Planning a movie night can be a lot of fun for a family who needs to spend quality time together. Often, families get so busy doing other things that they forget to spend quality time with each other. We have so many things going on and are in the same spaces, but we aren’t really together. Phones, emails, and friends can get in the way of quality time. Here are a few tips for planning the most magnificent movie night a family can have.
Put the Phones Away
Put away phones, computers, and devices. You want to spend time with the family and not looking at Facebook, Snap Chat, or emails. You can leave your phone on for phone calls in case of an emergency, but it can be placed away from you while eating dinner and watching the movie.
Picnic for Dinner
While you might prefer to eat dinner at the table, a picnic dinner might be an adventure you didn’t know you needed. A picnic doesn’t have to be outside, either. Order a pizza and lay blankets on the living room floor. Paper plates, cups, and napkins can be used instead of the good plates and cups. This way, there is less chance that something will break. If you are not fond of paper products or single-use plastics, consider investing in movie night plates and cups and make some reusable napkins from old tee shirts or towels. You can even purchase sets with a theme. Then you can throw the napkins and blanket in the washer after movie night ends.
Take Turns Choosing the Movie
Rather than one person always choosing the movie, take turns choosing. One way to do this is to go in birth order: Oldest family member to youngest, or vice versa. Another option might be to draw straws or choose a number. However, be sure that each person knows that there will be no complaining about the choices another family member makes. Each person will get a turn at choosing, and they can choose a movie that they like then.
Make Movie Snacks as a Family
Bake cookies or make popcorn on the stove. You can even come up with themes each time you host a movie night. For instance, if you are watching Frozen, each of the snacks might be in a snowy or icy theme. Marshmallows make lovely snowmen! Whether you choose a theme for the snacks or not, you should make them together. Get the whole family involved. You might also allow the person who picks the movie to pick the menu. Alternatively, one person can pick the movie, and a different person gets to pick the food.
Make the Room Comfortable
Whether everyone plops down on the sofa or you choose to sit on the floor, make sure that the room is comfortable. Blankets, pillows, space, and temperature can make or break a room’s comfort level. It’s no fun to spend two hours watching a movie, and your bottom is sore or your foot asleep when you finish. Make sure there are enough pillows, blankets, and spaces for everyone watching.
Make Sure All Movie Choices Are Appropriate
There’s nothing worse than choosing a movie only to realize that thirty minutes in, there’s a nude scene or foul language you forgot about. You know what your child can handle seeing and hearing, so we don’t want to dictate what kinds of movies you find appropriate. Be sure that all family members can be present for the entire movie. Otherwise, you may have some unhappy viewers on your hands.
Feel Free to Switch Gears
Sometimes you or your children may choose a movie and then realize it’s not as good as you hoped. If no one is enjoying the movie, feel free to change to something else. The Sandlot may be a family favorite, but sometimes you just want an animated movie like Shrek. Don’t be afraid to switch it up if everyone agrees. Agreement is critical if you are taking turns choosing. If the person choosing for the week is set on their choice, everyone else needs to comply.
Project the movie on the side of the house for an outdoor movie experience. You can set up spaces in the backyard and even make cardboard cars for a drive-in feel. This theme might be especially appropriate for an older movie you want to introduce to your family. They can pretend to go to the drive-ins of the past. Drive-ins aren’t extinct, though. Find one close by for a family outing!
Schedule movie nights frequently. In addition to giving each person a chance to choose or see a movie they like, you can also start a tradition that your children will carry on with their children. Think about the best things you did with your family growing up. These things were probably not elaborate. It was more about time with each other than the task at hand. Continue doing movie nights weekly or monthly.
No matter how often you choose to do movie night, it will let your children and family know that they are important to you. Have fun with it. It doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. Movie night needs to make your family feel happy and connected. If you already do a movie night, what works for your family? Will you incorporate any of these suggestions in your next movie night?