Posts

A movie night at home can provide some inexpensive entertainment, but even your old favorites can become boring after a while. The old stand-by doesn’t have to stay mediocre, however. Here are some tips for turning movie night into an interactive family event.

3 Ways to Make Movie Night More Interesting

Girls’ Night / Boys’ Night

Have a girls’ night and boys’ night without even leaving the house. It’s a fun way for kids to spend some quality time with Mom or Dad. Here’s how it works: Girls go to one room and watch a chick flick with girly snacks. Watch the girliest movie you can get away with, just because you can. Bring a pretty dish with chocolate, ice cream, strawberry shortcake or any other distinctly girlish favorite. Giggle, sigh over prince charming and repeat.

The gentlemen go to a separate room with manly snacks like chips and salsa or chili. Watch a movie with lots of wilderness and explosions. Chew with your mouth open. Grunt occasionally. Dad will enjoy quality time with the boys, and the boys will enjoy grunting and belching with no consequences!

Movie Trivia Night

Give everyone some friendly competition with a movie trivia night. You can gather trivia questions about a movie by going online and doing a quick search. If your kids are younger or you would rather not compete, come up with questions yourself as you go throughout the movie. Everyone must watch the movie very carefully to prepare for questions afterward. It turns a mindless activity into a critical thinking and memory exercise. Offer a prize for extra motivation. In my family, the winner didn’t have to help clean up after dinner. That was motivation enough for all of us!

Record a Music Video

Put yourself on the other side of the silver screen and record your own music video. Most digital cameras have a video recording function, and you can set it up on a sturdy surface to record the creativity. Pick a song that everyone knows and start brainstorming!

Everyone gets a part, from costume designer to lead singer, with even the youngest tykes included as backup dancers. Make sure Mom or Dad doesn’t take the role of director or it will no longer be a collaborative effort. Let your kids take the lead – they will enjoy assigning parts and watching you perform. At the end, you will have a great video to enjoy and laugh about for years to come.

Take movie night beyond its lazy stand-by mode. Use these ideas, adapt them to your family and surprise your kids by transforming your family film experience into an event they will never forget.

Hannah Daniel writes for a dental blog backed by 1Dental.com, which offers affordable dental plans nationwide. She enjoys keeping families up to date on dental news and helping them save money on dental care.

*Image courtesy of Whole Foods Market.*

Here’s a fun and tasty activity for Fall! Recycle empty food containers into decorative cups using party napkins or fabric scraps to make Apricot Popcorn Cups, healthy treats featuring a combination of popcorn, Sun-Maid California Apricots & toasted almonds. Kids can wrap the containers, then tie or glue the material in place. An adult should help make the hot sugar mixture for the popcorn mix.

Apricot Popcorn Cups

Ingredients

10 cups popped popcorn
1 cup Sun-Maid California Apricots, chopped
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
3 tablespoons butter (“Mom” prefers organic)
2 tablespoons apricot jam
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation


COMBINE popcorn, apricots and almonds in a large bowl.
In a small (1 quart) saucepan, combine butter, jam, brown sugar and cinnamon.
BOIL over medium heat about 3 minutes until syrupy and soft-ball stage, 234 to 240ºF on a candy thermometer. (Without a candy thermometer, test mixture by placing a droplet in a dish of ice water. At soft-ball stage it will form a soft ball that flattens when removed from the water.)
DRIZZLE sugar syrup over popcorn and fruit mixture, stirring quickly until evenly coated and cool. Serve the same day to retain crispness, or place in a sealed plastic bag for up to 1 day.

Makes about 10 cups.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Sun-Maid.*