Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Keep Kids Busy on a Rainy Day: Bringing the Movies Into Your Living Room for Under $20

There’s something magical about the movie theatre when you’re a kid. Maybe it’s the big screen. Maybe it’s how tiny you feel in a room that seems to go for miles in every direction. Maybe it’s the movie posters that cover the walls.
It might have something to do with the popcorn, candy and soda around every turn.
Whatever it is, the movie theatre’s a rockin’ place to take your kids on a rainy afternoon. And by the time you’ve bought tickets, candy popcorn and paid for the gas and the dinner out, that fun ain’t cheap.
So it’s raining outside. The kids are climbing the walls. You’re down to your last $20. That’s the point where you decide the movies are a complete bust, hand them the fun noodles and tell them to beat each other senseless, right?
Eh. Maybe not.
The theatre might be out of the question, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the awesomeness into your living room and keep your kids entertained for the same three hour time block you’d have killed sitting around the movies and your local McDonalds.
Step 1: Pick the movie. What do your kids want to see? If there’s something you have buried at the back of your movie cupboard that’s best, but if you’ve seen everything you have a hundred times you can either pick a new release ahead of time and order it through Netflix or, if you don’t have Netflix, you can rent a movie from Amazon for the day for under $3.
Step 2: Pick up some popcorn, a two liter of soda and a frozen pizza or two from your local grocery store. Or some pizza poppers, or some hamburgers and a bag of fries, or whatever your kids like for a “special” dinner when they’re out and about. Whip it up in your own kitchen.
Step 3: Set up the living room to their “theatre” specifications. My kids like to set up their living room trays on the floor, then drag out the chairs we take to the drive-in (yes, I still have one of those) and a pile of blankets and pillows and set it all up in front of the television. You might prefer to sprawl blankets out on the floor, or set the kids up on the couch. It’s entirely up to you.
Then serve up dinner, cut off the lights and settle in for the fun!

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