We all love the low key movie nights that we hold in our home sweet home, sometimes on a regular basis. But these regular movie night occurrences can become a tad bit boring. So much so, that your kids might be inclined to say, “Mom, our family is boring. Can we do something else?” If this is happening to you, try some of these ideas to transform your family movie nights into family escapade nights.
1. Getting Started
By turning movie nights into an event instead of a regular thing you will give everyone something to look forward to and be excited about. Set a specific date for your special movie night and mark it on the calendar. Get everyone’s input before deciding on a movie that will be fun for everyone. You can also ask other parents for their input on appropriate movies and, if you have to, go ahead and watch the movie yourself to make sure it is good enough for your younger viewers.
2. Theater Theme Ideas
Once you’ve decided on your movie the rest is all up to you and your family’s imagination. Using Pinterest, Google and your kids as your guides come up with a theme for your movie theatre. If you have a projector you can set up an outdoor theatre in your backyard using a sheet for the screen. Purchase a cheap red carpet and then everyone can be a movie star going to a premier when they walk to your theater. Before being seated you can use a cardboard box as a box office ticket booth to purchase their tickets. Once people have their tickets have an “usher” with a flashlight direct each person to their seat in the theater. Another fun way to make your room look like a theater is to set up the couches in front of each other and have the back one placed on a bench or blocks for a layering effect. If you’re wanting to theme your movie night according to the movie then try decorating with items that can make your room look part of the movie. Have your kids help you with the decorations so that they feel involved with the process by using their toys or having them draw and make crafts for the décor. Have the seating arrangements be themed too, like cardboard racecar seats or homemade dog houses, a tent or fort setup, etc.
3. Prepare the Concessions
When planning out the snacks be sure to have both healthy and yummy treats. Some concession ideas include popcorn, peanuts, bottled water or juice, veggies, trail mix, candy bars, cookies, ice cream, Cheetos, crackers, chips, fruit and anything else that is pretty much finger foods. You can theme your food too and present it in a way that matches the movie. For example apple pie for Snow White, burger joint food for Cars, monstrous looking cupcakes for Monster’s Inc. etc. Use inexpensively themed paper plates, bowls, cups and treys to hold the food in. You can also create themed placemats or lap treys out of small squares of character printed fabric from a craft store and small plastic trays. Set up your snacks in a makeshift concession stand if you want to go the extra mile.
4. Dress Code
Your movie party can be extra fun when you have everyone dress up like they were from the movie or like they are movie stars. This will be one of the easiest tasks as your kids probably already own dress up outfits that go with their favorite movie. You can even have everyone pick out a character name that they prefer to be addressed by the entire evening. Parents should not be afraid to dress up themselves, it will help the kids know that their parents are not too old to have fun with them.
5. Distraction Removal
To complete the fun filled evening, be sure that all distractions from both parents and kids have been removed. Make sure that homework and chores have all been completed and that toys and electronics are put away. To help with the elimination of technology and toys come up with a clever skit, like they do in the actual theater about how unfun and distracting these items can be during a movie and then have both children and adults put their phones and such into the “no disruptions” basket until after the movie is over. Something else you might not have considered is to schedule an intermission during the show for a restroom break and snack grabs.
After the movie is over and everyone has had their fun, it’s a good idea to follow up on the thoughts and impressions of your family. Ask your family either right after the movie or the following day what everybody thought about the movie. Come up with some lessons that can be gained from the storyline. This is a great idea to help your children develop critical thinking skills and dispel family communication blocks.
Now, don’t let yourself become overwhelmed and stressed out about putting on such an extravagant family event. These are simply ideas to increase the chances of a fun evening with your family. Do whatever you feel in the mood to do and include your kids where possible. In the end, it’s all about spending time together as a family and enjoying each other’s company.