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How To Plan The Perfect Family Movie Night

Written by Mindy White

Photography by Photo via KCD

One of the best ways to sneak in some family bonding time is to grab a flick together. Everyone loves going to the movies, but with our crazy schedules and budgets, it’s hard to treat the family as much as we’d like to. So, why not throw your own movie night at home? It’s easier than you might think, and can be just as fun as booking a trip to the theater. Take a look at our tips below to help you throw your own family movie night!

Take Turns Choosing The Movie. Letting the kiddos pick the movie will not only excite them, but also ensure that they pay attention, because they chose it! Give them a list of family friendly approved movies to choose from, and everyone wins. We suggest: Toy StoryET-The Extra-Terrestrial, Harry Potter, Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (the original), The Princess Bride, Honey, I Shrunk The KidsJumanji, AnnieThe GooniesThe Muppet MovieFreaky FridayThe Sandlot, The Wizard of OZ, and We Bought A Zoo.

Schedule it. Make a reoccurring date and time each week (or each month) for movie night, and stick to it. The ground rules are that all cellphones, iPads, and games must be off during the flick, and everyone must have plenty of snacks to munch on!

Location. Of course, you can watch the movie indoors while lounging on the couch, but why not switch things up when the warmer weather hits and watch the movie outside on a projector? Simply shine the movie on a blank wall or throw up a white sheet to make the perfect screen. Don’t forget to lay out comfy blankets, pillows, and bug spray.

Snacks. Make movie night more exciting than going to the theater. Of course, you have to have popcorn, but what about having dinner during the movie by including treats like pizza, pigs in a blanket, and baked goods? We love these recipe ideas from Martha Stewart.

Pick A Theme. Another way to make the evening even more fun is to set a theme according to the movie. Have the family dress in costume, decorate the room with whimsical movie touches, and make all of the snacks and drinks match the feature.

Encourage Dance. Most kid-friendly movies include fun, upbeat songs that children love to sing and dance to. Encourage the kiddos to get up move around during the sing-alongs!

Intermission. To avoid disruptions, let everyone know that there will be an intermission during the film for any bathroom breaks, refills, etc. Make it feel like a real theater by flashing the lights a few minutes before the movie will be back on.

Little Critics. After the movie, let your kids tell you what they thought of the film, encouraging verbal expression and critical thinking. Ask if there was a lesson to the movie? What did they learn? Let them rate the movie and ask questions.

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