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After seeing a movie with your little ones, it’s always the same script on the way home. “Did you like the movie?”, “Who was your favorite character?” “What was your favorite part?” These are great, but let’s go beyond the surface. This post will help you go deeper than the basic questions you always ask your kids and discuss Toy Story 4.
We just saw Toy Story 4 as a family, and it brought up some important life topics. Disney wasn’t afraid to dig deep and present delicate topics like difficult goodbyes, listening to your conscience or finding your life purpose. (Heavy stuff, right?) Here’s the official trailer to get you excited!
I took my kids to see Toy Story 4 on opening day! (Fill my popcorn bucket, I love premiere days!) My kiddos are 4 and 6 years old. They enjoyed this family friendly movie….BUT….Boy, did they have 100 questions when we got outa there! The afternoon inevitably turned into many teachable moments. (And isn’t that how parenting should go?) Let’s turn the everyday into teachable moments to hopefully help mold our children into awesome positive world changers!
I suggest you take your kids out for ice cream or print out these cute coloring pages and then start the discussion time!
Toy Story 4 | Discuss “difficult goodbyes” with kids
Saying goodbye is hard. As a kid you don’t understand goodbyes and avoid them. When children approach the kindergarten age, learning how to deal with hard goodbyes are essential. In Toy Story 4, Bonnie (the kid who owns and plays with the toys) is starting kindergarten and is fearful of the change. A lot of kids seeing this movie will be around kindergarten age, and it’s our job as caretakers to help them navigate difficult goodbyes.
Explain to your children that sometimes goodbyes need to happen. It is ok and normal to feel sad inside. It’s important to listen to the feelings in your heart and say them outloud. “I feel sad because…”. But what helps is continuing to love the person you don’t want to say “goodbye” to, deep in your heart.
Toy Story 4 | Discuss the “conscience concept” with kids
In Toy Story 4, Woody goes to great lengths to protect Bonnies’ new favorite toy “Forky”. He sacrificing sp much to keep his kid happy. He endures many hardships and Buzz Lightyear asks him why he does it and who tells him to do it. Woody goes into a simple explanation of “the voice inside us all” and the idea of a conscience to navigate right from wrong.
Buzz Lightyear gets a bit confused and thinks his conscience is the mechanic literal voice inside him that declares, “To Infinity & Beyond!”. This is a perfect scene to go back and reference when explaining the “conscience concept” to your kids.
A simple way to explain the conscience is: “the voice in your head, and the feeling in your heart, that tells you if something is right or wrong.” It can be something you are doing or someone else is doing.
Ask your child, “Have you ever done something you knew wasn’t right, and then you felt bad/uncomfortable/yucky in your heart?” OR “Have you every thought about doing something and then you thought, Maybe you shouldn’t do that because you might get in trouble?”
That’s your conscience!
Your conscience is your helper to make good choices. As you grow and learn, you conscience learns and grows with you.
Toy Story 4 | Discuss “life purpose” to your kids
What am I here for? I think finding a purpose and meaning of life is a journey that everyone is on. My daughter was particular intrigued by this part of the movie. She needed a little clarification on what someone’s “purpose” was.
“One kid’s trash is another little girl’s treasure.” Bonnie created the character “forky” out of art supplies and forky becomes her favorite toy. His purpose is to make Bonnie happy. Woody explains this concept to forky after he spends days trying to keep forky out of the trash can. Forky was made from trash and thinks he is trash and keeps trying return to trash. Woody explains to forky that this existential angst is misplaced and he is NOT trash, he was created for a purpose.
Tell your children that their purpose can be a talent or what they love to do. There is always a general human purpose to love others and be kind. This applies to children and grown ups. Ask your children to think of ways they can be kind and show love to family, friends, and strangers.
An important concept to understand is that your purpose in life changes as life changes. In one scene of Toy Story 4, Bo Peep and her lamp are given away when Andy’s sister doesn’t need her anymore. Woody was Andy’s favorite toy but now he is playing second string to Forky and the others.
Toy Story 4 | Almost Spoiler Alerts
At the end of the movie, Woody is faced with 2 groups of friends and must choose to live with one group. This is a hard goodbye. He loves both groups. It got me a little misty-eyed when I realized that as Woody is saying goodbye to some of his special friends, WE ARE ALL SAYING GOODBYE – as this saga comes to a close with this fourth movie.
I really hope this article helps you talk through the movie with your kids. They may have had questions, but weren’t sure how to ask them. Hopefully this guides you around the *somewhat* grown up life topics in this adorable childrens movie. If your kids had any other deep questions about Toy Story 4, I would love to hear about them in the comments below!
Should You Even Go See Toy Story 4?
YES! Toy Story 4 is a very well made film created to entertain the whole family. While I do suggest some life lesson discussions will follow – I think it’s one of the best movies to come out (SO FAR) this summer 2019. I urge you to get out there and see it with the little ones in your life!
I know this treasure of movie was really created for all us millennials who fell in love with the franchise in the 90s! Wink, Wink. Thanks, Disney. But with the G rating, we will all want to bring our kids to share in the Toy Story love!
BTW if you REALLY wanna share the Toy Story love, you gotta experience Toy Story Land in Walt Disney World. It is so epic, with 3 rides, all the best Toy Story characters, and a delicious quick service restaurant – it’s a “can’t miss” for any Disney vacation!
I’ll see you at the movies!
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