Disney with Little Ones: Making Magic at Home

13584869_10102217610043764_7897290676673754685_oAs we all know (and regret), you cannot realistically spend every day at Walt Disney World. Whether we are enjoying time at the Walt Disney World Resort, wallowing in post-vacation blues, in the planning stages of our next trip, or just looking forward to the next Disney movie, Disney is never too far from our minds. 

We’ve been working on our Disney Lego minifigure collection (only need three more to complete a set!) and stocked up on new plush Finding Dory friends from the Disney Store. Those special finds tend to get expensive rather quickly so we had to find something more affordable to hold our attention and give us our Disney fix while we’re far away from “home”. Have your kids discovered Perler beads? 

We discovered them earlier this year and they have provided hours of entertainment, allowed my 5 and 6 year olds to practice focusing and following instructions, and resulted in adorable end products that we collect to keep for ourselves or sometimes pass out as gifts. Perler beads are small round plastic beads that you place on small pegs on a board. You can purchase the beads and peg boards at craft stores, superstores, or online. We do a simple Google search for what we want to create and choose from endless options online. Once the pattern or design is complete, mom or dad places a piece of parchment like paper on the beads and then fuses the beads together with heat, using a clothes iron. 

My question when this Perler bead phenomenon took over was “what are we going to do with all these Perlers?” My kids play with them like action figures. They had the idea to make and give away about 20 Mario Brothers themed Perlers as birthday party favors. You can put a magnetic strip on them and use them as fridge magnets. Small ones can be turned into key chains. You can use them as sun catchers as they hang from your rear-view mirror and show off your Disney side. We’ve even talked about making some to hand out to other guests and cast members the next time we visit Walt Disney World – wouldn’t it be fun to be surprised with a little gift of magic from a complete stranger? 

What are some fun things you and your kids do to keep Disney magic alive between trips “home”? 

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Candice was raised in east Tennessee. While in college, her best friend dragged her to a Walt Disney World College Program recruiting session at the University of Tennessee and the rest is Disney history. In the Fall of 1999, Candice became a quick service food hostess for Sunset Ranch Market and Fantasmic at Disney-MGM Studios – or what is now known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While soaking up her time as a cast member, she met Ryan, a neighbor and a fellow college programmer who worked as a custodial host at Epcot. Four years later, Candice moved to the Midwest and married that boy from across the hall. They now live in Greenwood, Indiana with their two little boys. The Disney-loving foursome took their first family trip to The Happiest Place on Earth in 2013 and Candice is eagerly planning their return. Candice also works full-time at a community mental health center and enjoys taking photographs and blogging at Mommy in the Midwest.

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