I love going to the movies, but with two little girls under the age of 4, I've been waiting for the right film for their first in-theater movie experience. Basically, it has to be rated G and not in the least bit scary. My little one is a bit on the sensitive side, so I want to be especially careful to give her a positive experience. So for now, until that perfect movie comes out, it's Family Movie Night every few weeks in our house, and we love it! Recently, I decided to up the ante a little bit and had my girls come home to their own movie seats. They totally freaked out when they saw them.
These are actually pretty easy to make, and there are countless ways you can decorate them, from painting, to washi tape to collage. I'll go through the basic steps of how we did it, and the rest is up to you and your family.
a box, a box cutter, two tissue boxes, duct tape or other decorating materials
1. First, you'll need a box big enough to fit your child. I covered the whole box with hot pink duct tape. My girls are into pink. Tip: Duct tape can easily get all clumped up if you're not careful. I like to stick one end to the box, pull the tape and press it down as I go, while pulling the roll. This way, the tape doesn't really have a chance to stick together. I can rip with my fingers when I get it to where I want it to go or use a scissor. Once you get the hang of ripping it, it's way easier than scissors.
2. Next, I used a box cutter to cut arches out for their feet. Once I cut the first one, I used the cut out to trace the second one so they were identical. Note: Box cutters are super-sharp, so be sure to keep them away from the kids.
3. Next, cut the tops of a tissue box off with a box cutter and cover them with duct tape. I went for a popcorn box motif and they came out so cute. Tape the tissue boxes to either side of your box. The tissue boxes make the perfect holders for popcorn, drinks and other snacks.
The Last step is to add any details like names or stars. I used washi tape for the names and cut a big star from card stock and taped it on. Nothing fancy, but the effect packed a great punch when my girls saw it. Tip: Washi tape is really easy to rip or you can cut it with a scissor. You can write your child's name with a marker first and then cover with washi, or just try it free hand. Whatever is easier.
Of course I had to put Elsa and Anna in the movie seats. Are your kids still into Frozen? My kids LOVE it. That's one of the two movies that have passed the test in our house, and we've watched it a bunch of times for Family Movie Night. We've also done The Wizard of Oz, which I know has some scary parts, but we worked up to it with a lot of fast forwarding. Now my girls are into the whole thing, even the flying monkeys! I'm waiting a little longer to try one of my favorites, My Neighbor Totoro. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you check it out. It's a Japanese animated story of two sisters on a wonderful adventure set to gorgeous music. I'd love to hear your suggestions for movies for the under 4 set. We could use some suggestions for sure.
Regardless of the movie, I think Family Movie Night is more about being together than anything else. We turn all the lights down, pull the shades and get as cozy as possible. It's a great tradition you can start any time with your family and there are so many movies out there. Something is bound to be a great fit for all the ages in your house.
And, of course, we have a lot of great movie snacks for movie night. My kids are probably more into the snacks at this point more than the actual movie.
Our DIY seats have been moved all around the house, from living room, to bedrooms, to playrooms. My girls love just lounging in them and playing. I guess we'll have to work on adult versions so my husband and I can join in on the fun. Maybe a refrigerator box love seat? In the meantime, Happy Family Movie Night and thanks for reading along!