I find it’s becoming harder to spend time as a family. Between my husband’s work schedule, school for my kids, sports and just the hustle and bustle of everyday life, time together is scarce and sacred. Over the past few months our family has started the tradition of doing “movie night” every Sunday night. We find it’s the perfect way to wind down the week and get some time together where we are all focused on the same thing. What has really been fun for us is that nearly all the movies we’ve watched with the kids have been movies my husband and I enjoyed when we were young.
The Makings of Our Family Movie Night
Like a lot of things our movie night tradition happened by accident. My husband and I were talking with our daughter about all the great movies we had when we were kids. I don’t know why but “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” came into my head. We decided to grab take-out and watch it with them. My kids loved the movie and my husband and I loved the time spent together and watching them enjoy something we enjoyed. Then and there movie night Sundays were born.
Movie nights in our house look like this: We get the kids in their PJs (for comfort but mostly so we can put them right to bed when the movie is over). Then my husband runs and grabs all of us dinner while I set up our family room ottoman as a dinner table. We usually have to rent the movie from iTunes (we sometimes get lucky with Netflix), and once my husband gets home we start the movie. Super simple, but so fun.
Past Movie Reviews
The only challenge my husband and I have is choosing a movie. We want something my 9 year old will enjoy but will also keep my 4 year old’s attention. Choosing movies in the beginning was easy so I thought I’d give you the list of movies we have watched and how they rated on our movie night scale. I was a film major in college so this is my dream coming to fruition.
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids ⭐️⭐️⭐️ – We loved this one! It kept both of our kids attention. My 9 year old was just a little sad when the ant died and hated the kissing scene in the LEGO.
- Mighty Ducks ⭐️ – Much to my husband’s dismay neither of my children liked this movie. That night was more of a free-for-all with them running around the family room and us trying to keep them quiet.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (original and sequel) ⭐️⭐️ – My kids were into it but as the movie went on their attention started to get off track.
- Richie Rich ⭐️⭐️ – My daughter liked this one. However it was a little difficult for my son to stay interested as there are only a few parts of action. Also the technology that the movie had was amazing in the 90s – now not so impressive to our kids.
- 3 Ninjas ⭐️⭐️⭐️ – This was Home Alone meets Karate Kid as far as my kids were concerned. They loved it – the only reason I’m not giving it 4 stars is because they spent a lot of time acting out the karate moves instead of watching the movie.
- Adams Family ⭐️⭐️ – My daughter liked this one – my son not so much. Also there are some sensual references that made me a little uncomfortable.
- Men In Black ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – This was a HUGE hit! Both my kids loved it and I forgot how much I loved it too! Bonus is that we all did the “Men In Black dance” when it was over.
- Casper ⭐️⭐️ – My son was only interested in this when the three brother ghosts came out. My daughter felt it was a little too young for her and she HATED the kiss at the end.
- Beethoven ⭐️⭐️⭐️ – We all loved this one! The only reason this doesn’t have four stars is because my daughter begged me for a dog for a solid week after we saw it.
- Hook ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Talk about a surprise! We thought that my 4 year would be so bored. He absolutely loved it! He was so intensely watching it and my daughter loved it too! Bonus is that the speech Hook gives to the kids about bedtime is spot on!
- Home Alone ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – I feel like this one should be in every family movie library. My son was running around the house with his hands on his cheeks screaming for a good two weeks after this. This is a great family movie for kids of any age!
- Kindergarten Cop ⭐️ – I remember when I was a kid parents were so mad when they saw this movie in the theater with their kids. I didn’t get it then but I do now. The first 20-30 minutes of this movie are NOT kid friendly. It’s a typical Arnold Schwarzenegger movie with cursing, gun fire, drug use and death. Wouldn’t recommend it.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – This was a great movie for both my kids. There were so many catchy songs that kept my son amused and my daughter loved the story line.
- Ghostbusters (the original) ⭐️⭐️⭐️ – How could you not like Ghostbusters? My kids are now the newest fans of Egon, Peter, Ray and Winston (and Slimer!). We did have to fast forward the scene between Dana and Peter when she becomes Zuul and they are in her bedroom.
- Hocus Pocus ⭐️⭐️ – To be honest – I never saw this movie until movie night (gasp!). My kids weren’t overly thrilled and honestly I was tired of my daughter asking me what a “virgin” was. If you have inquisitive kids and you think they’d like this – prepare yourself to answer that question.
- Hotel Transylvania (1 and 2) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – This is the only current movie we have seen with them. We all loved it! It has humor that only an adult would understand but it keeps the kids amused throughout!
- Jurassic Park ⭐️⭐️⭐️ – A lot of you may balk at this one, but my daughter saw it when she was 3 and loved it, so we gave it a try. We shielded my sons eyes during certain scenes and gave my daughter the option to look (she didn’t). I also told her when something would happen so she was prepared. The majority went over my 4 year old’s head and at the end he declared “T-Rex saves the world!”
Our Future Movie Nights
I don’t know how long we can keep our movie nights going. Hopefully for years to come, although coming up with movies will be tough. We have more movies on our our list to go through. I’m sure we will add some on and take some off as the kids get older and their interests change. In the end, the movies we watch aren’t what is important. What’s important is that we are spending time together and enjoying each others company (most of the time). My husband and I not only love re-watching some of our favorite movies, but we love watching our kids experience them for the first time. If you ever find some downtime in your crazy schedule, order some pizza, pop in (or stream) one of these movies and enjoy some quality family time.