After writing about our “Drive-in” movie-themed and “Brave” archery party, I thought it would be fun to share this guest post from Jenny Franklin, who writes for Party Pail. She also has some good ideas for a themed family movie night. Though I’ve never seen the movie she’s referencing, “The Croods” (a movie about a caveman family), I could see how some of these ideas could apply to lots of other movies my girls enjoy. Here’s her post:
Making Family Movie Nights Fun
As a parent, if you find yourself getting bored with family movie night you can be sure the kids have already beat you there. Instead of trying to keep everyone sitting still for a couple of hours, why not make it an active experience? Most likely, you and the kids have already seen the movies you’re going to watch before, so why just sit through it again? It’s time to rev up family movie night and make it more than just a shared experience of vegging in front of the television together.
Children of all ages, and parents too, will enjoy making family night at the movies an interactive, role-playing bonanza. I did this recently with my family when we decided to watch the movie “The Croods.” But it can be done with practically any movie that your kids enjoy from “Toy Story” to “The Lorax.”
Get everyone in the mood with some dinner fare taken straight out of the movie. It’s a good idea to have some finger foods or snacks that can be eaten during the movie. Our kids came up with what we were going to have for dinner, squashed piranha birds. Instead of pizza, we pretended to eat piranha birds that we squashed with a rock. We made brownie mix but didn’t cook it for the tar pools. We had to eat our way out.
This can be as easy or as complicated as you’d like. We all wore shorts and went barefoot. We even sat around the fireplace eating our smashed attack birds and grunting at each other. The boys, including my husband, who seemed to enjoy this a bit too much, went shirtless and all of us smeared makeup on our faces to make us look more caveman-esque.
The roles we played were pretty much determined for us ahead of time. I didn’t mind playing the part of Ugga, my husband loved being Grug, while my daughter took naturally to Eep and my son preferred the role of Sandy, the wild one (small surprise there).
Set the stage
For “The Croods” setting the stage was as much fun as the movie. We made a cave out of blankets and used the fire place to sit around. We pretended pillows were rocks which we either sat on or tossed at each other.
The family pets also had roles for our movie. Our cat played the part of Macawnivore, the big colorful cat in the movie, perfectly. Every so often my son would drop her in one of our laps and tell us we were being attacked. Then we’d all act like the cat got into the cave and run and hide. Our dog played the role of Douglas the cave family’s crocopup.
It wasn’t too hard to encourage the kids to act out their favorite scenes. By far our favorite was giving each other “snapshots.” We’d rub each others’ faces with imaginary mud and slap them with a pillow (our rocks). From time to time one of the kids would yell “Macawnivore!” and we’d all have to climb into our blanket cave and block the entrance with pillows.
Before we knew it the movie was over, and we had an experience none of us will soon forget. While cleaning up our theater we all started suggesting movies for our next family night. Maybe we’ll go with “Shrek” or “A Night at the Museum.” Whichever it is, I’m looking forward to seeing what we do with the movie more than the movie itself.
Jenny Franklin is a mother and a party planner at heart. She enjoys writing for Party Pail when not coming up with creative activities for children and adults alike.
Thanks Jenny for the guest post! I’m thinking of lots of fun ideas for movie watching with my girls now. I wonder if I could get them to clean house while watching Cinderella…