With it's awesome nature theme and tiny Leafmen, Epic
is a great movie to turn into a full on experience for the kids. Kids can have a blast learning and getting into the world of Epic
with these fun related crafts, books and activities.
Photo © HarperCollins
The most obvious book to read before or after seeing Epic
is the book that inspired the movie: The Leaf Men
. William Joyce wrote the book, and he also worked on the movie. Help kids compare and contrast the book and the movie. Ask them which of the stories they like better and why. The better kids get at communicating about literature and media, the better off they'll be when it's essay time at school.
Use kids' interest in the movie to help them learn more about fascinating plants and animals from the film. Find books about humming birds, mice, snails and slugs, as well as books about plant cycles and flowers. Another great book to go along with the film is Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature
, which contains wonderful poetry about nature that really compliments the nature theme of the film. Inspired by the theme of helping life grow and thrive, kids may be interested in reading or learning more about gardening. Here is a list of children's books about gardening
to inspire them.
Photo © DuneCraft
After seeing how Queen Tara uses her power to give life to the forest and help things grow, kids may be excited to try growing something of their own. You can start with a small plant in your back yard or a pot on the porch. Or, there are a plethora of products for helping kids grow all kinds of plants and experience the wonder of nature. Pictured here, I love the DuneCraft Terrariums, which allow kids to create a little plant world all their own. Once their garden begins to thrive, have kids write their own tale about what could be going on in there with little inhabitants beyond our notice. (The compare prices button will take you to the "Strange Plants" terrarium, but DuneCraft offers several different Terrariums with all kinds of plants.)
3. Visit a Local Natural Attraction
Photo © 20th Century Fox
Go to a park or on a hike and help kids notice the nature around them and how whimsical and mysterious the natural world can be. Take along a sketchpad or watercolors and have them paint a scene they see, but from a bug's eye view. Have them imagine a story in which magical creatures like the Leaf Men inhabit the world they see.
Other great places to go with kids are local arboretums, gardens or butterfly museums. Some areas even have bird sanctuaries or aviaries where kids can see and learn more about some of the birds in the movie like the beautiful and swift humming birds. Or, just grab a magnifying glass and look for interesting little plants and critters in your own backyard.
4. Crafts and Activities
Photo © Walker Childrens
- Since the movie is about Leaf Men, it's great that there are at least a million crafts kids can do that involve leaves. Look online for ideas, or check out the book Look What I Did with a Leaf (Compare Prices), which contains many ideas for crafts with leaves.
- Make a forest shoebox diorama. Kids can create their own little world and inhabit it with whatever characters they can dream up.
- Gather items from nature like twigs, leaves, grasses and weeds and use them to create works of art.
- Make and origami humming bird or a humming bird balloon