I don’t know about all of you, but as cold days begin to set in and time outside lessens, I find myself wondering just how to keep my daughter (and myself) from going slightly insane when we’re stuck inside on nasty days this winter.
Although El Paso’s winters are fairly mild (it’s the summer that is atrocious), we have cold mornings and the wind kicks up around January – making it hard to be outside for long. This means that we have a lot of time inside along with the rest of the country. I’m not a super crafty mom. You give me craft kits and I’ll make anything.
We encourage a lot of free play and reading with our daughter. But like any family, there are times we simply need a break or something for us to snuggle up and watch for a while. No craft, no mess, no drama.
In that case, I turn to the classic Disney movies I loved as a child and my parents loved as children too. While I have favorites of the newer movies Disney’s made (Nemo, Tangled, Wreck It Ralph), nothing beats hearing real singing and knowing someone hand drew all the pictures of the old ones. I never have to worry about inappropriate scenes, or innuendoes that make me wonder when my 4 year old will ask one day, “What does that mean?”
Here are 15 of our very favorite classic Disney movies for winter, a break, or times where you just want to pretend to live in the 50’s.
No? Just me? Ok –
Swiss Family Robinson 1 of 15
We watched this 1960 movie so often as children that we had almost the entire thing memorized. I imagine my parents must have loved us all quoting it on a regular basis. Watch as a shipwrecked family makes a new life on an island.
Purchase on Amazon for $13.93
Winnie the Pooh 2 of 15
Bella calls this "the old Pooh" and we watch it nearly every week. I love this 1977 version more than any other out there.
Purchase on Amazon for $16.96
Fun and Fancy Free 3 of 15
Made in 1947, this features the original Mickey, Donald, and Goofy who replay Jack and the Beanstalk. Also included is a short called "Bongo" on a bear who escapes the circus.
Purchase on Amazon for $16.98
Bedknobs and Broomsticks 4 of 15
We used to watch Bedknobs and Broomsticks with my grandparents, and the mix of animation is always a favorite with kids. Made in 1971.
Purchase on Amazon for $12.49
Robin Hood 5 of 15
Is it wrong that I had a crush on Robin Hood as a child? Not the person. The fox. I don't know where I thought that was going.
Anyway, this has to be my all time favorite Disney movie, made in 1973.
Purchase on Amazon for $20.48
The Aristocats 6 of 15
In 1970, the Aristocats captured the hearts of kitty loving kids everywhere. It's the adventures of 3 kittens and their mama who are disposed of by a greedy butler.
Purchase on Amazon for $21.68
The Rescuers Down Under 7 of 15
Nothing says adventure like the 1990 movie about a boy who attempts to save a rare gold eagle's babies, only to be kidnapped by a man who wants them to sell. The little mice from the "Rescue Aid Society" are challenged to find him and the bird.
Purchase on Amazon for $26.89
Lady and the Tramp 8 of 15
I remember my fear of rats and old aunts stemming from Lady and the Tramp, but my daughter loves it. I love the era (made in 1955) and how beautiful the pictures are.
Purchase on Amazon for $23.17
Pete’s Dragon 9 of 15
As I write this, we're watching Pete's Dragon from 1977. I think every kid goes through a dragon phase, this is my daughter's. It's the story of an orphan boy with a pet dragon who helps him escape from a mean family into a new one.
Purchase on Amazon for $11.70
101 Dalmations 10 of 15
What child doesn't love this 1961 movie with an evil, crazy lady and so many puppies that you can't get through it without hearing, "Mommy can we get a..." Remind them how often Roger and Anita must have to clean up after those dogs and that should end the wishes for 101 of any pet.
Purchase on Amazon for $29.99
Peter Pan 11 of 15
There is something about the time period, London, and the ability to fly that has made this 1953 movie a continual classic. It's perfect for any cold, dreary day as you watch the three Darling children set off for Never Never Land.
Purchase on Amazon for $19.96
The Sword in the Stone 12 of 15
Knowing my love for this 1963 movie, I received it for Christmas one year from a student while I was teaching kindergarten. Bella loves when he turns into a squirrel. It's based on the tale of King Arthur as an orphaned child and Merlin who guides him to his destiny as king.
Purchase on Amazon for $24.95
Cinderella 13 of 15
Bella wasn't into princesses at all until she watched the 1950 Cinderella movie. Now she adores dressing up and playing with her " 'Drella" dolls.
Purchase on Amazon for $19.99
Fantasia 14 of 15
The 1940 version of Fantasia will always be my favorite. Who knew a movie with just music could capture children's attention for so long?
Purchase on Amazon for $19.99
Mary Poppins 15 of 15
Oh Mary Poppins. Watching this movie in elementary school is probably when I decided I'd grow up to be Julie Andrews, regardless of my singing ability. Total, innocent fun for the entire family is packed into this 1964 movie.
Purchase on Amazon for $24.95 1964
Diana blogs at Diana Wrote about her life with a daughter here and three sons in heaven, life as an army wife, and her faith. You can also find her work on Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post. Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
MORE FROM DIANA:
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- Healing: Why We Talk Openly to Our Daughter About Loss