Bridge to Terabithia (Disney) was recently released as a major motion picture ~ it is the very poignant story of two 5th graders, Jess and Leslie, who spin an imaginary world, Terabithia, to slay their fears and handle the awkward situations in their real lives. The charming relationship between these two school outcasts is very sweet. There is a true poignancy to the film as well ~ if you have read the book or seen the film, you will know exactly what I mean. Still, Bridge to Terabithia has so many wonderful elements that you can use to incorporate into a wonderful tween party. The movie embraces kids’ using their imagination to build an enchanting world. What a great concept for a party! If the idea appeals to your tween, here are some ideas to bring your own Land of Terabithia alive:
- This is a great idea for a spring or summer party, so that the action of the party can take place outdoors either in your backyard, the woods, or at a park.
- The story takes place using the imagination of the two kids, Jess and Leslie. “Keeping their eyes shut and their minds wind open.” A great sign to hang at the front entrance of the party would be this saying.
- A large part of the story takes place in Jess’ notebook where he draws amazing things. When the kids arrive, provide them with small notebooks and colored pencils. Encourage them to begin drawing or writing what they imagine. Encourage them to be descriptive.
- Once everyone has arrived, the kids can come together and share their ideas and begin to build their own magical land.
- If you have a treehouse in your backyard this would be exceptional. Otherwise, have the kids build their own magical house. You can provide them with appliance boxes, paint, wood, etc. Make sure this building exercise is supervised b adults. The enchanted land is governed by those in the house that they build.
- Jess and Leslie love to race. Have a running race with all of the kids.
- Set up an obstacle course for the kids to complete.
- Let the kids free play in their magical land.
- Much of the activity in the movie takes place in Jess’ family greenhouse. Have the kids plant their own small flowers in pots to take home with them as a party favor.
- Jess’ father loses his keys at one point and blames Jess. Eventually, they are found after a great adventure. Hide keys around your party area and have the kids search for them.
- Trail mix, vegetables, fruit roll ups, granola cereals, etc. are all excellent choices of snacks for the kids to enjoy their magical land.
- Cupcakes would be an easy cake to serve at the party. Use your favorite cake batter, and frost with your kid’s favorite frosting. Easy and yummy.
For more ideas, check out the Educators’ Guide as well. Bridge to Terabithia revolves around kids using their imagination to build a great world of fantasy! Encouraging this by throwing such a party is an excellent theme. Enjoy your very own enchanted land for an afternoon!