Looking for reading and writing fun for your kids in December? Here are some ideas to get you started. Since there are lots of celebrations and busy days this month, these activities are great for the entire family.
Family Movie Discussion: The more I work with young children, the more convinced I am that movies give us an opportunity to speak about plots, plot points, character traits, and details in a fun way at a very young age. Movies reach them through dialogue, setting, and action. From a young age they can see that the Lion in The Wizard of Oz is afraid, Nemo wouldn’t have swum to the boat and touched it without his dad telling him – in front of everyone – that he wasn’t capable of it in Finding Nemo, and Woody is just plain old jealous of Buzz in Toy Story. No matter their reading levels, all of your kids can participate in some way to a discussion about the opening scene of a movie.
Be sure to pick a family-friendly movie like Finding Nemo. Watch up until a major plot twist each night. Your kids might be frustrated to end in the midst of action, so make sure they understand that this is a movie-based discussion game, rather than a Family Movie Night. Your discussion can include Character Traits. In fact, let’s start with that. Take a look at the character trait chart, play a game with your older kids to see how many of the traits they can link to a character they already know. Then describe some of the character traits you’d expect in a film about friendship, such as Toy Story. Then watch the movie, stop at the point that Nemo gets hauled away, and talk about what you know about each of the characters, how you know it, and what character traits they have.
You can make a chart and hang it on the wall. Have everyone contribute to the chart. The more you all brainstorm and contribute, the better. Celebrate by watching a different movie from start-to-finish, making a pizza, or doing something else that’s family-friendly!
See you back here next week with another idea.