~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
We firmly believe that having fun is the best way to learn. Whether you're playing a game, watching TV or running around outside, if you can incorporate learning principles while having fun, your kids are more likely to soak them up.
So when Disney asked if I would have a fun party focused around learning math concepts for kids, I enthusiastically said YES! We invited the kids from school and some family friends to come over for a Disney (and math) themed play date.
To make it easier for families to arrive on a flexible schedule, we set up different stations for crafts and activities that kids could cycle through. After visiting each station, they got a star on their "passport":
Activity: "Build a Cargo Rocket"
Because the kids were going to be doing make and take crafts, I wanted them to have a bag to tote those things around in. I had a station set up with the supplies needed to make a cargo rocket that had their name.
"Cargo Rocket" Bag Supplies
- Black gift bags
- Construction paper cut into square and rectangles
- Glue sticks
"Cargo Rocket" Bag Instructions
- Select the one square for each letter you have in your name. Also choose three triangles.
- Arrange your shapes to create a rocket and glue them to your bag with the glue sticks.
- Write your name on your rocket
- Decorate your bag with stickers if desired.
Activity: "Catch a Shooting Star"
For this activity, kids were allowed to choose a star wand to decorate however they wanted with sequins, jewels, foam stickers and more.
"Catch a Shooting Star" Wand Supplies
- Star wands (mine were from Dollar Tree)
- An assortment of sequins and jewels
- Pom poms
- Foam alphabet stickers
"Catch a Shooting Star" Wand Instructions
- Select a star wand.
- Use the glue and stickers to decorate however you like!
- Set aside to dry
Activity: "Check in at Central Command"
We had "Central Command" set up with the iPad in the middle of the room in front of the TV so that to kids could take turns playing Mickey's Magical Math World by Disney Imagicademy.
To make it easier for everyone to see what was going on, we connected the iPad to the TV via an Apple TV. The robot playground was a particular favorite. You take your pet robot to Minnie's playground and let him play number games (that the kids help with of course!). Adding and subtracting with Donald was also a hit because you shoot something out of a canon. It bounces forward and backward on the number line until it hits Donald and wakes him up. In addition to helping kids see how forward and backward counting works, this game also demonstrates cause and effect and helps kids consider strategy and thinking ahead.
You can download Mickey's Magical Math World in the iTunes store. It is free to download although you need to pay to unlock certain games. On February 12, 2015 (that's just next week!), Mickey's Magical Arts World will also be available and I'm really excited to check that one out as well.
Activity: "Fuel Up"
Of course a party isn't a party without food! We had sandwiches cut into star shapes and a fun "fruit rocket" activity that was a combination snack and craft!
"Design a Rocket Snack" Supplies
- Two-Color Foil Party Picks
- Washed green and purple grapes (be sure to get seedless ones!)
- Pineapple cut into wedge shapes
- Star shaped plates
"Design a Rocket Snack" Instructions
We set the fruit out in star shaped plates with a cup full of those fun picks and let the kids go to town building their own rockets. It was fun to see how the kids chose to assemble them - some did patterns. Some wanted all one color. All of them were tasty!
Activity: "Help Mickey"
The final activity was coloring some blank puzzles that Disney was awesome enough to provide for our party guests. Kids had to "help Mickey" get the colors back. In addition to helping with fine motor coordination and logic (which items to color and how) this activity was just plain fun!
A big thanks to Disney for sponsoring this fun play date.
If you are an iPad owner, be sure to pop over to iTunes to check out Mickey's Magical Math World in the app store and be on the lookout for Mickey's Magical Arts World starting next week on February 12, 2015! UPDATE: You can download Mickey's Magical Art World here.
Parents can additionally download the Disney Imagicademy Parents App. This free app helps answer the question, “What can I do today to help my child grow?'” through daily articles and Imagicademy-inspired activities designed to help spark creativity and imaginative learning. Disney Imagicademy Parents App also serves as a portal into Mickey's Magical Math World and Mickey’s Magical Arts World, where parents can see their child’s latest creations, provide encouragement with a virtual “high five” and share their accomplishments with family and friends.
Do you like this post? Consider subscribing to our newsletter!
Our blog newsletter offers the convenience of email delivery but only goes out every 10-14 days.