For today’s 30 Days to a Funner Summer series I thought I would talk about how to make Family Movie Night more fun!
The great thing about jazzing up movie night is that this can be adapted to any age group, boys or girls. You can go as big as you want or just a few simple touches and less then $5.00 and you can still look like you went to a lot of trouble.
If you are like most people- Family Movie Night means a few bowls of popcorn and a movie rental. But now that it is summer- why not step it up a notch or two? Here are a few tips to get started:
Come up with a theme. This will obviously be dictated by the movie you choose and can be as specific or as general as you like. If you decide to pick Cars as your movie- obviously the theme will be Cars. We went to see The Lorax at the outdoor movies this weekend so that can be a much more general theme. You could do Dr Seuss as the theme, environmental responsibility as the theme or I just went with bright colors and flowers for our theme.
Now that you have your theme you might start considering the food. Are you going to do an entire meal around the movie or just some fun snacks? Some ideas of meals around a movie would be Angel Hair pasta to watch Tangled, or Flo’s V-8 Cafe Burgers and Fries for Cars.
It could just be fun snacks like I plan to make this faux Banana Ice Cream for our Jungle Book movie night. For the Lorax I was short on time so I picked up pretty rainbow candy in little treat bags for the kiddos.
If you are watching Grease why not do a fun 50’s dinner with Chicken Pot Pie and milkshakes, for Finding Nemo you could put Swedish Fish in your popcorn … For Snow White a caramel fondue with sliced apples for dessert….You get the idea as much or as little as you want to make things more festive.
Next you can set the mood with fun decorations or little activities. I have small children so for Family Movie Night I will google around and find free activity sheets or coloring pages for the kiddos. If you are watching some of the bigger Disney or Pixar movies you can easily find mountains of little crafts and things for the kiddos around that movie.
You might also pick up some inexpensive paper plates to fit your movie. For most of the children’s movies (like Brave, Cars, Captain America etc…) you can find cute little plates, cups, napkins for a few bucks in the party section. Whatever is leftover from movie night can always be reused for school lunches or day trips. Stickers are a great way to dress things up too- plain red cups with a great big Mickey sticker would be perfect for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse movies.
What about blue or green dishes for Indiana Jones and a few of those plastic play snakes from the party supply section put around the table (and buried in a popcorn box if your sense of humor is like mine ;). )
Another super inexpensive idea is to grab small squares of fabric from the craft stores. I have seen Disney Princess fabric, Cars fabric… tons of choices. I just grabbed some bright fabric for The Lorax and I got twice as much as I needed for just $2.00 at Hobby Lobby. (It would have been cheaper with a coupon.) The fabric can be a cute little placemat for the kiddos.
Set the stage is the next tip and again this can be elaborate or super simple. For Tangled you might consider stringing a few Christmas lights on the mantle or for the Jungle book dig out all the stuffed animals you have around to join the party (we have George Monkey, an Olivia the Pig, a Sheep and a few bears that would be appropriete guests.) You might also shift the chairs around to make it look like a theater or what we like to do is push the couch and table out of the way and lay a bunch of pillows and blankets out for the kiddos. Sleeping bags are really fun too. Just changing things up so it isn’t always the exact same thing.
I just pinned a cute idea to make a little racecar out of a box for children to sit in.
The last tip is to think of the details. Maybe you make it a block party and invite friends over. The kiddos can watch the movie while the adults play games or relax outside. You might also print out little tickets for the kiddos- perhaps they can even earn the ticket to see the movie by helping to pick up the house.
If you are struggling for inspiration, just google or check pinterest for Party Ideas for the theme you want. The bonus is that the bigger themes- like Tangled- will likely offer free printables to make things incredibly easy for you.
We are going to rent the Jungle Book tomorrow night and look at this amazing party from Grey Grey Designs:
Now clearly I am not going to that extent for movie night but the darling little green licorice called Jungle Vines and the idea of punch or lemonade as Jungle Juice would be very simple.
I found a blog, Mommas Fabulous Playground, that made up several little movie tickets that are free printables. These are for several of the popular Disney films out right now. How easy is that to add a little extra fun to your movie? You might put these up on the fridge for the kiddos to get excited all week for Family Movie Night.
And here was what I did for our Family Movie Night adventure just last night. We went to watch The Lorax in the park and I really only had a few minutes to get us all ready.
I bought a 2 pack of these little plastic trays at the $.99 Only store for (you guessed it) $.99. I got a bright and cheerful fabric to line the trays for $2 at Hobby Lobby (and I got way too much so it would have been about $1 or cheaper with a coupon.) I figured this cheery floral pattern worked for The Lorax. Then I just made sandwiches and fruit salad for an easy dinner and used some of my leftover popcorn containers from a recent party to hold popcorn (there are plastic ones like this that go for $1 at the Dollar Tree or Target and you can use them over and over.) I got rainbow candy to fit the theme of the movie and then just searched Google for images of the Lorax and printed one out and tied it to the candy bag. I also got these little bottles of apple juice and tied a straw around and that was it. The little apple juice containers I will reuse this summer to hold water, milk or lemonade at future movies.
Very simple, very cheap but a little more fun I think.Those trays turned out to be very handy to help the kids balance their meal and then I used them to hold our drinks on the grass during the show. They will be great for car trips too.
So I hope you consider trying a few of these tips out to make Family Movie Night something really special at your house!
If you have fun ideas or themes that worked for you, please share them in the comments!
This post is part of the 30 Days to a Funner Summer Series.
You can catch up with the entire series by click below:
- Day 1: Get Organized! How to organize children’s activity bags.
- Day 2: End of Year Surprises for Children
- Day 3: Strawberry Lemon Slushie Recipe
- Day 4: Homemade Hamburger Seasoning to AMP up your burgers
- Day 5: How to make Giant Bubble Solution
- Day 6: How to Save Money on Road Trips
- Day 7: How to Create a Summer Schedule.
- Day 8: How to make a GIANT water bed (this is so fun!)
- Day 9: Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
- Day 10: 8 Ways to Get Outdoors this Summer
- Day 11: How to Calm a Child’s Room
I love this idea. You are always so creative. Our family is flying to Florida this week to go to Clearwater and meet Winter, the Dolphin. We were going to do family movie night tomorrow night and watch the movie again. Any great ideas that you may have for that theme? I will google it, but thought I would ask as you have the CUTEST ideas all the time.
Thank you so much… For the Dolphin movie you could serve popcorn in sand buckets :). The fish theme is obvious for a meal- grilled fish, fish tacos, fish sticks… whatever your family will eat. Phsih food ice cream, goldfish crackers sprinkled in the popcorn or swedish fish…
I don’t usually give the kids Jello but this is so adorable from Martha:
You could do it in clear plastic cups for indivdual servings.
These little treat cups are so cute too with blue M&Ms and fish
Since you are going to Florida, citrus makes sense too. You can do cups of pineapple and oranges or something like that.
I think cute blue drinks in clear cups would be fun too. I usually use the clear Frappuccino bottles with fun straws but for the kids those plastic apple juice containers are more practical. You can do berry gatorade or something as the drink.
I know a lot of sugar stuff but hey- it is movie night ;).
I have to say..you are the mom I wish I could be. How you find the energy or time is amazing. Please keep posting these wonderful things you do. 🙂
Oh gosh Ceci, thanks so much. I bet you are pretty fantastic in your own way too. The great thing about pinterest and the internet is that it makes it so easy for us to all look like geniuses :).
Hey, there! You have some great ideas on this site and of course the great leads on deals!
I love all of these movie ideas, but Grease really is not a children’s movie… Have you really listened to the lyrics of “Greased Lightning”? haha… I know I watched it when I was younger and that stuff went over my head, but still… I wanted to let you know in case you didn’t.
Keep up the good ideas and deals! And thanks for doing so!
My thought with Grease was for people with teenagers or older children. I am aware it is probably not the best choice for small children. I have friends with teenagers and they are always trying to find things to do and I think movie night can be fun for any age group.
Charlene- Thank you so very much for the cute ideas!! I am going to use most of them- my kids will have so much fun!!!
Thanks, again for all of your wonderful ideas……
Where do you do movie in the park? I am local to the Sacramento area and would love to take my kids.
thanks for the tips.will surely spice up the movie night