Watch This, Do That: Frozen

Image from Frozen courtesy of Disney.

For those with younger kids, you probably don’t remember that Frozen was a boon when it first came out in 2013 and critics called it a new Disney Renaissance. The movie’s release was followed quickly by a sing-a-long, a Broadway play, a holiday-inspired movie and, in November 2019, a sequel. The story of family has resonated with viewers of all ages, who love the music as much as the movie’s messages. 

Beyond knowing all the words to “Let It Go,” there are a few themes that families can discuss once the movie is over.

  • The power of family. Despite not having seen her sister regularly for several years, Anna still has a continued love and connection to Elsa. How do those connections form? Talk to your kids about how they can work together with their siblings (or with their best friends if they don’t have siblings) to form those connections, especially now when they don’t see each other all the time.
  • Don’t shut out the world. When Elsa’s powers hit Anna in the head, the sisters’ parents shut Elsa in her room and she and Anna didn’t see each other. By bottling up her emotions, it was a long time before Elsa learned to control her powers. Ask your kids about the emotions they feel, and what do they do with them? It’s important to express emotions, when we’re mad, sad and happy so that we can learn why emotions have power. Also, ask your kids what they would do to help a friend who had shut themselves away from their friends. This is a great lesson for tweens and teens to learn how to help friends.
  • Be you. Elsa was working too hard to be something she isn’t. She didn’t know the right ways to impress the dignitaries from around the region who joined her at the coronation. When she didn’t fit in with the coronation crowd in the first movie, Elsa took off for the North Mountain and built herself an ice castle for one. The “cold” didn’t bother her like it did everyone else. Ask your kids what kinds of things they like that maybe other people around them – in the family or in school – think is different. How can kids embrace their own “cold”? 

Frozen-inspired activities

Now that you’ve seen Frozen, try these activities for away-from-the-screen time. 

  • Elsa has frozen your toys. Overnight, place small (plastic) toys from your child’s collection into a bowl with water and place them in the freezer. The next morning, ask them how they think they should melt the ice. (Try lots of options, like salt, blowing on the ice, pouring hot water on it, etc.)
  • Make snowflakes. Try pipe cleaners and Borax or fold paper and cut shapes to make snowflakes. 
  • Build Elsa’s ice castle. Let kids try the best way to make a tall structure work. Is it sugar cubes, Legos, blocks, sticks, or a combination of everything? 
  • Ice block races. Kristoff and Sven are official ice deliverers for the palace. Let your kids have some fun outside trying to deliver ice, and how is the best way to do that (a wagon, a board, let them build their own contraption)? Then, they can race to find whose mechanism is the best.
  • Olaf’s beach dream. What is a snowman’s favorite season? Summer, of course! Let kinetic sand be your guide to create a beach dream for Olaf.

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