Watch This, Do That: Encanto

'Even in our darkest moments, there’s light where you least expect it.'

The Madrigals are a magical family that live in a magical house. With their superpowers and enchanted “Casita” sparked by a miracle candle, they strive to take care of their small town in the mountains of Colombia to keep the magic alive.

But, then there’s Mirabel, who is the only Madrigal born without a gift. As much as she loves her family, she still feels like she doesn’t belong. Everything changes when the family’s magic is spiraling with cracks around the “Casita” and the candle flickering. Now it’s up to her to save the miracle.

Family is the focus in Encanto. Along with setting a new bar for cultural representation, the Disney film also shares inspirational life lessons that touch viewers of all ages. Here are a few lessons to discuss with kids.

  • You don’t have to be perfect. The Madrigals feel pressured to be the best because they have magical powers, especially when under the watchful eye of Abuela Alma. Mirabel begins to learn that the family seems to be more broken as they’re forced to not be themselves and shove others away. Teach your children that it’s OK to have setbacks and to take some pressure off especially if it’s making them stressed or anxious.
  • You have a gift. Mirabel feels like an outcast without a “gift” but what she doesn’t realize is that everybody has a different gift. It sometimes might not be as flashy as the Madrigals who can control the weather or speak to animals, but that doesn’t mean you’re not special. Tell kids that gifts come in different shapes and sizes, and more importantly, it’s something that makes them happy because it’s who they are.
  • You can always rebuild. As we learn more about Abuela’s backstory, the family has a broken history filled with trauma and relying on miracles. But, with the help from others, there is always opportunity to bounce back and rebuild a new foundation.

Movie-inspired activities

Now that you’ve watched Encanto, try out these screen-free activities at home with your kids.

  • Build your family tree. The Madrigals are a big family as Mirabel sings in the opening song. What does your family look like? Sit down with your kids to build out a family tree, and to make it even more special, add each family member’s “gift” to their name on what makes them special.
  • Make your own weather. Do you wish you can control the weather like Tía Pepa? Now you can with these fun weather science experiments from WhatsUpMoms.
  • Cook arepas. Julieta, Mirabel’s mom, has a gift to heal people with her cooking. She even was able to heal Mirabel’s wounded hands with arepa con queso. Make Colombian-inspired arepas at home with this yummy recipe by Familia Kitchen.
  • Create a flower boutique. Mix crafting and STEAM learning with these easy coffee filter flowers from Little Bins Little Hands. Like Isabela learns, kids can go wild with the colors, patterns and shapes.
  • Listen to animals. The youngest Madrigal, Antonio, has the gift to understand animals. Kids can test their skills by guessing the animal sounds in this YouTube video game created by Mister Teach. And they’ll learn some new animal sounds, too!

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