Time Out with Kids: Panda Bear Theme Week

So this week, we decided we were going to have a Panda Bear Theme Week. It started off so simple just wanting to finally watch Kung Fu Panda since the 2nd one was already out. I pulled up panda bears on wikipedia and took a look to see if it would trigger anything and I started reading about what they eat. “…the panda’s diet is 99% bamboo….In captivity they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas…” Well, we couldn’t eat bamboo but we had just picked up some asparagus from the farmer’s market and then a google search led me to decide we’d have a panda meal. Here’s what it turned into:

Each of us had a bamboo bowl of rice with olives that I tried to make look like a panda. I got the idea from Dollar Store Crafts, which I found through Google.

I set up the table all nice and added a cup of tea to each of their spots, along with a small bowl of honey to dip their food in. In the middle I had small dishes of fish, bananas, asparagus (fake bamboo!!) and the leftover olives from making the panda rice dish. I called them to dinner and told them they had to feed their pandas and then be panda bears themselves. It’s one of the few times I’ve ever gotten them to eat asparagus! And for once Mom was cool cuz I let them play with their food. :) I was bummed my hubby missed out on this meal but he had a work event that night.

The next night, we finally watched Kung Fu Panda together as a family. I had some popcorn ready and the kids loved the movie.

On Day 3, we made an attempt to make some “Kung Fu Panda Noodle Soup.” I’d love to share the recipe but….well, it tasted mostly like noodles in chicken broth so I’ll spare you. I think I would have had better luck if I had just made a package of Ramen Noodles and thrown in some veggies. I’ll have to keep working on this one.

On Day 4, we found some Free Panda Printables online and had fun doing mazes, writing letters, coloring and doing number searches. Just a little free fun and some education mixed in. We also watched some videos on YouTube, watching Panda Bears in their natural habitat and learning more about them. But the one they kept making me watch over and over was the one of the Panda Bear Sneezing.

On Day 5, we took a trip to the library and found some panda stories. While we were out, we stopped at the dollar store and picked up some black and white balloons. The kids dressed up as pandas by just wearing black and white and I made some ears from construction paper that I taped to headbands. (They are toddlers—simple is exciting for them.) They played panda warriors keeping the balloons afloat and coming up with their own obstacles. When they got exhausted, we stopped to enjoy the books that included:

~Zen Shorts – Loved this one! It’s on my list to buy for our book collection now.
~Zen Ties
~Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?
~Bears! Bears! Bears!

On Day 6, we made some Panda Bear Cupcakes. I based them on the ones I saw at Crazy About Cakes. I used chocolate cake mix, white frosting, mini-oreos for the ears and eyes, chocolate chips for the nose and middle of the eyes but then I switched the mouth to mini M&Ms as I had a bag of them already here. We made a dozen of them like this and then froze the rest, unfrosted, for another day. And the reason we made a dozen was because….

On Day 7, we took the kids on a new adventure and went to a drive-in that was showing Kung Fu Panda 2. Kids under 5 were free so we only had to pay $16 for all of us and we could bring in our own food/drinks/snacks. But of course we couldn’t pass up the popcorn made with real butter! My sisters and their families met us there and we all had a blast and ate some panda cupcakes to end our week. They had a second movie but we were too tired to stay and watch it. Maybe next time!

We had one more thing on our list for the week and that was to play Panda Bear, What Do You See? Game that I had picked up on a deal over the holidays but we decided to save that for another rainy day. Overall, we were able to have a whole week of fun for very little money.

I’m hoping that by sharing our little adventures, you might have some fun with your kids by having your own panda week when you take Time Out With Kids this week!