You may not play a starring role, but your job as Director of Entertainment is key to the success of a kids’ movie night. Without your attention to detail about the movie selection, food and extra activities, the adoring fans would go home giving the event two thumbs-down. Roll out the red carpet — and roll up your sleeves — to host the must-see movie event of the neighborhood.
There’s No Place Like Home
A movie viewing at home means your kids can run around, talk and play if they want without being shushed by the other moviegoers. Fortunately, kids aren’t too picky about the surroundings. Before you get too far in the planning process, scope out the options for showing a movie at home. Look for plenty of room for the kids and a safe environment that won’t result in your prized heirlooms crashing to the ground. If the party guests need wide-open spaces to roam, show the movie outdoors. You’ll need a projector and a large, white surface, such as a movie screen, garage door or even a sheet hung on a line.
Controlling the Adoring Fans
Every successful Hollywood bash comes down to the details. The young guests at your movie night probably won’t be as critical as movie stars, but the details should fit the needs of kids. Start the flick early so you don’t interfere with bedtime. Keep the VIP list short and sweet to keep the movie night under control. Hosting too many kids — especially if they are young — means the potential for tears, arguments and short attention spans. Decide if you want parents to stay to help wrangle the young moviegoers or if they can drop the kids off at your house. Let parents know if they should bring anything, such as chairs or blankets.
It’s a Production
A movie night is simple to throw together, but plan the details so the event runs smoothly. Choose a theme for the night to help with the planning. The movie selection often dictates the theme. Plan alternative activities that work with the theme in case some kids are bored with the movie. Coloring sheets, a simple craft or a game works well. If you’re screening a superhero movie, set out supplies for the kids to decorate superhero masks or felt capes, for example. As for the snacks for the party, popcorn is an obvious choice, but keep the potential choking hazard away from any toddlers in the crowd. Offer other snack items, such as crackers, cheese and fruit, because most of the kids won’t sit down to a full meal with all the excitement of the night.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Set up all the movie components before the guests arrive, especially if you’re hosting an outdoor party. A dress rehearsal of the night’s festivities ensures the technology works correctly. Assign other adults to specific tasks. Have one person operate the concession stand, another usher the kids to the viewing area and another handle crowd control. This frees you up to circulate and keep the party running smoothly.