If your television or tablet has been taken over by non-stop Disney movies, you’re not alone. Screen time is increasing in plenty of households as parents try to make do with schools closing while working from home.
Before you start wringing your hands and getting down on yourself, we’ve got a little bit of good news: Kids’ minds don’t have to be frozen by all that time with Anna, Elsa, and the gang.
Dictionary.com has taken a look at some of kids favorite Disney movies, and we’ve pulled together a list of words your kids can learn from their favorite movies! Even better, we’ve put together a challenge that will help make these new words stick, and help your kids work their wiggles out too.
Here’s how it works:
- Before you turn on the tube, go over the word list associated with the chosen movie (below).
- Ask your child if the word sounds new to them or if they perhaps remember hearing it when they saw the movie in the past.
- Ask if they can use it in a sentence about the movie.
- Once they’ve got a good understanding, roll that videotape! But let them know that when they hear the word, they’ve got to hop up, do a little dance, and announce what the word means!
- Extra credit: Capture your kiddo’s defining moment on video or in a picture and share on social media so other families can join in the fun! Just tag @dictionarycom, and use the hashtag #DictionaryMovieWordChallenge.
*We’ve made some mobile-friendly vocab lists for some of the movies below. If you see an image, click it while on your phone to get a visual reminder for kids while they are watching and for you to easily keep track of the words you are listening for!
unknown: not known; not discovered
fractal: a shape, or a pattern of shapes, that repeats and repeats, getting smaller and smaller. Trees, cauliflower, and snowflakes are some examples of fractals occurring in nature.
enchanted: under magical influence; bewitched
eternal: lasting forever
Toy Story movies
existential: relating to human existence
infinity: something that is unlimited or unmeasurable
light-year: the distance traversed by light in one year, about 5.88 trillion mi.
prospector: someone who searches or explores a region for gold or the like
ka-boom: a word used to represent a sudden and loud sound, as of an explosion or a bass drum
The Little Mermaid
tentacles: the slender, flexible appendages in animals such as jellyfish and used for grasping or feeling
immortal: not subject to death; deathless; undying
gadget: a mechanical device that does something useful
gizmo: another word for gadget
sturgeon: a number of large fishes inhabiting fresh and salt waters in the North Temperate zone. Sturgeons have fins similar to sharks, and are valued for their caviar
demigod: a mythological being who is partly divine and partly human
descended: having a specific person or family among one’s ancestors; directly related to that person
voyager: someone who travels
shapeshifter: a fictional being that can transform itself from one physical form into another
The Lion King
poacher: a person who trespasses on private property, especially to catch fish or game illegally
sire: a respectful term of address used to a male sovereign such as a king
hakuna matata: a Swahili phrase meaning “there are no troubles”
motto: a sentence, phrase, or word expressing the spirit or purpose of a person, organization, nation, etc.
mane: the long hair growing on the back of or around the neck of some animals, such as the horse or lion
twitterpated: excited or overcome by romantic feelings
bashful: lacking confidence; shy
perspective: the state of one’s ideas, especially as influenced by one’s own beliefs or knowledge
meadow: an open field or grassland used for pasture or serving as a hayfield
antlers: the horns of an animal of the deer family
Beauty and the Beast
baroque: relating to the musical period following the Renaissance, extending roughly from 1600 to 1750.
pastime: a pleasant means of amusement, recreation, or sport
barge: a long, flat-bottomed boat, usually intended to be pushed or towed, for carrying heavy cargo or passengers
antiques: works of art, pieces of furniture, decorative objects, or the like, created or produced in a former period
bittersweet: both pleasant and painful or regretful
Lilo and Stitch
ohana: a person’s extended family
illuminate: light up
monstrosity: a monster or something frightful and hideous
abomination: something that is repugnantly hateful, detestable, or loathsome
gravity: the force of attraction that causes objects to fall toward the center of the earth
conjure: to produce or bring about by magic or as if by magic
wee: little; very small
destiny: things that happen or are to happen to a person in their life
beckon: to signal, summon, or direct by a gesture of the head or hand
caber: (in Scotland) a pole or beam, especially one thrown as a trial of strength
radiator: a device constructed from thin-walled tubes and metal fins, used for cooling circulating water in a car engine
hippie: a person, especially of the late 1960s, who rejected established institutions and values and sought spontaneity, direct personal relations expressing love, and expanded consciousness
pit stop: a stop in the pits during a race, in which a competing car receives gasoline, a change of tires, or other servicing or repair.
rust: the red or orange coating that forms on the surface of iron when exposed to air and moisture
aerodynamics: the study of the motion of air and with the effects of such motion on bodies moving in it
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