Don’t you love The Nutcracker? I mean, anything to do with The Nutcracker movie, or ballet, or music, or well, ALL OF IT, I’m all about it.
I’ve always love The Nutcracker story, but I really started to love it when I took our oldest daughter to The Nutcracker ballet when she was six. I watched her face light up and she was THRILLED when we stayed after to meet “Clara,” the main female character dancer.
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As you can imagine, it’s been a lot of fun to grow that interest and share it with the other kids as well!
The Nutcracker Story
If you’re not familiar with the Nutcracker story, 1. Shame on you, and 2. YOU HAVE TO LEARN ABOUT IT!
The Nutcracker is actually a traditional Christmas story performed as a ballet.
In the story, Clara (the main character) has a Nutcracker toy.
One festive Christmas Eve, Clara falls asleep and dreams that her favorite Nutcracker toy is a prince who defeats the evil Mouse King.
Then, the Nutcracker takes you through an entire magical evening and colorful that kids love.
(And, really, adults love it, too!)
The Nutcracker Music
The Nutcracker was composed by Tchaikovsky and became not only one of his most famous pieces, but also one of the most famous ballets of all time.
Even if you’re not familiar with the music, you’ve probably heard it during the holidays without even realizing that it was Tchaikovsky.
It’s really beautiful and some of my favorite music to listen to at Christmas!
The Nutcracker Movie
There are a few different options if you want to incorporate the Nutcracker movie into your learning.
You can watch this version, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker featuring a young Macaulay Culkin and the New York Ballet.
Check it out:
The Nutcracker Movie with Macaulay Culkin [VIDEO]
Also, there’s the animated The Nutcracker movie, which may be a great way to introduce your younger ones to the story and the music.
And, recently, there’s been an updated version of the movie:
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is another addition to the Nutcracker movie adaptations.
(Also, this one takes a little darker sci-fi and more mysterious angle.)
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From the movie:
Young Clara needs a magical, one-of-a-kind key to unlock a box that contains a priceless gift. A golden thread leads her to the coveted key, but it soon disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world.In that world, she meets a soldier named Phillip, a group of mice and the regents who preside over three realms. Clara and Phillip must now enter a fourth realm to retrieve the key and restore harmony to the unstable land.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Trailer [VIDEO]
The Nutcracker Movie Lesson Plans and Projects
The Nutcracker movie and music is a really fun theme lesson to add to your studies because there are SO MANY different things to learn about!
You could spend a good holiday month on this topic and still have stuff left over!
So, here are 33 lesson plans, projects, and activities to pair up with The Nutcracker movie:
Grab and read some Nutcracker books:
Listen to The Nutcracker Suite [VIDEO]:
Watch the Tchaikovsky’s “March” from The Nutcracker Suite Listening Map that shows the different instruments used in the piece:
Make a Snowflake Ballerina (SOOOOO cool!)
Get some Ballet Flash Cards and learn ballet!
Get a curriculum guide for The Nutcracker Ballet to be used with this book:
Have you done any fun Nutcracker activities? Leave it in the comments so we can try them out!