I must admit, I surprised myself when I agreed to take my 27 month old to his first movie theater experience. “That’s far too young,” I could imagine myself saying even just one year ago! But, here I am…being entirely comfortable with it, even outright excited and giddy about it!
Here’s the thing…you’ve got to know your child before you make this decision. I think it’s one of those, “Go with your gut” decisions. My child? Not only does he LOVE movies and will gladly sit through an entire feature length film at home, but he is also an incredibly well-rounded child. Here are a few of the reasons I had no qualms about taking him to see a movie in the theater (in spite of what “studies” will tell you):
- He rarely watches more than 25 minutes of TV/day
- He will sit and read books for an hour, no problem, sometimes even longer
- He has already read his first chapter book (well, we read it aloud to him, but he could tell you the characters and everything)
- He spends hours on end running around at the park interacting with other kids
- He loves a variety of toys at home and has no problem playing make believe (Thomas, cars, his play kitchen, play dough, etc.)
With all that being said, we headed out with my in-laws to see Tangled. Will my poor son be scarred for life knowing his very first theater experience was Tangled? Nah…he’ll get over it. We had a blast! Again, you’ve got to know your own child to know if it’s going to be a success, however, here are a few things that helped us.
#1: Work around nap time.
– We went to a 4:30 showing, just shortly after Cooper wakes up from his nap.
#2: Use a booster seat.
– They have these little booster seats that sort of velcro to the seat that helps keep the folded chair down so your kiddo can sit comfortably. (It’s hard to tell, but he’s sitting on it below)
#3: Bring snacks
– I brought graham crackers, goldfish, raisins and we put his sippy cup with milk in the cup holder. You could treat them super special and bring yummy candy, but I figured the added sugar wasn’t necessary for a fun outing and for him sitting for the entire film.
#4: Wait until the movie has been out in the theater for a short while.
– We saw Tangled after it’d already been in the theater for 2 whole months. That way, when Cooper did ask questions about the movie (because they WILL chat, a bit, right?), he wasn’t disturbing an entire theater of people.
#5: Take pictures to document!
– My husband rolls his eyes at me whenever I whip out the camera, but come on…what a fun thing to document! How cute is my little fella? (See the near empty theater?)A closing remark…as always….remain flexible. If it’s your first movie going experience with a kidlet, know that it’s okay to leave the theater if it’s too difficult or they’re having nothing to do with it. Don’t push it if they’re not ready, and if they are? Have a blast!! It was precious sitting between my husband and my son during a movie, holding both their hands. Ahh…