Whether you have tots, teens, or in-betweens you are probably looking for ways to keep them busy this summer. Sometimes even the evenings need a plan, a little focus, maybe even a theme? Planning a Family Movie or game night not only keeps everyone busy but is an amazingly fun way to build and strengthen the bonds among you and your little ones, or not so little ones. I love to pick a movie or some games and theme the entire evening around it. It takes a little more effort and planning but the kids, especially the younger ones really enjoy it more and are delighted to find snacks, and even a decoration or two that match their favorite flick. Board games make a great springboard for themes as well. You can have a theme family night every week, biweekly, or even just once a month-whatever works for you and your family.
Family Movie and Family Game Night Ideas
I begin my planning by deciding on a movie or main game to be played, either on my own as a surprise or with the family. I start brainstorming snacks, and even sometimes a craft or activity to go along with our them. I set out a basket of treats-some are specifically themed to the movie, others are just favorites. Popcorn is a staple in our house so we start with that, snacks needn’t be difficult, homemade, or time consuming. Fruit snacks come in dozens of characters, animals, shapes, etc. Anything can be given a cute name to make it fit with your chosen theme. Frozen Fondue or Despicable Meatballs anyone? Handmade food name tents are a great , inexspensive decoration as well. My favorite way to decorate and set the mood is to gather props from the kids toys- stuffed animals, Barbie dolls, action figures, even fast food toys. We usually have at least a few items to match any movie we might choose. I have a few ideas for each to get you started. These ideas are also a wonderful way to spend a rainy afternoon together as well.
Game Theme Ideas
Candyland-Think bright colors, with; gum drops, lollipops, cotton candy, chocolate milk for snacks (after a healthy dinner of course). Fun and whimsical treats will put this classic family game over the top as a theme.
Operation– I think the grosser the treats the higher the fun factor with this game. Small pretzels dipped in white chocolate for bones, noodles for brains, string cheese is easily pulled into the shape of a wishbone, gummy hearts. For dinner serve ribs. If you have any x-rays on hand hang them up to decorate, spread a child’s doctor kit on the food table to set the mood.
Monopoly- Gold wrapped chocolate coins, Toy paper money from Dollar Tree for a little decoration, a few handmade “deeds”. Offer a special treat for whoever lands on free parking. Go Directly to Jail Jello, Park Place Popcorn, just a few ideas for your special snacks.
Family Movie Night Ideas
Finding Nemo– Goldfish crackers, Nemo fruit snacks, hot dogs cut in the shape of an octopus, there are tons of ocean themed food ideas out there. Hang some green crepe paper from the ceiling to simulate sea weed, maybe few clear balloons tossed around for bubbles-balloons make a great activity too.
Jungle Book– You can bring out the whole jungle with some animal crackers, bear claws for Baloo, and some Jungle juice. Hang a few vines, bring out some stuffed jungle animals and you will have a swinging good time.
VeggiesTales- This is a house favorite, and I’m glad, because they are fun and wholesome- great choices for a family movie. It also makes a perfect excuse to serve a veggie tray with ranch for dipping, V-8, and fruits. I like to throw out something they have never tried before- they are likely to try something when its served with a favorite movie.
What is your favorite movie to snuggle up with the kids and watch? Favorite board game?