Watching films all together as a family is a great way to make memories and relax. While going out to the cinema isn't an option currently, there are lots of fun ways you can create your very own at-home cinema experience that the whole family can enjoy together. From getting crafty and making your own tickets to delicious movie snacks, we've put together lots of fun ideas to help kids throw a great movie night at home!
Pick Your Film
Maybe the most challenging part of making a movie night happen is choosing a film that the whole family will love. We suggest selecting a genre and listing your favourites as a family before selecting one. Or, to take the stress out of decision-making, why not use a film roulette? You can make your very own 'decision spinner' by writing or drawing a selection of films on a piece of card, then attaching it to a board with a pin. Then, each time you have a movie night, kids can take it in turn to spin the spinner and select a film!
Once you've decided on a film, it's time to get advertising your movie night! Kids will love making their very own 'movie posters'. All you need for this activity is a few A4 sheets of paper, and pens or crayons, and the kids can spend some time getting creative and thinking about the themes of the film (Top Tip: This activity also works great post-film, as you can ask kids to make posters focusing on their favourite parts of the movie).
Of course, nobody can get into a cinema without their own ticket! It's easy to make cinema tickets at home, using a piece of card sectioned into ticket-sized rectangles. Kids can write all the details of the film, venue, and time, and decorate their tickets, before cutting the card and giving everyone their unique cinema pass.
Top Tip: If you want to make your tickets extra realistic and you don't have a perforation cutter, hold a ruler across the ticket and firmly (depending on the thickness of the card) roll a rotary pizza cutter over it. This way, the kids can have fun tearing and collecting the ticket stubs as everyone enters the cinema.
Set Up Your Cinema
Time to decide what kind of cinema you'd like to go to. Maybe it's a cosy fort with lots of pillows, or a formal affair with reserved seating (in which case, you will need to use some seat reservation cards of course!). It's a great idea to use a projector if you have one at home, or a laptop, iPad or television all work perfectly. We recommend you also designate an area for your delicious movie snacks!
Theme Your Night
If the movie you've picked is a particular family favourite, don't be shy to make it a themed night! Outfits, themed food and decorations are all ways you could take it up a notch and create an extra special evening. Some fun ideas for a themed movie night are:
'Frozen' Night: Brrr! Turn your house into a wintery wonderland with paper snowflake decorations, 'snowstorm cupcakes' (fairy cakes with desiccated coconut on top), and of course, fabulous outfits.
'Jungle Book' Night: The Bare Necessities of what you'll need for this movie night are some green tissue paper to make 'forest-like' streamers, as many stuffed animals as you can find, and some 'bear snacks' (think cherries, blueberries and raspberries- all food that bears eat!). Nuts, seeds and any animal-shaped foods are also great.
'Moana' Night: Whisk your family away to the ocean with a sea-themed movie night. Paper plate turtles and jellyfish make beautiful decorations, and you could even blow some bubbles to add to the atmosphere. Pop some paper umbrellas in your drinks and serve up some seaweed snacks (green strawberry laces)!
'Harry Potter' Night: Get magical with some wizard outfits, and create fascinating drinkable 'potions' (carbonated lemonade with different food colourings in). You could even make special tickets by staining paper with coffee and burning the edges, to give them a 'magical' feel.
'Ratatouille' Night: Ooh la la! Chef's hats or french berets are a must for this theme. You could even serve all the snacks in tiny portions, as if the kids are at a fancy restaurant just like the one in the movie.
Make Your Movie Snacks
One great thing about watching a movie at home is that you get to buy or make as many movie snacks as you need, for a fraction of the cost! Here are some top ideas for yummy movie nibbles that parents and kids will both love:
-DIY Homemade Pizza: This list of pizza recipes has something for every palette, and kids will have tons of fun getting to make their own pizzas from scratch (yes, there's an easy dough recipe in there too!).
-Healthy Nachos: For those who love a bit of cheesy goodness while they watch a movie, nachos are the way to go. Throw in some roasted veggies and half-fat creme fraiche instead of sour cream for a healthier option.
-Popcorn: The classic movie food, popcorn is easy to make and is sure to go down well with the whole family.
-Fizzy Drinks: Everyone loves something to sip during a movie. The homemade strawberry fizz recipe in this post is a low-sugar fruity alternative to other fizzy drinks, only has three ingredients, and makes up one of your five-a-day!
Make It A Sing-Along!
Nowadays, there are so many musical films that kids just love to sing along to. Why not make it an official sing-along movie night and pop on the subtitles (or sing-along feature if there is one) and belt out the tunes? Bonus points for movie-themed fancy dress!
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.