The Disney film, “Brave” has had a huge effect on L and N. When they first saw it at the cinema, they were terrified. Mainly of the bears, and the loud roaring. But since then, they have become its greatest fans, perhaps in processing the story and coming to terms with watching it, they have asked for the story version again and again, re-enacted the story, and talked endlessly about it over a period of months. I like the story because it has depth. And so we have been doing some “Brave” themed play recently.
The latest was a “Brave” themed bath, which all three children loved.
To create a forest scene on the wall, we used craft foam to make some basic tree shapes, rocks, the “Ring of Stones”, The doorway to the ruined castle, and cut out some purple stars to represent “will o’ the wisps”. The castle doorway, with its crossed axes, just like in the story, particularly delighted L and N – in fact, I think that if I’d just put this on the wall by itself they would have been delighted!
We used our Happylands Castles and knights from the Early Learning Centre as Merida’s home, and the Lords. And a Happylands wizard to represent the witch in the story.
We had to be creative with Mor’du Bear and Elinor-Bear, using a polar bear and a friendlier-looking brown bear.
We put a magnetic fishing set I had picked up in a charity shop into the bath, which made the bath itself the river, from the scene where Merida and Elinor-Bear fish and play in the river – and added green food colouring to the bath for extra effect.
I also gave the children some plastic aida, safety needles and scooby strings, so that they could “mend the tapestry” like princess Merida.
L and N were delighted, and it gave an extra dimension to their usual “Brave” play. it was lovely to be able to help them develop the game and give them props to enrich their understanding of the story.
F enjoyed playing with the large foam pieces, and catching fish with her hands.
L enjoyed playing with the castles best, and it was a real novelty having them in the bath. He hasnlt played with his castles for a little while so it was lovely to see how a fresh set-up could re-ignite his interest and develop the way he used the toys.
At the end of the bath, I added some glowsticks to the water as extra “will o’ the wisps”, and turned the lights out to follow them through the dark forest.
Ithe effect was extra special as I happened to break a glowstick, spraying glow in the dark spots all over the bathroom, which delighted L and N! I’ll let you know whether it comes out!!
This was all a success, and we have kept the play scene in the bath to play with for a while. We also have a few more “Brave” activities planned, so watch out for them soon!