Tiana, one of only two Disney princesses from America, started out as a waitress in 1926 New Orleans. With dreams of opening her own restaurant, Tiana works as many jobs as she can to save money to buy a building. Tiana is one of the first Disney princesses to not need a man to complete her life — or save her. In fact, she very specifically wasn’t seeking one out. But, after she accidentally kisses a prince (who was turned into a frog by an evil sorcerer) hilarity ensues as the pair hop through a bayou adventure trying to become human again.
The pair of movie heroes think they want to be human again, but they have to learn a few lessons before they can return from the life of a frog. Since this is a Disney movie, they both fall in love, but they also have to learn to work together despite their differences. What to discuss with kids:
- Compromise is a good thing. Naveen wanted to do nothing but party, Tiana wanted to do nothing but work. They both taught each other that to work together to survive the bayou, they each had to trust and compromise.
- Hard work is important and so is fun. Kids who have their schedules planned for them every minute also need to add a little fun time. If there’s anything we’ve all learned from the stay-at-home order, it’s to schedule space to decompress and maybe have a party in the living room.
- Also, appreciate hard work. Tiana knows what she wants and goes after it. She wants to own a restaurant, so she creates a plan to make her dream a reality. As parents, we instill that hard work mentality into our kids – for Tiana, it was her dad. As kids learn the importance of hard work, along the way they learn patience, strength and generosity.
Now that you’ve seen The Princess & The Frog, try these screen-free activities inspired by the movie.
- Make your own frogs. Littler kids will love lending their hands to make these adorable paper plate frogs.
- Have a masquerade ball. Masquerade masks are all the rage in New Orleans at Mardi Gras time. Make your own masks.
- Cook your own gumbo. Tiana is a master chef at Southern Cooking. Find a recipe your family will happily try and let your kids loose in the kitchen to make it. (Pro tip: Use Tony Cachere spice to add Southern flavor to any dish.) If you’re up to the extra challenge, beignets are a French Quarter favorite.
- Throw a Mardi Gras parade. Dress in traditional purple, gold and green Mardi Gras colors and parade around your backyard with kazoos, pots and pans or anything you can find to make noise. If you want to crank the party up a notch, walk your block in parade formation.
- Catch lightning bugs. Ray is a lightning bug who helps Tiana and Naveen on their journey. Wait until dusk and nightfall to find lightning bugs in your yard, or let the bugs fly free and make your own “lightning bug” jar.
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This article also appeared in Chicago Parent’s July 2020 magazine. Read the rest of the issue here.