There’s no way to hide the fact that my husband and I are pretty big Star Wars fans. We’re pretty open with our obsession, right down to the artwork in the front entry of our house and our frequent references to the movies in everyday conversation. Here are a few of the things we’re doing to try and pass on the Star Wars obsession to our daughter before Episode VII: The Force Awakens comes out in theaters.
Have lightsaber battles at night.
The easiest way for anyone, child or adult, to become obsessed with Star Wars is to hand them a glowing lightsaber. There’s something truly magical about a glowing sword, even if it’s one that is made of plastic. We turn off the lights to engage in a battle in the middle of our living room at least once a week, and each time my heart explodes with excitement and I also can’t stop giggling.
Build a LEGO playset and play along.
LEGO building sets are fun on their own, but when parents and kids can recreate an Ewok Village or build an X-Wing together, you add in another layer of fun. In our house, my husband and daughter love constructing the Star Wars sets together, because they both can’t wait to play with them once they’re built!
Read the Little Golden Books version of each movie.
Each night, my daughter begs for me to read Star Wars: A New Hope before she goes to sleep. We have all six of the Little Golden Book versions of the movies, and she loves having a simplified and wonderfully illustrated version of each story to read in book form.
Learn how to speak like a Wookie with your pets.
I speak to my Bernese mountain dog in our own made-up Wookie language when it’s time for him to eat or go for a walk, and now my daughter does too. She also speaks back to the neighborhood cats with her incoherent Chewbacca-like growls, and I’m pretty certain they understand what she’s trying to say.
Pass on the wisdom of Yoda.
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
“You will only find what you bring in.”
Yoda’s wisdom spans generations and is just as applicable to little kids as it is to adults. We try and pull out as many Yoda quotes as we can, because advice from Mom and Dad may be given the side-eye, but advice from a little green guy is taken as fact.
Immerse yourself in the Star Wars universe by playing Star Wars video games.
There was no way to tell if we were more excited to play Disney Infinity 3.0 as our favorite Star Wars characters or if it was our daughter. And we still get excited each and every time we turn it on and start playing! Disney Infinity is a perfect way to integrate everyone’s love for the movies with the freedom to explore and create your own version of the universe. And for first-person-shooter game fans, Star Wars Battlefront will be out in November for even more immersive fun!
Make flying paper airplane versions of Star Wars vehicles.
Anyone can build and fly a regular paper airplane, but not everyone can construct their own Star Wars fighter jet! About five minutes after receiving the Klutz Star Wars Folded Flyers book as a present, my daughter was running to get her glue and tape and begging us to help her construct her own Naboo N-1 Starfighter! And it actually flew quite well when we launched it off the staircase!
Run a Jedi Training Academy for the neighborhood kids.
One of our favorite activities at the Disneyland Resort is attending the Jedi Training Academy. Our daughter has participated as a Youngling in training to become a Padawan, and each time she can’t stop talking about the experience. Well, we recently brought a little of the magic home by watching videos of the show (like this one from Walt Disney World) with kids from the neighborhood and operating our own mini Jedi Training Academy! Everyone loved practicing the moves with their own lightsabers and in mini Jedi robes!
Let them control their own droid!
I always wanted an R2D2 droid of my own to play with, but somehow that just never happened. However, this year you can get your own version of the latest movie droid, BB-8, to control as you please with your tablet or mobile phone. This little guy is going to be sitting under the Christmas tree for our daughter, but I have a feeling that everyone in the family is going to want to play with him all the time!
Print out free masks and make up your own Star Wars story line.
Instead of following the story, why not make up your own? These printable masks from Bit Rebels will help you let your imaginations run wild at the drop of a hat.
Don’t forget a movie marathon.
Want your kids to love Star Wars? Then pop some popcorn and toss Episode IV into the DVD player and snuggle in on the couch. They’ll be hooked, just like we were. (And please, never start with Episode I. They may give up, fall asleep, and never return to see another Star Wars film!)
image: Getty/GABRIEL BOUYS
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