When Friday night rolls around, my husband and I are usually exhausted. We want to do something fun with the kids but we don't have a lot of time and energy.
Many nights we just lay on the couch and watch a movie together. While this is a fun way to spend time together, I found that with a little creativity and planning, you can amp up your movie night to make it even more special. Most of these ideas use items you already have in your house, which makes it easy for Mom and Dad.
Here's how to be the most fun Mom on the block with these simple tips on making Movie Night the most anticipated night of the week.
1. Shake up the seating arrangements!
Make the movie watching experience even more fun by shaking up the way you watch it. If you have a large room, set up chairs movie theater style in front of the TV so it seems like you are at the theater. Make sure you turn the lights off for full effect. We have a pull-out sofa bed in our family room, so the kids love when we pull out the couch and watch the movie in our pajamas. Set up a tent in front of the TV so all of you or just the kids can watch the movie through the tent flaps.
2. Snack it up!
Make popcorn and give everyone their own bowl and gourmet popcorn toppings like white cheddar or Cajun flavors. You can buy these shaker toppings at the grocery store. Check out these recipes for some fun movie or game night snack food. If you have more of a sweet tooth, try an ice cream sundae bar. Before the movie starts set out the ice cream and various toppings and let the kids create. For pete’s sake, don’t forget the sprinkles! If you really want to go all out, make Homemade Pizza while you watch the movie. Here's my family's killer pizza recipe. Finally, at the grocery store you can buy the movie theater size candy boxes. Go ahead and splurge and let the kids have their own box of Mike & Ike’s or Junior Mints.
3. Build on a theme.
If you know what movie you are going to watch ahead of time, you can have fun with the theme of the movie. If you are watching Indiana Jones – hide some rubber snakes around the family room to surprise the kids. If you are watching Madagascar, have your kids grab their zebra, hippo, giraffe, lion or penguin stuffed animals to help watch. If you are watching Cars, set up a Hot Wheels track so the kids can race while they watch. If you are watching Monsters, Inc. grab your favorite Ugly Doll or have your kids draw what they think their monster-in-the-closet looks like. Get the idea?
4. Share the fun.
Just because you are staying home to watch a movie, don’t feel like it has to be family-only event. Invite the neighbors over to watch. The adults can watch the movie, chat or play cards while the kids watch. Have your kids make some pretend tickets and hand them out to their friends in the neighborhood, so they can turn them in when they come over. Your kids will love ripping the ticket stubs when the guests arrive. You don't need to clean the house and cook for days for this. Just invite someone over, have everyone bring snacks, and make sure there's a place to sit. It's all about having fun. What's a few dust bunnies or laundry piles amongst friends?
5. The best movies star you.
If you have any home movies or Grandma and Grandpa do, what better movie to watch than one where you are the star. Kids love seeing themselves on film. My kids love watching our wedding video and seeing everyone there looking so young. (I look the same, of course.) Get out those vacation videos and reminisce. We found a treasure in Grandma's attic once - movies of Grandpa when he was stationed in Iceland.
Do you do anything special to make Movie Night more fun? What are some of your family's favorite movies?
There are a lot more fun Family Night ideas at ChocolateCakeMoments.com.