kids had them for school that week.

Then we went out to the park with our dog for a disc game. The kids had painted Frisbees black and glued glow necklaces to them. Again though, my husband couldn’t get enough of this and the next day he and my son found a paper craft of three light cycles: Clu’s here, Kevin Flynn’s here and Sam Flynn’s here on the Disney site. They spent many happy hours assembling, and then racing the light cycles. For materials for both crafts all you need are black paint, Frisbees, glow necklaces, scissors, and glue.

Dinosaur

It has been so long since I saw Dinosaur that I made volcano cakes for our dessert but I think I was getting it a bit mixed up with Fantasia. My husband said that flaming marshmallows as meteors from when we went camping this summer would have been more true to the movie. (My daughter tried to put the flames on her marshmallow for her S’more out by waving it in the air, and instead, it burned even brighter and was sent flying towards her brother, almost causing HIS extinction!) We were too busy trying to avoid conflagration to take photos and I am NOT staging that! And a volcano is still appropriate as learning experience because it is a possible reason for their eventual extinction. And it was more yummy than a burning marshwallow! ANYWAY!

I was inspired by this site for the recipe. Instead of a pudding cake from scratch though, I just used regular chocolate cake mix from a box and made them in tall biscuit pans (I found some at Home Sense). You then take red and orange chocolate wafers (I got mine at the Bulk Barn), melt them carefully in the microwave, and dribble them over the cooled baked cupcakes. First dribble the red in an x-shape, then the orange in another x, then swirl another spoonful of the red on top.

For crafts we just did a couple of kits from the dollar store. My son loved the excavation of the dinosaur egg so much he said he would like to change his university major from astrophysics to archeology. We also built a model out of wood which he also enjoyed. I find that with two children with such different tastes, it’s sometimes easier to take turns with their crafts and activities.

Oh! The fun thing was I let them watch Doctor Who’s Dinosaurs on a Spaceship on Friday. Then Saturday morning after figure skating and hockey we stopped at the Salvation Army to see if they had any of the Disney movies we were still missing on VHS. While we were there we saw THIS! My daughter bought her for $10 for the new baby. I remember when these first came out a couple of years ago but I thought my son was getting too big to justify the expense because at the time they were something like $500! We named her Tricey in honour of Doctor Who and the kids have been feeding her for two days now. So it ended up being a very Dinosaur-y weekend!

Oliver and Company

When we did Oliver and Company for our movie night recently, I looked everywhere for linked sausages like Dodger steals in the film. I finally found them at a neighbourhood place called “The Healthy Butcher”. The store makes them themselves and the kids loved them so much that they and my husband said it was well worth the extra expense. So if you are trying to do the same, save yourself some time and start at your local organic butcher. We just served them with some mashed potatoes and homemade applesauce for dessert.

For the craft, my son also did a painting of a sunset scene of New York City to go with it. Your child simply does a watercolour sunset background and when it’s dry they take a black marker and ink in a city line silhouette over top. All you need are watercolour paint, paper and a brush and a black pen, easy!

The Little Mermaid

Here is our Little Mermaid movie night which ended up being super easy. We had a sleepover with my niece and she and my daughter wanted to do the craft together so they made seashell photo boxes. The girls just painted wooden photo boxes from the dollar store, then glued on seashells using hot glue (after a safety lesson on how to use a glue gun). Then in the frames we put photos of the kids meeting Ariel at Disney World. I was vastly entertained by the descriptions of the “treasures” that the girls are going to store in the boxes. 

The treats which my son helped me bake were spice cupcakes. We iced them with cream cheese icing and dipped them in sand (raw sugar). then we added sea shells (well washed) with pearls inside (scotch mints). I did wave cupcake liners from the template here, which I just filled in with pale blue and then cut out in a wave shape (I’m getting kind of in love with these things lately).  By the way, if you have a young helper in the kitchen, keep an eye on the mints. My assistant ate about six of them in two minutes while my back was turned helping the girls.

Muppets

I saw The Muppet Movie in theatres when it first came out. A little cassette tape of the soundtrack was basically the soundtrack for my childhood, riding in the back of my dad’s old brown Mercedes. That’s why when the kids and I watched a double feature of the 1982 Muppet Movie and The Muppets from 2011, I was thrilled when they said they liked both but that the original was their favourite too.

I was feeling a bit under the weather (I forgot that growing a human is exhausting) so for the craft the kids cut out a simple playset from the Disney site I found online. All you need to do is print off the pdf, cut out and glue. Easy!

Then the kids ate Kermit Apples while they watched the movies. I found the link to the recipe here. Obviously, because of my daughter’s nut allergy we skipped the peanut butter dip but you could make it using Sunbutter too, in which case you will need some marshmallow fluff and lemon juice as well. For Kermit, you’ll need a green apple and two marshmallows for each Kermit you are making, as well as a red apple, and we used chocolate icing we had in the fridge instead of the edible marker. And for dinner? Frogs legs of course! My husband just thew this together but here is a link to a proper recipe at allrecipes.com which uses the same ingredients we did.

 

Southern Fried Chicken (Serves: 6)

Ingredients:
1350 g chicken legs
250 mL all-purpose flour
salt and ground black pepper to taste
5 mL paprika
1 L vegetable oil for frying

Method:
1. Season chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and paprika. Roll in flour.
2. Add 1/2 to 3/4 inch oil to a large, heavy skillet. Heat to approximately 365˚F. Place chicken pieces in hot oil. Cover, and fry until golden, turning once, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

The Aristocats

My daughter is absolutely besotted with cats so she LOVED doing The Aristocats for this movie night. Poor her, her mother is deathly allergic. To get her in the mood I bought her a sparkly Halloween cat mask at the dollar store and she dressed up all in black with a tail and everything.

 

 

 

 

For the menu I bought inexpensive cat dishes at Home Outfitters and I served salmon and milk in them, which of course she tried to eat and drink without using her hands. That idea was quickly quashed. Her brother ate and drank his dinner like a normal human being.

The craft was a Marie tissue box cover and she adores it. I got the basic premise from a Chewbacca cover my son and I made earlier this summer from the Star Wars Craft Book which I raved about in my Star Wars Movie Night. For the craft supplies, you’ll need white faux-fur, a sewing machine, white thread, a square tissue box, pink satin ribbon, and pink, black, pale blue and white felt with matching embroidery thread. My daughter did all the sewing herself (with a coach standing by over her shoulder) so it was great for teaching her beginning sewing techniques. She was very proud of herself and wants to do more sewing so I’ll have to think of something else. Maybe a Disney park bag for another movie night to hold her water bottle, sunscreen and autograph book? Stay tuned!

Song of the South

So we did an unusual movie night for this week. We all love Splash Mountain (who doesn’t?) but we had never seen the movie Song of the South that inspired it. The kids and I watched it, and I was shocked at the holes in my daughter’s knowledge about slavery (I know the movie was supposed to take place during reconstruction).

Because of this, instead of doing a regular craft, we went online and researched the underground railway to Canada. I found this great site on scholastic and we spent several hours online, researching and discussing slavery, civil rights, the underground railway, and the civil war. It was a great learning experience for my daughter, and it was very memorable and meaningful for both of us. In the end she spent a couple more hours writing a journal entry about what she imagined it would be like being a slave escaping on the underground railway. I think the conversations we had about the movie were so important. I do think though that it’s a movie that requires lots of time and discussion with children, so I certainly understand Disney’s reluctance to release it.

And because I LOVED the song “Sooner or Later” from the movie, I made pie. I don’t know which pie Aunt Tempy made (it looked dark like plums maybe?) so I did sweet potato pie with a Br’er Rabbit in crust on top. Here is a link to the recipe we used at allrecipes.com and it’s posted below. I hope that is a good choice for southern cuisine. By the way, so interesting, did you know that Hattie McDaniel was the first black woman to sing on radio in the States? Gorgeous song! And my husband said he actually preferred the sweet potato pie to my pumpkin pie!

Sweet Potato Pie (Serves: 16)

Ingredients
6 sweet potatoes
375 mL cups butter
375 mL white sugar
3 eggs
5 mL ground cinnamon
5 mL ground allspice
1.25 mL salt
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

Method:
1. Boil (or microwave) sweet potatoes in their jackets until cooked (a thin knife should be able to go through easily).
2. Beat the eggs.
3. Put butter and sugar in a large bowl.
4. Peel hot potatoes – with knife, cut top and peel down, removing any stringiness from the potato with the skin, cut bottoms. Place hot, peeled potatoes on the butter in the bowl with sugar, crush together. Add beaten eggs. Stir in spices (to taste). Pour into 2 unbaked pie crusts. Should be the consistency of pumpkin pie mix.
5. Bake at 350˚F (175˚C), for 45-55 minutes, until brown.

The Emperor’s New Groove

I admit it, I love The Emperor’s New Groove. I think it’s the supporting cast that kill me. Yzma, Cronk, and Bucky. All of Kuzko’s arch enemies. And I think I may actually be Pacha’s wife. If I get cross I need to clean the house. We often have a very clean house.

Anyway, for this movie night I found the perfect, easy recipe for Spinach Puffs for kids, ideal for teaching them basics of how to cook. I coached my daughter for a long time on proper cooking rules.
1. Wash your hands! A lot! All the time. Put your hair in a pony tail. Wear an apron. Use clean utensils and clean and put things away as you finish with them.
2. Use care around the oven! It’s hot! Make sure everything is off when finished. Don’t leave things on the stove.
3. Be careful when using knives. They are sharp! Always cut away from yourself, watch your fingers.
4. Don’t panic.
And then…I set her loose! And you know what, she did a super job. I was there in the background in case she had questions or ran into trouble but she was great and she was soooo proud of herself afterwards! Here is a link to the recipe at allrecipes.com, and I’ve posted it below.

On to the craft. While I was in university I took some animation classes. I’ve always dreamed of working for Disney because I love it so much. So for this activity I took some of the kids favourite sayings from the movie and showed them the basics of animation and how any of their favourite characters can be found using basic shapes like circles. There are some great learn to draw books out there, one good line you can use is Walter Foster’s Learn to Draw Disney Series.
They really enjoyed the lesson so I think we’ll have another class for another movie night sometime. After they did the basics with finding the circles that make up the basic structure using a pale blue pencil crayon, I let them trace the character (Bucky). I know that with children, the biggest hurdle with drawing can be that they can become frustrated and give up when they are dis-satisfied with how similar their drawing looks to what they are drawing. The quotes below the characters are “This is the last time we get directions from a squirrel!” and “Squeaker Squeak Squeak Squeakin’. You owe me a new acorn.” Then I put them in small fridge magnet frames. For this activity all you will need are paper, blue and regular pencils and a photo fridge magnet for display afterwards.

Kronk’s Famous Spinach Puffs (Serves: 10)

Ingredients
2 (224g) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1 (196g) package herb goat cheese
1 (280g) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained

Method
1. Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C).
2. Split crescent dough in half along center perforation. Flatten one rectangle, sealing perforations. Spread with 1/4 of the cheese and sprinkle with spinach. Starting with long side, roll dough up, rolling back and forth several times to seal edges. Cut into 3/4 inch slices (about 15 slices per roll). Arrange the slices one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Continue making the crescent roll ups until all of the ingredients are used.
3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve immediately or keep warm on a warming tray.

Robin Hood

Robin Hood has a soft spot in my heart as one of my favourite Disney movies from my childhood. I don’t know what it is, but when I watch it I turn back into a kid again and I can’t help but laugh out loud. It’s especially fun watching the kids howl at the same places I do.

We did this movie night at my sister’s again and for the activity the kids made Robin Hood hats. Here is a link for the craft. You’ll need construction paper, scissors, tape or glue and feathers (all available at the dollar store). She used a stapler, as well as paper for the feather, but using tape and a real feather instead makes the craft more kid friendly. When the kids were done making the hats they played a game where they had to sneak up on the sleeping Sheriff of Nottingham (Grandad) and try to steal the bag of gold (chocolate coins). If he heard them and woke up, he pointed at them and they had to start again from the beginning. But if they got to the gold he gave them a chocolate coin. Fun and laughs were had by all.

For the recipe we had chocolate bird’s nests filled with wild forest berries (I didn’t want to serve burnt stew). Very rich but yummy. I was inspired by the recipe from the Usborne Activities Easter Cooking book. I highly recommend all the Usborne Craft books, they are fantastic. The link is to a version with a newer cover but this is the one I have. The recipe calls for milk chocolate, cornflakes and mini eggs but I substituted dark chocolate, shredded wheat cereal and berries to make it look more authentic. Plus the dark chocolate is a nice compliment to the sweetness of the berries.

Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Bird’s Nest (Serves: 8)

Ingredients:
225g dark chocolate chips
50g butter
30 mL golden syrup
100g Shredded Wheat cereal
fresh fruit (cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)

Method:
1. Put chocolate chips in a pan. Add butter. Dip a tablespoon in hot water, then use the spoon to add the syrup.
2. Heat the pan gently, stirring the ingredients all the time until the butter and chocolate have completely melted.
3. Turn off the heat, then add the Shredded Wheat to the pan. Stir until coated.
4. Fill cupcake trays with the mixture. Using the back of a teaspoon, make a hollow in the middle of each nest.
5. Allow the mixture to set. You can put it in the fridge for an hour. Then, arrange the fruit in each nest and serve.