Movies are intended to entertain, but they can be so much more. With a little planning on your part, movie night can be a fun and educational experience for your child.
For a long time, our family has had a weekly “movie night” on Friday night. Family movie nights are more structured than simply renting a movie and letting the kids watch it. The point of a family movie night is to make it a simple but special event that involves the whole family. Set a movie start time and take care of all chores before you settle in for the show. Sometimes my kids will even make special tickets and collect them as we enter the “theater”. You can set a cinematic tone by preparing bowls of popcorn and other snacks.
For added interest, make your snacks “match" the movie thematically. You could use family movie nights to introduce foods the kids might not normally try. For example, you could whip up a batch of “Turkish Delight” to go along with a viewing of The Chronicles of Narnia, or you could introduce Indian bread and chutney while watching Bend It Like Beckham.
Thanks to the internet, it is easy to learn about the movie before the designated night. Reading online reviews will help you choose appropriate movies for your family and give you an idea of what the movie is about so you can plan appropriate snacks and activities.
Often my children will have questions about the setting or the characters. With a little planning, I find I am more prepared to answer these questions and can even devise my own “lesson plan” to go along with the movie we are watching that week.
A little more research will likely yield activity suggestions or even entire lesson plans and study guides devoted to the movie. Using these resources, families can prepare activities for before and after viewing the film.
Depending on the film, our family might have a pre-movie discussion about the film’s setting and some background information. If we have found some interesting activities based on the movie, we may schedule these for the following day.
By expanding the movie experience, you and your children will learn so much more from time spent watching movies.
Caren Bugay has lots of tips and resourcs to enhance your child's education. Find more great ideas at http://www.helpyourchildrenlearn.com