Friday nights used to be our nights to unwind with a family movie night until they became the busiest night of our weeks with back to back baseball practice, the occasional soccer scrimmage, and Girl Scout meetings. Yikes! Luckily our Saturday evenings are clear to preserve a fun tradition that the whole family looks forward to.
1. Brainstorm a list of movies
With an almost 11 year old girl and 8 year old boy who have diverse tastes in what we they like to watch, I find that brainstorming movies together is helpful. Everyone gets a chance to weigh in as we make a list of what we might like to watch together.
2. Read the reviews on Common Sense Media
After generating a list of titles, I like to visit Common Sense Media to take a look at the movies our family has suggested to figure out what’s really right for us. Even though many titles may come from friends at school, I know that my daughter’s tolerance for scary is not the same as one of her good friend’s. Common Sense Media us figure what movies might be a good match. Many times I’ll send my kids on Common Sense Media to check out titles too. At a glance, they can see if the suggested age is skewing older or if a title is a bit too violent for them.
3. Come to a consensus
Remember how I mentioned that we have an an 11 year old girl and 8 year old boy with diverse tastes in what they like to watch? Coming to a consensus may seem impossible but after they have a chance to research various movies on Common Sense Media, they generally come to a consensus on what they want to watch for our Saturday movie nights. Titles that almost make the cut are noted for future movie nights.
4. Make it special
Movie nights may be a weekly occurrence but they’re still a treat because they’re a departure from our normal hectic schedules. We like to mix up our movie nights. Some nights we’ll order a pizza to have in front of the tv. Other nights we declare sundaes for dinner. And we’ll always let the kids stay up a little later than usual to finish the movie because hooray- there’s no school on Sunday!
5. Declare the evening device-free
Before you start the movie, make it a habit to leave your devices in another room. I know it’s tempting to scroll through Instagram and check Facebook during the parts of the movie that you don’t love as much as your kids but we can all put down our phones for a couple hours in honor of family time. Plus this practice sets a good example for your kids as they get older since you’re showing them that it’s ok to unplug and be away from your devices.
So what are you doing tonight?
Hopefully I’ve gotten you thinking about latest releases and titles to stream for your next movie night! If you need some suggestions, Netflix suggests these titles for your next family movie or TV night. Just remember step 2- read the reviews on Common Sense Media to determine if the suggestions below are right for your family.
- Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
- The Pirate Fairy
- Angelina Ballerina
- Bob the Builder
- The Muppet Movie
- Strange Hill High
- The Avengers
- The Smurfs 2
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- Free Birds
- Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure
- The Breakfast Club
- Friday Night Lights
- The Vampire Diaries
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
- 13 Going on 30
This post was inspired by Netflix. No compensation was received but my family does enjoy a complimentary Netflix subscription and other items for my involvement as a Netflix Stream Team Member. Images courtesy of Netflix.