When we drove out to Colonial Williamsburg last time I thought to have the kids listen to Swiss Family Robinson. Jeff had raved about how much he enjoyed reading it as a child, and how fun it was to listen to them figure out how to survive on the island. We started listening to it and then they found a new animal, and waded in and killed it to see how it tasted. Over and over and over again. This became the first book and a movie we did not finish before watching the movie.
Seriously, we got to the chapter where they met penguins on the island, and Jeff was like, “Oh this is such a fun chapter,” and then they waded in and killed a dozen penguins.
Needless to say, that did not go over well with Princess who was crying as the animals died. It probably did not help that she’d had a couple of major disappointments right before we listened to the book, and was in pain from a broken leg…
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Swiss Family Robinson summary
The Robinson family are headed off to New Zealand to help found a colony, but on the way, their ship is attacked and then hit by a storm and the Robinson family are the only ones left on the ship.
Will the Robinson family be able to survive on the island, or will the pirates come back and destroy what they’ve built?
Swiss Family Robinson book club
As I said, we didn’t finish the book, and we were listening to it as an audiobook, so even if we had finished it, we wouldn’t have done any specific projects, so let me point you to the cool ideas I’ve found online.
If it was up to me, I’d have fun learning about the animals, then make a salt flour map of what we thought the island looked like, and finish it all up by making a model of their home.
I seriously want their home.
Swiss Family Robinson movie night
Swiss Family Robinson is one of the movies I gave a pass to, and let my kids watch the movie before they read it, because I love the classic Disney movie so much. I grew up watching it, and loved traipsing through their treehouse at Disneyland and Disneyworld, so I cheated and let them watch it before we read it, and then of course we watched it again after our aborted attempt at reading the book.
You could easily make dozens of snacks just creating lots of different animals. There were some I grabbed in particular, because it amused me, but this is what we picked for our Swiss Family Robinson snacks.
- coconuts- this was a variation on our Muppet sandwiches, bread covered in peanut butter and loads of coconut
- create your own animal- I used my 50 animal cookie cutters, a stash of frosting, and random sprinkles to let them create new and unusual animals
- baked potato- in the book, they figure out how to grow potatoes to eat, so we included that in our snacks
- penguin- this was my favorite, it’s a ho ho with frosting for the white stripe and then candy eyes, and a bit of yellow frosting for the beak and feet
- treehouse- broccoli bits to snack on (with ranch to dip it in)
- bananas- another food they found on the island, it’s a truly magical island with all sorts of biomes on it, I do wonder if the creators of Lost had read Swiss Family Robinson, because that island has some distinct similarities to it
- beef jerky- often after they first tried the meats, they would dry it into a form of jerky, so I picked up some jerky to try out
- shipwreck- Sprite with sherbert in it, it looked nicely like a stormy sea
- fry bread- in the book, it was a simple bread they made, and fry bread is delicious with a bit of honey on it
- grass- baked asparagus
And that was our Swiss Family Robinson movie night, we watched it with the cousins, so they happily at through the snacks and enjoyed talking about the movie and the general adventure story.