Movies are a magical source of entertainment. The best films make you laugh, cry, scream, and momentarily forget about the world outside the theatre. And as a parent, introducing your child to their first film is a wonderful milestone you’ll remember for years to come.
But the cinema can be an overwhelming place for a little kid. They may have watched TV at home, but they’ll never have seen a screen this large or heard sound effects at this volume. The sensory overload combined with a dark room full of people can be too much for some children to cope with. The last thing you want is to have to leave five minutes into the trailers.
If you want to share your love of cinema with your child, you need to prepare sufficiently before you buy your ticket. As long as you plan your visit and follow these four tips, you will ensure your child’s first movie is a moment to remember.
Prep all the details
If you are organized, you can ensure your cinema visit will run smoothly. Work out which film you are going to see well in advance, and book your tickets online before you go. Make a list of everything you need to bring and check traffic before you go. This will prevent any unforeseen obstacles from destroying your plans. And above all, make sure your little one goes to the bathroom just before the film starts for obvious reasons.
Part of the magic of the cinema is the smell of popcorn and the giant cups of soda. Even if you’re hot on enforcing a healthy diet for your kids, it’s OK to make an exception sometimes. Get some snacks to share while you watch the film together and you’ll both enjoy it a lot more. And if the extortionate cinema prices are too much for you to bear, you can always buy your own from the grocery store in advance.
Keep them comfortable
Some kids are hyperactive and get restless sitting in one place for too long. Make sure they are comfortable for the duration of the film by wrapping them up in warm layers that you can add or remove depending on the temperature. Some kids get overly attached to their toys so let them bring in their favorite teddy bear or their GI Joe collectibles if it makes them happy. Just make sure they don’t play with them loudly while the film is showing.
Skip the trailers
For most movie lovers, watching the trailers is an integral part of the fun, but they are unlikely to hold a child’s attention. They will be kicking and screaming to see the movie, and sitting for 20 minutes watching boring adverts could lead to a very grouchy child. Aim to turn up at the theatre at the moment the screening starts. This way, by the time you’ve visited the bathroom and got your snacks, the trailers will be almost over and you can settle down to watch the movie.