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Being a parent can be hard especially on the weekends. All those fun things that you did before you had kids are out of the question and your children need entertainment. You don’t just want to put them in front of the TV in front of those awful movies all weekend but it is exhausting running around with them all day. Well we have a solution to offer that makes spending time with family relaxing, entertaining, and provides activities with children that expands their creative minds. Combine the relaxing entertainment of a movie that both children and parents will love with a creative and/or educational activity. To help get you started on this we have a list of wonderful family movies and some corresponding activities you can do with children.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs tells the story of Flint Lockwood, an unappreciated, quirky inventor. Flint’s inventions always seem to create problems until he finds a way to make food fall from the sky like rain. Everyone loves the invention but problems arise when Flint’s machine gets over used. This movie is funny for kids and adults, visually stunning, and an all-around good time for the whole family while also stimulating creative minds.

This movie gives so many great ideas for activities with children. Before you watch the movie, make dinner together as a whole family. Teach your children a simple recipe and let them do age appropriate tasks. You can have your children pick their own favorite food to make or you can pick a fun food from the movie. Or an even more creative and less messy idea for smaller children is to make a pretend dinner. Make up foods or add silly ingredients and pretend to eat them. A fun and imaginative activity with your kids that doesn't end up with you actually eating sprinkles and cheese crackers on your BBQ chicken.

Another activity you could do is after watching the movie as a family you could create your own invention. Ask your kids if they could invent anything what would it be and then start brainstorming ideas. Ask your kids to draw up what the machine would look like. You could even make up a story about how the machine goes out of control and have your kid make up a story of how to fix the machine and save the world, just like Flint. 

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory explores the magical world of candy making in Willy Wonka’s factory. In this movie 5 children win the opportunity to tour the mysterious factory and see all the different candies that Willy Wonka makes and is trying to invent. Over time each child breaks a rule and ends up having to leave the tour and only the most virtuous child wins the grand prize. I have a personal preference to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) with Gene Wilder, but if you prefer a more modern movie the 2005 version entitled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp that is also an option.

This movie also inspires some great activities with kids. A more imagination inspired activities could be to invent your own candy: flavors, gummy vs hard candy, and the magical quality that makes it special to Willy Wonka candy. Another great activity you could do as a family is make your own candy. Rock candy is a simple and delicious option and is a great science experiment to expand your child’s creative mind. Start the rock candy at least 2 days before you watch the movie to make sure you can eat your candy during the movie.

Delicious Rock Candy

Fantasia

Fantasia was one of my favorite movies growing up. The original or Fantasia 2000 a great movies to engage those creative minds. If you have never seen Fantasia it’s definitely time to spend time with your family and watch it. Fantasia is a movie that takes beautiful classical music and plays the music with animated shorts that have been created as inspired by the music. It pairs amazing music with fun cartoons.

The activity you can do with your kids for this movie is simple. After watching the movie pick a song- either classical or modern- and play the music and have your kids listen to it and draw a picture and tell a story based on the music. Make it a family game- play a song one time through just listening to it and then give everyone art supplies of their choice. Then play the song one more time and draw! You get the length of the entire song to draw something and come up with a story for the song. When the song ends go around and show your pictures and tell the story that the song sounds like to you.

Kid's Drawing

 

There are so many great family friendly movies you can watch to spend time with your family. Don’t feel like you have to watch these movies or do these activities with these movies. Use your own creative mind and find new movies and other great activities for your kids. Most importantly have fun when you spend time with family. Your kids will remember it for the rest of their lives and it will create great memories for you as a family. 

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Written by — January 24, 2014

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