Movie night is a great way to get the family together at the end of the week. It’s one of our favorite family activities because it’s very inexpensive, easy to coordinate, and requires little effort. Here’s how to have a great movie night with the kids. Add some extra fun to your family night this week.
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Have a Great Movie Night With The Kids
1. Get a Great Movie
First things first, right? You’re not going to have a very successful movie night without a good movie. Obviously, pick a movie suitable for the kids. Whether you’re going to stream a movie from Amazon or pick up a DVD from Redbox, your cost is going to be relatively low for this family night.
If you’re like me and you don’t catch a lot of movie trailers on tv, you may not know what’s out there to rent. And, even if you do know what’s available, you may not know the details about each movie.
Movie Review Site To The Rescue!
Plugged In is my favorite resource for movie reviews. It’s not the best idea to just throw any DVD into the player and go – especially when the kids are watching. So before you plan a movie night with the kids, check out this great resource.
This is a great website that I have used for years. You can browse what’s playing in the theaters or check out what’s out in video. The quickest thing to do is to type your movie title into the search bar.
So, I typed “Ice Age” into the search bar and this is what comes up.
Click on the movie that you’re interested in finding more information about.
You’ll get an in-depth look at the movie in question. There is a short review section, a paragraph or two of the positive elements in the movie and also info on any sexual elements. In this case, we learn that Manny ogles a shapely female sloth. Sounds pretty innocent in this case. However, this is an important section because it will basically tell you anything of that nature that will come up in the movie. Have you seen some of these so-called PG-13 movies lately? What is getting placed “under the radar” in films sometimes surprises me – but not anymore. Plugged In tells me everything!
You’ll find a paragraph on violent content, one for profane language, drug or alcohol usage, and any other negative elements that might be found.
In short, it’s pretty much the first place I go when I’m looking for a good movie to watch with the kids. Nothing ruins family movie night like some unexpected happening in a film that you now have to explain to your kids. You can’t unsee things!
Now that we’ve got the movie picked out and cleared it at Plugged In, it’s time to think about the refreshments. You know, the movie snacks that the kids can munch on and you’ll find ground into the carpet in the morning.
I’ve got to admit that I’m a sucker for the $1 movie theater boxes of candy. I don’t know what it is. Maybe they bring back memories of my childhood – or maybe I just like all of the pretty colors and yumminess. Either way, grab a few of these candies and pop some popcorn. If you’re strapped for time (or energy), go with the microwave version. The kids won’t mind.
In our house, I like to use small plastic cups to dole out the candy. I divide them into more reasonable portions – no one needs an entire box of Junior Mints – and then I sell them to the kids. Ha! Which brings me to the next of my kids movie night ideas.
Kids like to feel like they’re in charge of something. They also like money – even when it’s fake. Take some fake dollars from an old game or print some to use. Print off these “official” movie tickets as well. No one gets into the theater (living room) without one.
I usually give each child $6-$8 to spend on the condition that they have to buy a movie ticket for $2. The rest of the money they can use on treats and popcorn. Sometimes the treats are $1 and sometimes they are $2. It all depends on what’s at the snack counter that night and what mood the attendant (me) is in. Of course, water is always free (and it doesn’t stain the carpet). You’d be surprised how long it takes them to decide if they want to spend their (fake) money on a cup of chocolatey snacks or trail mix. Giving them the chance to make decisions is a good thing – and a funny thing sometimes as well.
One thing we do that the kids really love is pausing the movie half way through and taking an intermission They can visit the bathroom and hit up the concession stand again if they have any money left. I’m not sure why this is so thrilling for them – but it is.
4. Movie Tickets
I mentioned that the kids all have to purchase a movie ticket in order to attend the movie. I usually sell the tickets at the concession stand and they have to redeem them to their father who lets them claim a spot on the couch or the floor in the living room. Such a simple thing to us, but the kids love being responsible for their ticket and turning it in as well. Print out some movie tickets here (no email required).
5. The Ambiance
Get in your PJ’s, drag out all of the pillows and blankets, and turn down those lights. That’s when it really becomes “movie night” in our house. I like to keep a little flashlight on hand to shine on the talkers and aid in the clean up of any spilled treats.
Inevitably a couple of really tired kids will fall asleep in their blankets. You can let sleeping babes lie or carry them to bed when the movie is over.
Whether you go all out with popcorn boxes, treats, and movie tickets or just throw in a trusted favorite DVD and gather together to watch, movie night with the kids is a great way to spend time together at the end of the week.