There are no shortage of volunteer opportunities in our little Appalachian area, but funds for supporting programs are often scarce. So when Disney offered the chance to host a #DisneySide party again this year, my thoughts went directly to gifting our local 4H cooking club with a fun celebration. This program teaches Middle School-age children all about teamwork, self-sufficiency, cooking and baking skills and nutrition. I couldn’t think of a better group to share my talents with and my deep love for all things Disney!
One of the things I absolutely love best about sharing time in the kitchen with my children is the conversations we have, which generally have little to do with food! We chat about how they are doing in school, their social lives, our dream, our hopes and more than likely lots of superhero-related things like the upcoming Avengers sequel.
Cooking together not only gifts them with practical skills but gives us the moments we need to bond, connect and cherish each other’s company. I saw this same level of connection with the kids as they worked together in cooking class and also enjoyed watching as the older kids took on leadership rolls with the younger to help them through the tasks. Truly heart-warming!
To start the festivities off, we decorated with some fun decorations that Disney provided in the free DisneySide Home Celebration kit we received. The kit included information, games, decorations, party favors, activity sheets and an assortment of other party goods. We also set up cooking stations and set up a very special craft table for the children to enjoy while their goodies were baking.
The recipes we selected were straight from the Disney theme parks that we found on the Disney Family website. First up were Strawberry Twists from Maurice’s Treats, a fun snack that can be found in Disneyland’s Fantasy Faire area (recipe here: http://family.disney.com/recipes/strawberry-twists-from-maurices-treats.) For the meal, we made Dumbo’s Chicken with Peanut Dipping Sauce that gets a Mickey Check as a nutritious choice (recipe here: http://family.disney.com/recipes/dumbos-chicken-with-peanut-dipping-sauce.) We knew both would be kid-pleasers but also be relatively easy recipes they would be able to duplicate at home.
During prep time there was lots of camaraderie and plenty of laughter! As ice breakers for the kids we asked about favorite Disney characters, memories and asked what their DisneySide was. The answers were so varied and delightful and sure helped these pre-teens connect easily! By the time class ended plenty of friendships were formed (or strengthened.)
The entire group agreed on two things: 1) Mickey Mouse is a character we all identify with and love and 2) Disney-inspired recipes are way fun to make and even more fun to eat!
Look at these Strawberry Twists…
I think the kids did Maurice and Disney very proud!
The twists are so delicious, too! It’s a recipe I’m going to replicate for Easter brunch this year.
At the craft table, we provided the kids with a markers, recipe cards, and stickers along with blank note-cards and a small file folder (suitable for holding recipe cards or coupons and so on,) that they could embellish with their own personal DisneySide style.
As they designed their personal holders, personalities blossomed and shone through with the creativity and artwork. This is a super-simple (and inexpensive) craft for any large group to do. It was particularly fitting as it suited the spirit of cooking class and DisneySide theme, but would be great for use with any birthday party, classroom or club activity.
While the kids decorated the folders, we asked an array of trivia questions from the packet that came with our DisneySide Home Celebration kit. When someone answered a question correctly, they won a prize! We had some fun prizes like nail polish and card games that were included as party favors that were awarded as prizes and we supplemented with a variety of fun Disney-themed puzzles and small toys purchased from a local retailer. We made sure everyone won something and there were even some goodies left to send home for younger siblings!
One of the questions that totally stumped our group of pre-teens was “Mickey Mouse was originally voiced by ______________.” Do you know the answer?
Other sponsors of the DisneySide Home Celebration were All, Snuggle, Wisk, and HP. The laundry products from All, Snuggle and Wisk were donated to our 4H center to help care for the aprons used in the cooking club classes. HP photo paper packets were distributed to all of the parents when they picked their children up from class and to the instructors who regularly donate their time and care for this program.
At the end of the event, all the children received backpacks from 4H stuffs with nutrition packets of info on nutrition, a measuring scoop, placemats and a variety of party favors from the DisneySide kit including temp tatoos, activity sheets and pencils so they could continue the fun at home.
We’re grateful for all these special touches and wonderful gifts that have brought so much joy to our cooking club adventures and community!
Disney magic certainly blessed us during this super fun DisneySide celebration! I hope our fun festivities inspire you to create your own DisneySide party or community outreach.
For more fabulous DisneySide party ideas, be sure to visit www.DisneySideCelebrations.com
How will you choose to celebrate your DisneySide?
Special thanks to Disney for sending along decorations, goodies and ideas. No monetary compensation was received. Food, craft supplies and other materials were donated by Rural Mom, this was a volunteer effort and oodles of fun! All thoughts, opinions and general love of all-things-Disney are that of Rural Mom!