Beth L. (NDM#183) (20 Posts)

Beth was born and raised in upstate New York. She is a happily married teacher, now SAHM to her two young sons. As a child, she and her parents would go to Walt Disney World nearly every year, creating a love for all things Disney that flourished well into adulthood. Beth worked hard to convince her husband to spend their ten day honeymoon at Walt Disney World in 2001. In May 2009, Beth's dream of taking her two boys to see the magic came true. It was a three generation experience, including the original Disney dreamers, her parents. Now her entire family has been bitten by the Disney bug and eagerly anticipate their next adventure to Florida. Beth's love for all things Disney has helped to inspire her at home, in the classroom, and beyond. She always has a camera close by to catch magical memories for her blog,

Photo Credit: Beth L.

Being a Disney Driven person living in an educational world, I quickly grew to appreciate all different forms of art. Not only did I adore original Disney Art cells, but other works that were inspired by Disney. Case in point, the Disney Traditions by Jim Shore. So many beautiful pieces that our entire family adores. While getting my undergraduate degree, I took an art in education course. I loved being able to integrate art into literature, math, science, social studies, and beyond. I even did one of my projects based on Walt Disney related items. Shocked, aren’t you?!

My son has proven that he likes to integrate Disney, art, what he has learned at school, and in our travels together. This happened recently and I had to sit back and smile, laugh, as other parents in an event tried to figure out which parent was the one with the Disney crazed child. We were at the library for an event that integrated the world of art and literature. The Tang Museum from Skidmore College in Saratoga (yes – like the town that the Disney resort is based on) came to our library to present a project. The kids were going to make Story Towers based on the artwork of of Josh Dorman. My son saw something in the collage and started to immediately think there was a Disney story in the work. My guess is that Dorman was not thinking that way, but who knows. My kiddo was connecting things and getting excited about art.

When NHL sat down to create his tower, he saw animals that were available to cut out. Within seconds, he started cutting out a giraffe, rhinoceros, and other African animals. He knew every name and rattled them off thanks to the Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom. Then, I saw what he was doing. He grabbed some green paper scraps and was making leaves. Take a look at what he did:

Photo Credit: Beth L.

Note some Disney items there like a clock representing Fast Pass. The centralized Animal Kingdom Tree of Life with the lion near it. Then, by his hand was the hippo area. As he continued to work, you could see the savannah, plains, and other African regions taking shape. When he shared his story, he used all of the key terms from the safari and school. Yes, my soon to be third grader got it and he clearly earned his NDK distinction.

The librarian stopped by a few times and laughed. Of course, I think she recalled one of the first projects of the summer. That was when the kids made Shrinky Dinks and once again, NHL featured a Tree of Life on his artwork. The lesson learned here is that Disney is educational and kids are sponges. They do pick things up when at the parks and will share their knowledge in many places after your visit.

Have you ever had a Disney inspired educational moment with your children? I would love to hear them. Please share in the comments below.

Contributed by: Beth L. (NDM#183) Beth is the DDL Education Blogger. She is also the creator of The Angel Forever.

2 thoughts on “When Disney Collides with Art Education

  1. My 2 NDKs have done so many reports on and about Walt Disney, Walt Disney World, and various Disney characters over the years the staff at their schools know to call me when they are planning a trip to WDW and need help.  My favorite report by far though, was when my NDD was in Kindergarten and everyone had to talk about “collections”.  My NDD had me take a map of the Magic Kingdom to our local office supply store and had it expanded to a poster size.  We then put it in a poster frame and at the school she layed it on the floor. She placed her Disney plush, figurines, and souveniers including a toy monorail and Disney bus on the poster and wore her Disney shirt and Mickey ears to the school.  Her project was definitely the most popular one in the class!

  2. Love that kindergarten experience! No doubt the kids talked about that for a long time. I also wrote a lot of reports and did Disney related projects growing up when I could work them in. I can not wait for my kids to do this as they get to that point. Of course, my new project is NHL’s 8th birthday in a few weeks. He was so mesmerized with The Animal Kingdom that he wants a safari inspired birthday. My project is making lion cupcakes since that is his favorite.

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