Tying movies to life with a princess and the frog hunt

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me (or follows this blog) that I LOVE all things Disney. I have loved Disney movies for literally as long as I can remember. My mom loves to tell the story of how I had The Rescuers on record and had listened to it so many tines that I had the entire movie committed to memory. She also loves to remind me that I had to have all of the Disney movies on VHS as they came out, because who knew if they would ever be available again! In my defense, I never dreamed as a kid or teenager that a service like Netflix would even exist, somewhere I could watch so many of my favourite Disney movies anytime I wanted, wherever I wanted. No one did! 

In truth, I am a Disney movie collector. I have nearly all of the movies on DVD, and have been buying them “for Q” since begore he was born. I love everything about them – the stories, the animation, the music. Admittedly, I have my preferences, but I pretty much love them all. 

I was older, probably in my early 20’s when The Princess and the Frog was released. I didn’t have a chance to see it in the theatre, but did buy it on DVD when Q was quite young. I was hooked the first time I saw it. Everything about this movie – the story, the characters, the music, caught my attention and held it there. I know that some people have found it too scary for their very young kids, but Q was okay for the most part that first time. We have watched it, and read the stories, several more times since then and it is one that has really kept it’s magic. 

Did you know that it is actually based on a book by E.D.Baker? We stumbled upon it last year at the bookstore, and have since read all 8 books in the Tales of the Frog Princess series together. They are perfect for bedtime reading. 

In honour of The Princess and the Frog being on Netflix, Q and I headed out to a local nature reserve to see if we could do some “swamp” exploration and frog searching of our own. The wetland areas provided the perfect place to check out some of the creatures that Tiana and Naveen might have encountered on their journey, or at least woukd have if they’d been travelling in a BC Wetland and not a New Orleans swamp. 

Armed with a small bucket and a kitchen colander thingy, we slowly crept through the tall grasses and mucky ground to where the water began. Would we find our own Tiana? Or Ray? I doubted we’d find Lewis, though, because, well, we don’t have any big ol’ gators here. 

Q began to dip and scoop the water and muck with his colander, being careful not to be too rough. We did find several intetesting looking bugs and what wd thought might be dragonfly larvae but no frogs. 

We could hear the occasional frog call out, and wondered if it might be Tiana ir Naveen, or another unlucky prince who got turned, but none of them wanted to come for a visit. Really, though, do you blame them? 

We even checked a few different areas, but no frogs were to be found that day. A few days before, though, we were at my mom’s house when one jumped out of the grass and on to my shoe. Briefly, I wondered if it was trying to get my attention, but even if it was, there was no way I was kisding it, so off he went. 

After striking out in the wetlands, we headed to the interpretive centre to see what we could find.we found all sorts of creatures that our princess and her hero might have encounteted along the way, like snakes, lizards and mice, but still no frogs! 

 That’s when I decided that enough was enough, and I was going to make sure my boy got both his frog…

…and his princess! 

I really loved being able to incorporate family movie night with some real life, outdoor adventure, and I think I am going to see how many other tie-in ideas I can come up with.

Here are some other ways to tie movies to real life experiences:

Why not check out a local zoo and then watch Zootopia? 

Or take a canoe out on the lake like Flynn and Rapunzel did, or check out a local lantern festival, followed by a viewing of Tangled? 

Perhaps after watching Oceans, you might want to take a trip to the local aquarium and see how many species and creatures you can identify? 

Do you have a local bobsled track? I know Whistler, BC and Calgary, AB have them and both offer tourist activities that include learning about the sport and sometimes even taking a ride! Then, when you watch Cool Runnings, you will have a far greater understanding and appreviation for the Jamacian Bobsled Team and their achievements. 

I hope some of these ideas appeal to you. I know we will be taking part in some of the others next time we head into town. There are so many fun ways to tie what you are watching into real learning and experiences, and family movie night doesn’t just have to mean sitging around anymore. Look at us – we went on a princess and the frog hunt! 
We are a part of the Netflix StreamTeam, and get to share some of our favourites with you each month. We do receive some fun perks from Netflix for being part of the team, however, all opinions and thoughts are our own, and as always, we’re sharing because we truly think you will enjoy it.

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