Whether or not we like to admit it, hibernation season is a reality for humans too. The days are shorter and the temperatures drop. For those of us that have the job of keeping little ones entertained (without spending tons of money), the winter months can feel like a marathon of idea generation. From science experiments to board games to arts and crafts, we spin our wheels to make the indoor-time more engaging.
Movie night is always a great option for winter nights, especially if you’re able to extend the entertainment beyond just watching the film. Making a day full of themed activities that culminate in a watch party makes the movie that much more special (and the kids entertained for longer).
Here’s an example of how you can make it a stand-out, magical movie day, not just a standard movie night.
Take Abominable, an animated picture from the studio that brought us How to Train your Dragon – Abominable is a heartwarming and humorous story that follows teenage Yi (Bennet) as she encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building in China, she and her mischievous friends, Jin and Peng, name him “Everest” and embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth.
Yi, Everest and the gang come home just in time for the holiday on Digital, DVD, and Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
Here’s a potential outline for an Abominable-themed movie day:
Morning: Coloring and Word Searches
Ease into the day with printable activities you can prep the night or days before. As you sit with your morning coffee or breakfast, give the kids the opportunity to meet the characters via adorable coloring sheets, mazes, and word finds. Use this time to also talk about what’s in store for the full movie-themed day.
Mid-Morning: Prep Movie-Watching Treats
Is it really a movie event without some treats to go with? While popcorn is a great staple, it’s always fun to have something prepared that ties into the world that is created on-screen. Incorporate the kids into making treats for the whole family. Abominable is set in the Himalayan mountains, so this recipe for the Snowball cake pops is perfect!
Afternoon: Get Dressed for the Occasion
Every great movie fandom comes with a little cosplay—a.k.a. dress-up. Take the opportunity to flex your skills for your future comic-con attendees without having to thread a single needle. Grab a shirt or sweater that is on its last leg and create some custom movie watching outfits together. Click here to view a guide for creating an Abominable Sweater.
Early evening: Build Everest’s Home
A good movie is made even better in a special setting. Sitting on the couch is something done on a normal night, but every now and then it’s exciting to mix it up. That can be as simple as pushing back the couch and bringing out every pillow in the house to lay on the floor. Or, going the extra mile and preparing a fort that is inspired by Everest’s home. Calling all sheets, blankets, couch pillows and sleeping bags to the family room, please!
Evening: Get Cozy and Hit Play
By this point, the anticipation level for the viewing will be high. You’ll have your treats, you’ll have custom gear, and your setting will be on theme. You’ll be ready to immerse yourself in the magical world of Abominable together. Not to mention, after a full day of engaging their brains in crafts and activities even the most rambunctious will be ready to tuck-in for a cozy and calm screening.
This approach can also come in handy if you’re looking for a night away but want to provide your sitter with an engaging list of activities. Simply stock up on supplies and share the guide directly with the sitter. Activities like these also give them a reason to snap photos of their progress to give you updates on what is happening while you’re away.
Whether it’s for the family or for the sitter, winter will feel warmer with a least one movie day on the calendar this season. Cheers and happy watching!