Our good friends, you know the ones that are contagious, the ones that are so much fun, kind, considerate, and just make you feel all around better after hanging out with them? The ones were you find yourself counting down the days till your next visit? Yep, those friends were back in town visiting family and friends this past week/weekend and we tried to soak up as much time as allotted by their busy schedule. We had a chance to meet up at Story time last week and we had a Moms’ Sleep Under Night (instead of a sleepover night…more to in a future blog) Friday evening that was a lot of fun but we wanted one last visit, if possible. I guess that’s what you get when you are such great people, friends and family what to hang out with you all the time and they simply can’t get enough, lol!
Though, I understand and realize that running from one relative to the next, one friend’s to the next, and one activity to the next can become exhausting. So, since it was toward the end of their visit and the kiddos had been on a sporadic schedule, including sleep schedule, and their mommy had to have been getting towards her wit’s end (though she would never show it, she has such poise, no matter what the situation) I tried to think of a relaxing activity for both the kiddos and moms. Then it came to me, Movie Night!!
So, in our travels that day we stopped at Target and the kiddos picked out some treats for movie night. They decided on popcorn, animal crackers, and apple juice, yum! Then we headed home and prepped the family room for Movie Night. We moved the coffee table, brought down a quilt to lie on the floor for added comfort and easy clean-up, and added cozy pillows.
Then came the most difficult part of the evening, determining which movie to watch? We have a nice selection of girl movies (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Barbie, etc.), boy movies (Batman, Spiderman, etc.) , and then as my son states, baby movies (Winnie the Pooh, Elmo, Veggie Tales but I think that is for older kids too, though he begs to differ). Where we are lacking is in movies that are great for a general audience, boys, girls, and toddlers. We have a few like The Chipmunks (which they unanimously voted on Chipmunks: Shipwrecked), Toy Story 3, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and A Bugs Life but we would like to expand our selection for Family Movie nights as well as Movie Night with friends. So please share…..
What are your kiddo’s favorite movies? Likewise, what are some movies we should steer clear of? What kind of snacks do you serve during Movie Nights?
We hosted our very first Movie night last weekend courtesy of Mommyparties.com and Oral-B Stages and it was a blast!
Two weeks prior to the viewing of Winnie the Pooh the kiddos sat down and made a list of the friends they would like to invite to the Movie night and we sent out the invitations (movie tickets provided, too cute!). We requested that all our guest come in their pajamas, bring a pillow pet, snuggy, or pillow/blanket of their choice to cozy up with while they watched the movie, and to be certain to bring their movie ticket.
The anticipation seemed to mount with each passing day until it was finally the day of the movie viewing. When the doorbell rang announcing our first guest the kiddos made a mad dash to the door, screaming in pure excitement as the greeted their friend. When the next guest arrived they all joined in again, stampeding to the door and screaming with delight, (why do we lose this genuine excitement as adults? I can’t remember the last time I greeted my husband after he came home from work in the same fashion, I might try it some time. He will either love it or think I am a raging lunatic). It continued on like this until the last guest arrived.
After the kiddos greeted our guest and took their coats they then directed them to the concession stand where they could get some goodies to eat and enjoy during the show.
By far the favorite treat was the Make your own Hundred Acre Wood Trail Mix.
Once everyone had their goodies it was time to form a line and hand your tickets to the usher (one of our kiddos) to enter the theater (our family room, we rearranged the furniture and moved out the coffee table so that there was plenty of space for the kiddos).
Once everyone located a spot to call their own on the floor, had there goodies in their hands, the excitement started to build again and the noise level was rising. So, as a nice way to introduce the sponsor of the event and calm the children down prior to the movie, they were instructed to put on their thinking caps for a fun Oral-B Stages Flashcards game. The flashcards illustrated images that help maintain healthy dental care (included apples, milk, dentist, child brushing their teeth, etc.)and fun Oral-B Stages products (toothpaste and toothbrush) and a few questions towards the end acted as the perfect transition from the flash card game to the movie quite nicely (for example, one card had a picture of Oral-B Stages Toothpaste with an image of Winnie the Pooh on it and asked, what color shirt is Pooh wearing?).
After the Flashcards it was time for the movie. Lights were dimmed and the movie started.
I was amazed at how well the children did watching the movie giving the fact that the viewing audience was between 15 months and 5 years-old. Granted there were one or two who had a difficult time staying seated but for the most part the children stayed engaged in the movie until intermission.
¾ of the way through the movie it was paused for a brief intermission. All the children were asked to go back to the front room where they first entered the home to receive their goody bags. Each child was handed their bag and then found a spot on the floor to go through the exciting gifts that waited inside. You would have thought it was Christmas morning as each child removed the items from their goody bags, the noise level rose, excitement was in the air. The children could be heard yelling “I have Toy Story Toothpaste….I have Princess Toothpaste….Me got Winnie the Pooh teeth brush….Cars, I have Cars toothpaste” while the youngest ran up to the nearest adult trying to get them to open her toothbrush. It was amazing to see how excited the children were but the excitement wasn’t just limited to the children. The parents’ faces also exuded enthusiasm realizing that they were going home with a new toothbrush for their kiddo, toothpaste, Naturals Lavender & Chamomile Hair & Body Baby Wash, and coupons for future Oral-B purchases, AWESOME!
To add to the fun all the kiddos were told that they may go upstairs to the restroom and brush their teeth.
And off they went, it was a mad dash to the bathroom were the kiddos crowded into one of the more confined spaces in our home and took turns brushing their teeth with their new toothbrushes and tooth paste while the parents stood directly outside in the hall where a conversation started brewing.
Moms started talking about the various dental products on the market for children. We all agreed that we are no dentist and we do not know much about the ergonomics or constructions of the toothbrush. That being said we did like the fact that the littlest ones could hold their toothbrushes and brush their own teeth with little, if any, assistance.
The moms also discussed the fact that some of us have tried products by competitors, in particular a toothpaste brand that allows kiddos to decorate the products. Most moms agreed that the children had a blast decorating the products as they pleased but when it came down to actually placing the toothpaste on their toothbrushes they had difficulty. So mom or dad always had to step in when they used that product to help the child place toothpaste on their toothbrush which was not facilitating independent teeth brushing, which is our ultimate goal as parents. On the other hand Oral –B stages makes teeth brushing fun for the children and fosters independence, all the parents gave it two thumbs up. The only suggestion that was brought up was to better the products by including toothpaste for the youngest teeth brushers.
After the kids had a chance to brush their teeth everyone went back downstairs to finish watching the movie eager to see if Piglet ever gets all of his friends out of the hole.
Once the movie was over (tip for those who have not seen it yet, watch all the credits or fast-forward to the end there is a surprise waiting for you) the kiddos packed up their pillow and blankets, grabbed their goodies and placed them back in their bags, and put on their coats.
It was homeward bound where parents appreciated the fact that the kiddos were already in their pajamas and had already brushed their teeth so it would be straight to bed when they got home.
A special thank you to Mommyparties and Oral-B Stages for providing the movie ticket invitations, balloons, popcorn boxes and popcorn, the Winnie the Pooh Movie, flashcards, bags, coupons, toothbrushes, toothpaste, product literature and hair and body washes for all the guests.