As the summer approaches, weekends can fill up so quickly with events and obligations to family and friends. Of course, having a full, busy, and fun summer is great, but there will always be a few nights where you might need to relax and recharge at home as a family. A great idea to “reset” or pass the time on any rainy days is a movie night!
A movie night in is much more relaxing and, frankly, cheaper than going to the theaters. Kids can get a little overwhelmed at bigger movie theaters (or maybe it’s us parents who get overwhelmed), so it might be a good idea to save that outing for a special treat. Because of this, it’s really helpful to think about ways to make these events super fun for the whole family, and so that they still feel like a treat even though you’re staying home.
Below are some essential components for a fun movie night at home with family:
The Right Atmosphere
Setting up movie night as if your living room is a theater is a great place to start. Bonus: setting these rules can make it easier to keep the kiddos on their best behavior for when you do go to an actual theater. Finish up dinner before you press play so that the snacks you’re enjoying during the movie can have more of that theater vibe too. Don’t forget the comfy clothes either! PJs tend to be an essential part of a cozy movie night, basically getting everyone ready for bed beforehand. That way, the kids can simply brush their teeth and hop into bed after the credits roll.
Movie night wouldn’t be very fun if the lights were bright and everyone was preoccupied with other things, right? Set the light lower to darken your room and rearrange your furniture for optimal screen viewing. Maybe the kids end up in blanket piles on the floor, or you can simply move couches and chairs around so you really feel like you’re sitting in rows. Do whatever makes your kids excited and comfy! Lastly, all computers, cell phones and other devices should be powered down or in the other room.
The Right Movie
For family movie night, it can be stressful to pick out an appropriate movie that is entertaining and suitable for all ages. A great way to avoid any headache there is to give Pure Flix a try. They’re a family-friendly, video-streaming company that provides wholesome entertainment for anyone. There’s nothing better than relaxing and knowing that you won’t be surprised or caught off guard by inappropriate content. Pure Flix also has a lot of Christian movie choices that will align with many family’s beliefs. There are a lot of entertaining, inspirational, and educational titles in their catalog.
To keep it fun and fair for everyone, try rotating who chooses the snacks that you have available during the movie. Almost everyone chooses popcorn, but try to mix it up and create some different popcorn flavors. Popcorn with some chocolate drizzle gives you sweet and salty in one snack or sprinkle some garlic powder and parmesan cheese on top. There are hundreds of fun popcorn recipes on Pinterest.
For a little balance with some healthy options too, veggie trays together with different dips, and fruit are a great option if you don’t want to be eating too many cookies or other sweet treats. The kids might actually enjoy getting creative with their snacks and trying new things – it makes them feel like the event is a little fancier and fun!
If you want to add a new twist to movie night or you’re hosting for more than your immediate family, kick it up a notch with a theme night! You can wear fun costumes to match the characters and you can make a lot of fun snacks according to the movie. For example, everyone can dress up as a favorite movie character, or you can even base the decor and food around the theme of the movie.
Easy Clean Up
This is really a big tip that helps the parents, but make your clean up easy! You’ll be sleepy and relaxed after the movie, so it can be a pain to have to clean a big mess. This is why it’ll be important to make sure everything’s taken care of after dinner and everyone’s mostly ready for bed before pressing play! You can also try to use recyclable cups and dishware to make cleanup simple. A pro-tip is to also lay down sheets or blankets on any furniture where kids are sitting or even on the floor. This will help catch stray crumbs and quickly soak up any spills that happen. The next day you can simply scoop up the blankets and sheets, and toss them in the washer!
What are your movie night essentials for you and your family? Feel free to share any parenting pro-tips of your own!