The days when we used to all sit around snuggled on the couch with favorite snacks as we watched a movie together seem to be disappearing. As sad as this might be, it’s reflective of how the way our family consumes content has changed as our kids have grown up and the way that digital content is changing our viewing habits. While movie nights used to revolve around physical copies of DVDs and Blu-rays™, these days Digital HD makes it easy to watch what we want, when we want.
Emily retreated to stream a series she’s totally into on her laptop, my husband caught up on The Tonight Show and The Daily Show episodes on our DVR, and Thomas and I sat on the couch to watch Pinocchio on a tablet. It had been years since I had seen Pinocchio and I loved sharing the experience of introducing the movie to Thomas, who had never seen it before. He loved the adventures that Pinocchio faced with faithful friend Jiminy Cricket, that tested his bravery, loyalty and honesty as he tried to fulfill his desire to become a real boy. And who couldn’t love the inspiration that comes with wishing upon a star!
Even though Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere allows us to watch what we want on our devices, wherever we want, we make a point of putting our phones down to come together and bond around movies like we always have.
If your family’s viewing habits are shifting as you take advantage of the Digital HD copies that come in Blu-ray Combo Pack or through Disney Movies Anywhere, here’s how to continue to make family movie nights a bonding experience in the digital age.
Dedicate a certain day of the week and time for your movie nights
Everyone needs something to look forward to so schedule your movie nights just like you would a work meeting or a recital or sporting event. Putting your movie night on the calendar not only gives it importance but ensures that you make the time for family bonding.
Discuss what everyone is going to be watching
Just as you discuss what movies you’re going to see in a theater, do the same at home. Talk to kids about what movies their friends are watching, new releases that have come out, and what you look forward to watching when it comes out on Digital HD. While you’re at it, make sure you have age appropriate content for everyone since what’s right for an older child is probably not right for a younger one. Check sites like Common Sense Media to ensure what your child wants to watch is just right for them.
Create a charging station to keep all devices charged
With everyone watching content on separate digital devices, it’s important to ensure that all devices are charged before movie night so no one dies before the movie ends. Despite your best intentions, kids can still run in the red. Have a basket of portable chargers ready just in case so family members can quickly grab what they need, plug in, and get back to what they’re watching.
Ventev is my go-to for portable chargers. I like their new PowerCell 3015c that has a connected cable (you can order one with micro USB or Lightning) and 3000 mAh. I often keep the the pictured PowerCell 6000 in my purse because it has two ports for charging two devices at once plus a wall plug so I can charge it and my devices at the same time. My hands-down favorite that is the Ventev PowerCell 10000 because it features multiple ports, built in micro USB and Lightning cables, the ability to charge laptops and phones, and packs a whopping 10,000 mAh that can charge my phone or tablet multiple times.
Invest in Bluetooth headphones
While any pair of headphones you have is fine, Bluetooth headphones provide you with a wireless viewing experience so you can disconnect from your digital device. Over the ear styles are great for younger kids who might get tangled up in cords while watching but I’m loving the new completely cord-free Samsung Gear IconX (pictured at the bottom in blue) and was recently introduced to Jaybird Freedom (red pair on the right) and Jaybird X3 Sport headphones. While these pairs are perfect for parents, they’re definitely an investment! Tweens and teens who want the freedom that comes with wireless headphones won’t have any trouble finding more affordable ones on Amazon.
Have favorite snacks on hand
No movie night is complete without snacks! Stock up on snack size boxes of candy, have a big bowl of popcorn ready so everyone can scoop out a bowl, and pre-chill favorite drinks.
This post was written as part of the Pinocchio #GotNoStrings campaign with the Walt Disney Signature Collection and Disney Movies Anywhere. We received a movie pack to celebrate the release of Disney’s timeless tale of Pinocchio. Considered one of the greatest animated films ever made, this Academy Award winner is now part of the Walt Disney Signature Collection and available on Digital HD, Blu-ray™, DVD, and through Disney Movies Anywhere. No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links are included in this post.