Tips for a Successful Movie Outing with Your Preschooler

Image via Mindi Stavish
Image via Mindi Stavish

This past weekend I took my four-year-old to see a movie in the theater and we both had a lot of fun.  For a child who rarely sits still longer than 10 minutes, he shocked me when he made it through most of the movie.  About sixty minutes into the movie, he was getting up and down out of his seat, but he continued to watch the rest of the movie.  I enjoyed watching his reactions to the entire movie theater experience.   

Here are a few ideas for making your child's first movie enjoyable for the both of you.  

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Image via Flickr/Tim Psych

1.  Do Your Homework

From using the kiosk to pick up our tickets to the big comfy chairs that recline, it made my heart happy to see him so excited. 

Do a little research on the movies that may interest your child to determine which one will be most appropriate for your child.  The website Kids In Mind is a fantastic resource, as it rates movies on a scale of 0 to 10 in the following topics: sex/nudity, violence/gore, and profanity. It also provides a list of discussion topics that a child may have and the overall message of the movie.

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Image via Flickr/bossco

2. Purchase Tickets Before You Go

Fandango makes purchasing movie tickets ahead of time simple and quick.   Another benefit of purchasing your tickets ahead of time is that you don't have to get to the theater early. The less waiting time the better. Many theaters are now letting you select your seat at the time you purchase your tickets, as well. If your local theater offers this, my tip is to select seats close to the end of the aisle to get in and out of the theater for bathroom breaks quickly.

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Image via Flickr/}{enry

3. Reduce the Noise

Many preschool children may find the volume at the movies to be too loud. Bring hearing protection earmuffs to lower the volume for them while in the theater.

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Image via Flickr/madaise

4. Prepare Your Child For Darkness

If your child is afraid of the dark, they may not be ready for going to the movies. The only way you will know for sure, though, is to give it a try. Days before heading to the theater, practice watching TV in the dark with your child. Let your child know that the lights will be turned off and you will not be able to turn them on if he or she gets scared. Sometimes all it takes is explaining what will happen before the situation, to avoid a meltdown.

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Image via Flickr/Rusty Clark

 

5. Expect Interruptions

Your preschooler will most likely barrage you with questions throughout the entire movie. Instead of shushing them, answer their questions. If you find yourself becoming frustrated with their endless chatting just remind yourself that this is their way of processing new experiences.

Have you taken your child to the movie theater yet?  If so, what did they love most about the experience?

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What do you think?

Tips for a Successful Movie Outing with Your Preschooler

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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3 comments

  1. Gabriel says:

    I wish we still had a drive in. But, waiting a couple of weeks to avoid the opening weekend crowds helps a lot too. That way when my 2&1/2yr old son starts getting a little restless he can stand up and walk around a little.

  2. Sarah says:

    I suggest going to the drive in and park in the front row. You get an uninterrupted view of the movie, the kids can stand up, ask questions and even run around a little without bothering anyone. We’ve done this with our 2 year old twin girls. They loved it!

  3. Phammom says:

    Thinking around age 5.

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