Our family has been studying the ocean this summer. We’ve read scads of books on marine biology, oceans, sea life, etc. We’ve visited the Seattle Aquarium, and gone to the beach for first hand exploration twice. We’ve colored ocean pictures, made an underwater poster, and learned about sharks.
And at the suggestion of my friend Hilary, we read the book Nim’s Island. It was a great, quick, easy read aloud. My children were captivated. It is a silly, light book, but one my children loved. In my house anyway, it led to questions about whales and plankton and pearls. Questions we were driven to find an answer to, through books and internet research. And to me, that’s what learning is about.
We knew the movie Nim’s Island was coming out in August, so we decided to plan a movie night for our children.
Hilary and I tend to go a bit overboard with these things, but boy do we have fun. We had tons of finger foods and dips, all with an island theme of course. Hilary came with a stack of preprinted labels. Some of my favorites were: Chicka Nuggets, Fire Mountain Volcanoes (actually Cherry Mountain Bars), Jack’s Gummy Plankton, Galileo’s Guacamole, Frigate Bird Artichoke Dip, Coral Reese’s, and Troppo Tourist Cookies. We had fresh pineapple and coconut and mini bananas.
And yes, preparing for this, in between caring for my children took a better part of my day. Sure, we could have just rented and watched the movie. That would have been fun. But we wouldn’t have built the memories we did this way. Ten years from now, I can imagine my children looking back and saying, “Remember when we had that Nim’s Island party?”. Not so if we just watched the movie. As far as the work involved, we had to feed our families dinner anyway, so why not put in the extra effort to make it really fun and memorable? There are plenty of days, in my family anyway, where I consider it an accomplishment just to get dinner on the table. My children anticipated this movie night all week long. They spent most of yesterday making posters, paper lanterns and decorations for our party. I didn’t suggest any of this, they simply saw me busy in the kitchen, and busied themselves decorating. And when the movie was over, Tilly passed out homemade cards that said, “Thank you for coming to our Nim’s Island party”. How cute is that?