A lot of parents worry that their kids spend too much time watching TV and while this is a valid concern, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a weekly/monthly family movie night and make it special with a little planning and effort. By making just a few considerations beforehand you can take an average movie watching experience and turn it into genuinely fun and memorable family bonding time.
The Big Picture
First things first, you’re going to need a movie to watch. Peruse your own collection of DVDs, head to the nearest rental shop or, for the technologically savvy families that have a home entertainment guru, stream one to your smart TV.
Recently released animated movies like Frozen and Despicable Me are extremely popular but don’t ignore the classics either like Pinocchio and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. You also can’t go wrong with The Wizard of Oz, The Goonies, Mary Poppins, WALL-E and The Parent Trap (both the original and the Lindsay Lohan version).
If your family has a standing movie night — every Friday, for instance — why not mix it up and let the kids pick the film one week and then the parents the next? Use it as an opportunity to let everyone feel involved and excited to share their movie tastes with the rest of the family.
The Accompanying Grub
What’s a good movie night without some snacks to help create that home movie theater experience? Have a few savory and sweet options, such as popcorn, Rice Krispie treats and ice cream. Remember that while it’s good to treat the kids (and yourselves!), you can always have some healthier options and still make them fun. How about celebrating the summer season with fresh berries and juice popsicles?
For kids, half the fun is in the anticipation of and preparation for an event. So, get them involved in the kitchen. They’ll gladly help make pizzas and popcorn and who doesn’t love to sneak a little extra whipped cream onto their ice cream sundae?
Finally, tap into your creative side and use your imagination when planning the movie night. Choose a theme that goes along with the movie and apply that theme to your living room’s décor, the menu and interactive activities that you can do while having a homemade ‘intermission’.
For example, if you’re watching the film Singin' in the Rain, serve juice with cocktail parasols and dance along to the songs. Or, if Toy Story is on the box, get all your kids’ stuffed animals out of their room and have them watch it with you. You and the kids can use your imagination and create an adventure for the stuffed animals just like in the movie.
So, with a little attention to detail, you can make family movie night the highlight of everyone’s week. Enjoy!