10 Tips for planning your child’s first cinema trip.

Today we took our 3yo for his first cinema trip, we got some things wrong and some things right; We did however learn a lot about planning out future trips. Here are our 10 tips for planning your young child’s first trip to the movies!

1. Check your local cinema for junior specific screenings.

Many Cinemas offer special screenings for young children. They’re great because although they’re often older movies, the ticket prices are usually a lot cheaper. You also don’t have to worry so much about your children making noise because almost everyone there will be with their little ones for first cinema trips.
These screenings are great for helping children to get used to the cinema before taking them in to a regular screening.

two white and red admission tickets
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2. Check other parent’s reviews of the movie you choose

This is something we should’ve done but didn’t. The movie we watched was great and our 3yo loved all the bright action scenes. However, there was some content that he was too young to understand and that made those scenes boring for him. This was when he started to get restless and fidget. Also despite being a U there was a scene or two which he found a bit scary. When I got home and read the reviews, I found that a lot of other parents had picked up on the same things. If I would’ve seen these beforehand I would’ve chose the second junior option (not much to be scared of in a paw patrol movie!)

3. Check the runtime of the film

We chose an average length film, it was around and hour an a half. For Ted this was too long for his first experience. After about an hour he started to get bored and restless (He wanted to pause the movie for 5 minutes and just wanted to go for a walk)! If we had chosen the paw patrol movie, it would’ve been around an hour. This shorter time would’ve have been better suited for out first cinema trip.

4. Take a small fidget toy

Even if your child really likes the movie, there is a chance that they are going to get bored during some scenes. Taking a small fidget toy or two means that when you start to see them getting restless you can hand them the toy to play with; Which could potentially save you from having to chase you child around the cinema whilst hunched over!

5. Be armed with snacks and a drink

Not only does this stop them getting hungry or thirsty throughout the movie, it also keeps them busy! besides, munching at the cinema is all part of the fun!

6. Take a toilet trip before the movie!

This saves having to take trips in and out of the screen, but it also helps avoid any accidents! It’s easy for a child to become so engrossed in what they’re watching that they will leave it to the last second and sometimes too late!

food snack popcorn movie theater
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7. Plan the time to suit your routine

Avoid planning a cinema trip during nap times, interfering with naps usually leads to a very cranky and fidgety child and that’s not ideal for watching a movie!

8. Let your child pick where they want to sit

My 3yo was so excited to chose where he sat that he didn’t want to leave his seat! it also meant that he picked somewhere where he was comfy and wasn’t straining his neck to see the screen.

9. If they want to talk, let them to whisper.

Usually the movie is so exciting that all they want to do is talk about it! of course, you probably don’t want them shouting out across the theatre but if they can’t say what they want to tell you then it can lead to frustration and a mid movie meltdown. Whispering quietly in the cinema doesn’t affect anyone and is a great way to encourage your child’s interest in the film!

10. Don’t be afraid to leave the movie.

I know, it sucks to waste money. But there are some situations where this might simply be the best idea. If your child finds the movie boring chances are they’re probably just going to get Antsy. Ted hit this stage a couple of minutes before the movie ended, he was kicking the seat in front of him and walking up and down the aisle. Fortunately there was only a couple of other people in the screening with us but if he had of hit this stage earlier we probably would have left. The whole point of taking them to the cinema is that its a fun experience and being bored, more than just during the occasional scene isn’t fun for them and in turn yourself. You can always try again at a later date with a different movie!

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