Creating a Family Movie Night Tradition

Family Enjoying Movie Night At Home Together

The long, cold Winter season is the perfect time to establish a family movie night tradition.

Here are some tips and ideas on how to start a family movie night even if siblings are of different ages and have diverse interests.

Planning a Family Movie Night in Four Steps

  1. Set the date and time in stone based on family’s schedule and developmental needs (eg. once a week on Saturday at 2pm OR once every two weeks on a Friday at 5pm etc.)
  2. Choose any other rhythms, rituals & traditions you want to create or foster at this time (eg. PJs and a bath before playing the film, pizza night, enjoying a big bowl of popcorn together etc.)
  3. Figure out how everyone will transition from the movie back to reality after the movie night (Eg. Will you go for a walk? Have only one book? Move on to prepping dinner together as a family? etc.)
  4. Start and keep a “saved” list of movies on your streaming app(s) whenever you come across a film you think would be suitable for the entire family save it!

Six Benefits of a Family Movie Night Tradition

🎥 allows practice of delayed gratification
🍿 carves out a scheduled time together on a regular basis
⚡️ sparks family discussions on a wide range of subjects from stereotypes to global warming
📖 provides an opportunity to teach elements of a story (characters, plot, conflict, climax and resolution)
🌎 teaches children (and adults) about experiences outside of their own perspectives
❤️ provides opportunities to share emotional experiences & name feelings
💆‍♀️ provides a change in the regular dinner/bedtime routine and a much needed break for parents


Our Top Five Favourite Family Movies for Ages 6+

1. My Neighbour Totoro
2. Madagascar
3. Encanto
4. Moana
5. Frozen 1 & 2

Runners Up for Ages 6+

  • Raya the Last Dragon
  • Inside Out
  • Ice Age
  • Yes Day
  • Zootopia
  • Ballerina
  • Hamilton

Favourite Documentaries

  • My Octopus Teacher
  • A Beautiful Planet
  • Biggest Little Farm
  • Wing’s of Life

Films for Extra Sensitive Little Ones and Children Ages 4-6

The Little Bear Movie
Room on a Broom

The difference between a routine and a rhythm is RITUAL.
What are the little things that make a tradition or a routine special and unique to your family?
Our family movie night essentials are

☕️ hot cocoa + marshmallows
🧦cosy PJs
❤️ a soft blanket

Finally, we could not plan a successful, tear-free family movie night without the Common Sense Media website website to help us choose a movie we will all love.

What are some of the rituals that make your movie nights special? What are some of your favourite movies? Share them below with the community!


Meagan Wilson is a parent educator and author of the now-retired seasonal series of Whole Family Rhythms. After finishing a BA, she went on to complete her Foundations in Steiner Education and Anthroposophy at Sydney Steiner College, as well as her Waldorf Early Childhood Certification at the Rudolf Steiner Centre in Toronto. She has received her certification as a Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach and has supported hundreds of parents to create a strong family rhythm unique to their own values and culture. She has four young children. Meagan provides resources, support and information to parents who are looking for a bridge to cross between their unique family life and their children’s (often but not always) Waldorf schools.

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