Making the most of a dollar is something I think most families are still being considerate of, but balancing that with wanting to provide fun and nurturing activities for your family to participate in can be a challenge. Taking advantage of free kids activities is one great way to do that: you really can’t get any more cost effective than free. There are more of these types of events around than you might be aware of, you just need to know where to look.
One of the free kids activities I recently heard about was the Stickermania & Storytelling event that took place on March 24th as part of the Disney Store’s 25th Anniversary. Bubbles LOVES the Disney Store and she’s also really been into stickers lately, so I thought this would be a great Saturday morning activity for us. I did call over to our Disney Store just to ensure they were participating, and to see if there were any age restrictions (some events I’ve seen listed say 3 and up, so it’s always good to check).
They were participating and there were no age restrictions, so on Saturday morning after breakfast, Bubbles put on her Tink shirt and off we went. When we arrived at the Disney Store, we were greeted by a friendly cast member who directed us towards the back of the store. There was one of those foam puzzle-piece mats down on the floor and a small crowd of kids and their parents were seated on it, head’s bent over big card stock boards, busily adding stickers.
A second cast member handed us our own board, a sheet of (nice!) Disney character stickers, a large scroll sticker, and a pencil. We were instructed to place the scroll sticker on the right side of our board, and then for Bubbles to cover the right side with her character stickers in whatever way she wanted. Printed on the scroll was a short story with fill-in-the-blank lines every few words, so that you could customize your party story the way your child wanted.
I stuck the scroll onto our board and Bubbles dived right in with placing the character stickers. I resisted the urge to “help” her (“oh, here, that will cover Pooh Bear’s face if you put it there”) and just let her do her own thing. I wrote her story for her while she worked; when I was done, she decided that she’d like the pencil to add some story details of her own (crayons and a coloring book in her Easter basket – check).
She even went around and visited the other kids as they worked on their projects – and as the smallest and youngest kid there, I was really proud of her for her adventurous spirit.
As each child finished, the cast member fluttered over to their spot and read through their story, praising and oohing and ahhing in all the right spots (the Disney Store doesn’t mess around when it comes to their employees; they have the best people working there). It was awesome to see all the kids with grins stretching all the way to their ears as their stories were read.
We had such a great time and I would highly recommend participating in the next Disney Store event in your area. You can usually see upcoming events listed on their website, or you can just call your local store. No Disney Store in your area? Trying a web search for “free kids activities” or “free kids activities (your zip code here)” and see what you can find.