Watch This, Do That: Cinderella

After watching the 1997 movie featuring Brandy and Whitney Houston, try these activities with your kids.

We all know the story of Cinderella, but if you’re a kid from the ’80s or ’90s, you might remember the 1997 TV movie adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Starring Brandy Norwood as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as her Fairy Godmother, the movie recreates the dreamy musical with a diverse, multicultural cast.

Like in any fairytale, there are so many takeaways we can learn from Cinderella. Here are some lessons to discuss with your kids.

  • Anything is possible. Cinderella is a dreamer, even though she thinks it’s impossible that she’ll ever escape her awful life with her stepmother and stepsisters. That’s when her Fairy Godmother appears. Explain to your kids that even when things are bad, you shouldn’t give up on your dreams.
  • Don’t rush love. Prince Christopher is pressured by his mother to find a suitable wife. Even after having another ball, Christopher believes he needs to find the right person (not just the right-now person) in order to be happy, a great reminder for everyone looking for love.
  • Know your self-worth. Cinderella worries about breaking her the promise to her father about staying with her stepmother, and how the prince will really think her as a “common” girl. But, with the help of her Fairy Godmother, she realizes she needs to put herself first in order to find true happiness. Remind your children to be who they are and to know that they should stand up for themselves.

Movie-inspired activities

Photo Credit: Grandbaby Cakes

Now that you’ve watched Cinderella, try these screen-free activities to bring some fairytale magic at home.

  • Make pumpkin fritters. Since a pumpkin turned into a golden carriage, why not make a pumpkin dessert? These pumpkin fritters from Grandbaby Cakes are delicious.
  • Design a ball gown. Collect construction paper, jewels, ribbons, crayons and other materials to allow kids to imagine themselves as a Fairy Godmother by making their own dress.
  • Read diverse fairytales. It’s so important to have more fairytales featuring BIPOC characters. The Once Upon a World series uses the classic stories to offer a multicultural take, including Snow White meeting seven dwarves in Japan and Rapunzel escaping her tower in India.
  • Play freeze dance. Use this playlist from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical to play a game of freeze dance. They even pretend they’re at a ball.
  • Build a carriage. Yes, it’s possible, all you need is a little science! Follow this tutorial from Science Sparks to build your own balloon-powered carriage.

Have a Watch This, Do That idea you want to share with our readers? Send your idea to editor@chicagoparent.com with your suggestion for a movie. We’d love to share your idea on ChicagoParent.com.


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