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:
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.