Disney Princesses

Pam Sorooshian:
There is a lot of low-cost Disney princess stuff - Target very very often has it in the $1 bins.

I, myself, love the Disney princesses. My daughter played Belle in Beauty and the Beast a few yeas ago and it was glorious!

We go to Disneyland a lot and they have a Disney princesses area these days that is almost my favorite part of Disneyland.

Here is what their website says about it:

Enter the enchanted world of "happily ever after" where little princesses and knights are invited to a royal gathering. Immersive storytelling, fun crafts, including sparkling crowns to decorate, and regal ceremonies make this a fairytale experience come true.

Activities at the royal gathering include:

* Disney Princess Storytelling Join a Disney Princess for a special story where Guests are invited to help tell the tales.
* Royal Coronation Ceremony Learn what it takes to be a true princess or knight with a regal celebration.
* Royal Dance After taking the Royal Oath, Guests are invited to take part in a lively group dance.
* Royal Arrivals Three Disney Princesses make their grand entrance and greet their Guests.
* And many more royal celebrations.

So - maybe if there is no way you can save enough money for a vacation there, you can put on a Disney Princess Fantasy Faire of your own.

My advice to you is REVEL in it. The Disney princesses are so fun - the movies are so great, the music is wonderful, the costumes gorgeous. What's not to love? Beauty and the Beast is one of my all- time favorite movies - not favorite children's movie, I mean favorite movie in general. It is the only animated movie to have been nominated for an academy award for best picture, I think, so I guess I'm not the only one who loves it. Maybe rent all the movies in order and have Disney princess night once a week. Make some food to go along with it - baked apples for Snow White, for example!

Make costumes - seriously. My girls never had a single store-bought Disney princess dress, in spite of spending time in the Disney store very often. We made costumes a lot, though. When they are involved in the designing and making, they aren't nitpicky about how accurate the costume is, in my experience.

If you go to Joanne's Fabrics or Michaels you'll find a lot of crafts that are Disney Princess related - simple embroidery and cross stitch, plastic canvass things, latch hook rugs, paint by number, shrinky dinks, beads, and on and on. There are a zillion stickers out there. There are coloring books. There are low-cost games.

Oh - "Pretty Pretty Princess" is a pretty low-cost game that is SUPER fun. When my girls were little it was generic princesses but now they have a Cinderella version and a Sleeping Beauty version. They are all under 15 dollars.

When I was little I spent a summmer making a whole puppet show of Sleeping Beauty - the Disney version. I made the basic puppets out of socks, but spent a LOT of time putting wings on the fairies and a crown on Sleeping Beauty's prince - stuff like that. I had my mom read the book and I was the puppet master to act out all the parts with my puppets. Wish we'd had video cameras back then - I'd love to see it now.

Instead of trying to figure out what a child is getting out of anything, take it on faith that their interest indicates that, without a doubt, there is something of value in it for them. Support it. Enjoy it. Expand it. Connect it to other things. Pursue it. Look for ways to explore it more. Take great pleasure in it!

-pam


Emily:
I have no idea what your daughter is getting out of the disney princesses, but I can share a little of our experience.

My daughter will be 5 in a few weeks. She has loved princesses for years. She wore a Cinderella dress EVERY DAY for over a year. She pretends to be a princess, watches the movies until the discs don't work anymore. We make a copy for her to watch when we first buy them, and she is on copy #2 and 3 of some. Dancing, twirling, demanding that she is a "real" princess and that I am a queen...

Today. Today we were looking up the real story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian, and REAL queens and princesses (they look like normal people!). Tonight the last thing she did before she fell asleep was whisper "Switzerland" into my ear. It's a joke, because earlier today on Spongebob Squarepants, Mr. Crabs tried to sell someone a junky umbrella by saying it was once the Queen of Switzerland's. (It was full of holes.) There is no queen of Switzerland.

So, the princess thing isn't all bad. And just wait until it's Spongebob! :)

-emiLy, mom to Delia (4.5) & Henry (1)


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