When Lewie turned two we took him to his first movie. We assumed he would last 15 minutes but to our surprise he was enchanted through the ENTIRE MOVIE, eating popcorn like a pro and everything! It sounds silly, but it was truly a magical experience. One of those “firsts” you never want to forget. I actually saved the movie stub for his baby book. Curious what movie?
Paddington 2! Which, is you haven’t seen, you need to remedy immediately. It’s unbelievably charming. Here is a great review about why children and adults need more movies like Paddington 2. Also this quote from the Wall Street Journal made me laugh, but it’s also true: “Paddington 2 is “The Godfather Part II” of Peruvian bear movies, a sequel that surpasses the superb original.”
Completely impressed by Lewie’s attention span through the movie, we decided to implement family movie nights on Friday evenings. Of course we can’t do it every Friday, but when we can I like having a sweet ritual to mark the end of the week. I usually make something simple for dinner, pasta or pizza (the best pizza dough recipe here ) and eat in front of the telly.
I pretty much always make popcorn too, which is one of my all time favorite foods. It’s a very simple routine, but I’ve found that it’s something to look forward to. While Paddington 2 tops this list, here’s a few more movies we’ve found worked with Lewie, aka not too scary, and that we also don’t mind watching on repeat.
Cars & Cars 3 – Underrated Pixar movies, especially Cars 3 which has a sweet message.
Toy Story 2 – Toy Story is terrifying through toddler eyes. Toy Story 2 is pretty perfect.
Monsters Inc. & Monsters U – Both have a couple scary parts, but overall super fun.
The Muppets – The newer one, although I would love to re-watch the classics too.
Mary Poppins – This movie is way too long for toddlers, but the parts we watch he loves.
And some movies on the watchlist: Lady & The Tramp, Lost & Found & Fantasia.
My all time favorite movie as a child was Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang, but watching it as an adult I realize it’s pretty terrifying, so I’ll probably wait a bit before letting Lewie watch the whole thing.
P.S. – Here is an easy recipe for homemade popcorn. There is a ton of popcorn advise out there that involves extra steps that I never do. I just throw in some coconut oil, let it melt, add the popcorn and shake. Does it burn? Sometimes, a bit. Do I eat it all anyways? Absolutely. Finish with her favorite seasoning and try to share.
What about you? Do you do family movie night? What are your current favorites?