Get More Out of your Family Movie Night

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5 Ways to Make Movie Night a Blockbuster Success

From cave paintings to plays, Operas to puppet shows, telling stories has always been humankind’s favorite way of entertaining. Today movies are just about the fastest and most fun way of storytelling.

However, movie night can become a family chore for teens and a regular ho-hum activity for the younger ones. Do your kids assume the “bored of movie night” position with derrieres on the couch and glazed, catatonic eyes staring expressionlessly screen-ward?

It doesn’t have to be this way! Just follow at least two of these five steps and you’re on your way to movie night FUN with family.

1. Prepare and Conquer!

Don’t just choose your movie selection willy-nilly, plan ahead of time what your movie night film is going to be and reserve it on Redbox, queue it up on Netfilx or, if you’re still doing that kind of thing, go to an actual video store and rent what you want.

What to Rent: Rent movies that match up with whatever season you’re in. Try school movies in September, Baseball movies in June or holiday movies in November and December.

Where to Watch: Location, location, location! It can mean everything for a movie! Why not build a fort in the back yard or basement and watch something spooky on your iPad. If you don’t want to leave your house, just move the furniture in your theater room around and plan on throwing pillows and blankets on the floor to cuddle up in.

Get excited for the event, your excitement will rub off on everyone.

2. The Literature Behind Movies

There are SO many movies that are based on books, about books, starring books or should have remained only in book form. So if the movie you’re planning for is based on a book…read it! Either read it together as a family or individually. Ask your kids questions as you go through the book.
  • Who are they looking forward to seeing in the movie?
  • Which scenes do they hope are in the movie?
  • What do they hope is left out?
  • What do they picture the hero looking like?
  • How will film makers do the special effects?
After reading the story you and your kids will be more invested in the night and will have more to say about the movie after.

3. Treat Yourselves

Treats are a movie’s perfect companion. A Samwise to a movie’s Frodo, a Watson to a movie’s Sherlock, and a name to a movie’s Inigo Montoya.
So take this fact and make it work for you!
  • Prepare treats for movie night that go along with a theme in the movie or food that may appear in the movie.
  • Make a game where every time a certain word is said by characters in the movie everyone has to eat a hot Cinnamon Bear or Sour Patch Kid.
  • Have a picnic in your theater room or have dinner conversation using only accents that may be found in your movie choice.
You know you’ll be snacking during the movie anyway so make it an easy way to get into the spirit of things.

4. Take Pause- There’s a Button for It

This one is especially great for families with little ones but can work well for any age. Find a couple times in the movie to pause and ask some questions.
  • If your hero is in a tight spot with seemingly no way of escape or winning, pause the movie and ask everyone what they would do to get out of that sticky mess.
  • Rewind the funny parts and watch them again or play back ridiculous physical humor and see who can reenact it the best.
  • Pause on an actor making a funny face or watch something in slow motion.
Don’t be afraid of the remote control, it is your friend and friends help friends have more fun!

5. After Movie Math

After the movie is over and then again the next day, ask everyone their thoughts on it.
  • How did they like the storyline?
  • Who was their favorite character?
  • Which character didn’t they like and why?
  • Did the movie make them cry or did they laugh?
  • Which part was the funniest or the saddest?
  • Was the book better and why or why not?
  • What would they change in the story if they were writing it or how would they have made the movie differently?
  • And most importantly: What did they learn from the movie that was good and what did they learn was bad?
Every movie will have its own great set of follow up questions to ask at the next family dinner.

Movies can teach and inspire but a lot of times as parents we have to put forth the effort to make each lesson stick and every inspiration fly. So during your next movie night don’t just throw in what nobody else wanted at Redbox, make your family movie night count for something! Create some memories!

About the Author- Danielle’ is a ClearPlay Blog editor and Movie Mom contributor. She’s a mother of four and an avid watcher of movies and reader of books.

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