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Tips for Your Child’s First Trip to the Movies

Tips for Your Child’s First Trip to the Movies

What’s a family to do on a rainy summer vacation day? Taking a trip to the movies is always a fun option! But if your little ones have never been to a movie theater before, the thought of having them sit – and stay quiet! – through an entire movie can be daunting for parents. How can you make your child’s first trip to the movies go a little smoother? Members of the Family Room blog team are sharing their best movie-going advice.

Kids at the movie theater

Tips for Taking Children to the Movie Theater

Amy: My son’s first trip to the movies was last summer, a few months shy of his third birthday. My best piece of advice is to take it in stride and let your child drive the experience (within reason). For instance, your child may not want to sit out the full movie so be prepared to take a walk. Or, like my son, he was so enthusiastic about the movie that he stood a lot and even got up and danced some. I find most moviegoers at movies appropriate for this age group are way more accommodating to occasional outbursts of chatter and dance, within reason of course. And don’t forget the popcorn – it’s such a fun part of the overall experience!

Kris-Ann: A few years ago, I wrote a post about my kids’ first trip to the movies! Be prepared to be flexible and take breaks if needed.

Allison: Make sure your child is ready! If your child won’t sit and watch a movie at home, being in a theatre won’t be any different. Children get distracted easily, so they need to be at the age where they understand what’s going on in the movie and will actually sit and watch the entire thing. I made the mistake of taking my daughter to a movie too early for her (age 4). Instead of watching the movie, she played with a little girl who was sitting in the same row as us for the entire second half. Now that she is 6, she really enjoys going to the movies and I usually take her as a reward for good behavior, doing good in school or something else commendable! Also, consider bringing your own snacks, water bottle or juice box to avoid your child wanting overpriced (and unhealthy) candy.

Media Mom: Lower your expectations. Wait until your child expresses – on their own – that they want to go to the movies. They may well be 5 years or older before this happens. Choose a movie that is definitely within their age range – think younger than you might otherwise. And don’t be disappointed if you need to leave well before it’s over, whether that’s because they’re bored, scared, or need to go to the potty and don’t care to return.

What are your top tips for bringing children to the movie theater? Share in the comments area below.

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