10 Life Lessons We Can Learn from Mary Poppins

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In 1964, Walt Disney released what would become one of the most beloved movies of all time: Mary Poppins. Starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, the film told the story of a prim and proper nanny who takes charge of two mischievous children, teaching them valuable life lessons along the way.

Ask anyone over the age of 30 to name their favorite childhood movie, and there’s a good chance they’ll say “Mary Poppins.” The Disney classic is a beloved part of pop culture, and its popularity has only increased in recent years thanks to a successful Broadway musical adaptation and a new live-action film Mary Poppins Returns, starring Emily Blunt. It’s no wonder one of my most popular posts is how to DIY Mary Poppins costume in the months leading up to Halloween!

But what is it about Mary Poppins that has made it such an enduring classic? Why do we love Mary Poppins so much? And what lessons can be learned from this classic movie? Let’s discuss!

What makes Mary Poppins so lovable?

In our beloved Disney movie Mary Poppins, we are introduced to a kind and caring nanny who comes into the lives of the Banks children and helps them (and their father) see the world in a whole new light. But just what is it about Mary Poppins?

julie andrews mary poppins hat

When you think about it, Mary Poppins is actually kind of a bossy know-it-all. She’s always telling the children what to do and how to behave. But for some reason, we can’t help but love her.

Part of the reason is that she’s always right. No matter how chaotic things get, Mary Poppins always has a plan to fix it. And she always follows through on her promises. When she tells the children they’re going to have “the most wonderful time,” she delivers on that promise with flying colors.

But I think the biggest reason we love Mary Poppins is because she’s not afraid to be a little bit silly. She knows that life is too short to always be serious. And she knows that laughter is the best medicine. She has a very serious job to do, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously. And I think that’s something we could all strive to do.

10 Mary Poppins Lessons We Can All Learn From

Though the film is now over 50 years old, its messages are still just as relevant today as they were then. Here are ten life lessons that we can all (especially parents!) learn from Mary Poppins.

Lesson 1: The Power of Being Firm but Loving

While the Banks children initially see Mary as nothing more than a strict babysitter, they eventually come to realize that she is much more than that. Mary is kind, understanding, and fun, but she also knows how to keep her charges in line. She is the perfect balance of firm and loving, and the children respond well to her guidance. 

This is something that all parents can learn from. It’s important to be both strict and loving with your children, as this will help them feel secure while also giving them the freedom to grow and explore. Of course, it’s not always easy to find this balance, but it’s worth striving for. After all, our goal as parents is to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted children

Lesson 2: The Importance of Family time 

Another important lesson that parents can take away from Mary Poppins is the importance of family time. In the movie, Mr. Banks is so focused on his work at the bank that he doesn’t have any time for his wife or children. He eventually learns that his work is not as important as his family, and he makes a concerted effort to spend more time with them. 

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This is something that all parents can relate to. It’s so easy to get caught up in work and other obligations that we don’t make enough time for our loved ones. But at the end of the day, our families are what matter most.

That’s why it’s so important to set aside some time each day (or week) to just be with your spouse or partner and your children. Whether you’re going on a family outing or simply sitting down for dinner together, these small moments are crucial for maintaining strong family bonds. 

Lesson 3: Sometimes You Need to Lighten Up and Have Some Fun

At first, Mary Poppins seems like a very strict and no-nonsense type of person. But as we get to know her better, we see that she isn’t afraid to let her hair down and have some fun every once in awhile.

Sometimes we all need to take a break from our daily responsibilities and just have some fun. We should never forget how to play and enjoy ourselves. Life is too short to be serious all the time!

Lesson 4: It’s Important to Be Kind and Helpful

Throughout the movie, Mary Poppins is always quick to help others in need. Whether she’s helping Mr. Banks get his priorities straight or teaching the children how to be kind and helpful, she is always looking out for others.

Whenever we see someone in need, no matter how big or small their problem may be, we should always try to lend a helping hand. We should always strive to be kind and helpful, even when it’s not convenient for us. We never know when we might need a helping hand ourselves. 

Lesson 5: A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down

This famous line from the movie perfectly sums up one of Mary Poppins’ most important lessons: sometimes you just need to make the best of a difficult situation. When life hands you lemons, you should make lemonade!

mary poppins spoonful of sugar

This isn’t always easy to do, but it’s important to remember that we can’t control everything in life. Sometimes we just need to roll with the punches and make the best of whatever situation we’re in.

Lesson 6: It’s Important to Be Patient

Throughout the movie, Mary Poppins is consistently patient with the children, even when they are being disobedient or uncooperative. She never gets angry with them, and she always takes the time to explain things calmly and patiently.

Whenever we find ourselves in a difficult or frustrating situation, it’s important to take a deep breath and remain calm. Getting angry or upset will only make things worse. Instead, try to be patient and understand that not everything in life is going to go our way. 

Lesson 7: A Little Bit of Magic Can Make Any Day Better

Throughout the course of the movie, we see Mary Poppins use her magic powers to make everyday tasks more fun and enjoyable for everyone involved. From flying kites in the park to going on an amazing adventure inside a chalk drawing, Mary Poppins shows us that a little bit of magic can go a long way in making any day better.

mary poppins lessons -  - 10 Life Lessons We Can Learn from Mary Poppins

And while we may not have actual magic powers like Mary Poppins does, each one of us has something special and unique that we can bring to the table to make life more fun for those around us. All it takes is a little imagination

Lesson 8: Always Be Prepared

Throughout the movie, Mary Poppins is always prepared for anything. For example, she has a bag full of supplies that she uses to help the children when they get into trouble.

It’s important to always be prepared for anything life might throw our way. Whether it’s a flat tire or a last-minute change of plans, it’s always helpful to have a backup plan. That way, we can avoid getting caught off guard and stressed out when something unexpected happens.

Lesson 9: It’s Okay to Be a Little Bit Different

In the beginning of the movie, Mary Poppins is quite different from the other nannies that Mr. Banks interviews. She doesn’t conform to his expectations, and she isn’t afraid to be her own person.

It’s okay to be a little bit different. We don’t all have to fit into the same mold. We can be our own unique selves, and that’s what makes life so interesting.

Lesson 10: Life Is Better When We Work Together

One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when Mary Poppins and the children work together to clean up the nursery. They sing and dance while they work, and they have a lot of fun in the process.

Life is always more enjoyable when we work together instead of trying to do everything on our own. Whenever we’re faced with a task that seems too daunting, we should remember that there’s always strength in numbers. By working together, we can accomplish anything.


These are just a few of the many reasons why we love Mary Poppins and continue to watch it over and over again throughout the years. Mary Poppins is one of those rare movies that appeals to viewers of all ages—and for good reason! Not only is it funny and heartwarming, but it also has some valuable lessons to teach us about life.

The next time you watch it (whether for the first time or the hundredth), take a closer look at the deeper meaning behind some of your favorite scenes—you might just be surprised by what you find!

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