School is back in session and after school activities are underway once again. I don’t know about you but September has always felt like a whirlwind to me. On the one hand, it’s great to get back to a routine and on the other, our time together as a family becomes more limited. Between work and school and extracurricular activities and homework and earlier bedtimes, sometimes it feels like we have to get out our appointment books and schedule in a quick little appointment just so we can have time together.
That’s why when my daughter was little, Friday nights became sacred. “Family Fun Fridays” we called them. Not only were they dedicated to family time, we also made them nights in, at home, doing something fun together without the outside world barging in on our time. Sometimes these were board game nights, sometimes family craft nights, but our favourites were family movie nights. Snuggled in together, watching some of our favourite flicks (or discovering new ones!), while we chatted (yeah, we’re movie talkers…oops!) and giggled and noshed on some yummy snacks. Family movie night was (and still is even though my daughter is an adult) one of our best family bonding times.
Obviously, you can just grab a bowl of popcorn, throw on your jammies, and settle in for a movie but if you want to kick up family movie night just a notch (without adding a ton of work to it – this is supposed to be fun for you too!), here are a few suggestions:
1) Wear clothes that go along with your movie theme. Still want it to be a pj party? There are lots of themed pajamas out there to suit your movie. Or maybe the little ones want to dress up in their finery. Why ever not? Make movie night a simple, but formal affair. Too much work for you? Well, then just add one special little touch to your usual pjs. Put on your favourite tiara, just like Tiana who graces the screen in The Princess and The Frog. Or sail right into family movie night wearing a red bandana like Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End!
2) Squash any antsy pants during the show with this Netflix family movie night bingo game. It’s easy to use – just print a card for each family member and try to spot the things or actions which commonly happen in movies (i.e. shopping, crying, magic, etc). Mark off your squares and the first one to get “BINGO” (a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line), wins! You can also create your own show specific bingo card using the blank template.
3) Make a craft to go along with the movie. We used to get home from school on Fridays, put our pajamas on first thing, and settle in for a movie while we waited for takeout to be delivered. That’s right; we started movie night even before we had dinner! It was a great way to wind down from a hectic week AND it often meant we would have time to fit in two movies before bedtime, sometimes with enough time for a crafting break in between. These clothespin planes would be perfect to make after watching Planes: Fire and Rescue.
4) Set the scene by gathering all your stuffed animals and huddling in to watch Zootopia with every furry friend living under your roof. Or, string lights across your living room to recreate the magical lantern scene in Tangled.