Let’s All Go to the Movies! Taking your Small Child to the Theatre for the First Time

We remember the first movie we ever saw in a theatre like it was yesterday.

When it’s summer and all the great kid-friendly blockbuster hits are in the cool, surround-sound theater, it can be the perfect solution to a sweaty afternoon. If you have a toddler or older child that hasn’t been to the pictures, keep in mind it can blow his or her mind–and not in a good way. Here are some quick thoughts on making that first trip to the movie theater an unforgettable one.

How to tell if they are ready: Can your child sit through a few episodes of TV in one stretch? Does your little one get scared easily? Startled by loud sounds? If you answered yes to the first one and no to the last two, you’re good.

What to bring: Sometimes the teenagers running things will crank that AC a little too high, so bring a layer. Also, makes sure your kids can see!

Expect some lap time: Kids will make it through the whole thing if they can also cuddle with you, even if they get bored.

Bathroom run beforehand. No brainer. Don’t forget to wash hands before and after the movie.

Explain what’s going to happen. Tell your little girl or boy what to expect at the theater – the big screen, the lights going out, etc. Don’t let anything catch them by surprise.

Read about the content of the movie. Just because it’s a kids’ movie doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for all kids. One little girl ran screaming out of the theater during Polar Express because she couldn’t stand the kid dangling off the side of the train. Sometimes it’s not the story; it’s just too much action. Check in with others who have seen it or read up.

Prepare for the anticlimax. Some kids dig their first flick so much they get upset when it’s over. Make plans for afterwards so there is something to move onto immediately. Like food!

Set up good movie manners. Turn off your phone, don’t chatter, and don’t litter. Kids pick up on that, even when they are young.

The moment we walk out of the theater after a really good movie, we are changed. Our world is hued a little differently, and we all share that subtle but powerful feeling. Don’t forget the best part of all about going to a show: the memory of it. You can talk to your kids afterwards about their favorite parts, and relive that childhood wonder through them.

Enjoy the show!




About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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