Family movie night is one of my family’s favorite rainy day activities.
This year, we’ve transformed at least one movie night a month into a cozy act of kindness.
I’ll admit, by the time I get myself in front of a family movie, I tend to be an unmotivated, tired mess. The thought of “productively” watching a movie makes me want to throw popcorn at someone.
But I’m a convert.
I’ve seen how simple, creative kindness projects – like the ones listed below – can add a much richer dimension to family movie night (or afternoon… or weekend).
Fortunately, the Big-Hearted Families™ tools created by the kindness experts at Doing Good Together™ are all about helping families turn their favorite activities into a force for good.
Don't get me wrong, our movie-time acts of kindness are sometimes so low key, we require two movies to complete our task. This may be why the kids are eager to go along with my plans!
We take breaks for popcorn or root beer floats. Little Miss Second Grade often bails on us after about thirty minutes, and that’s okay. She usually come back to our project before the credits roll.
The point is we’re relaxing, creating, and practicing compassion together.
Get ready to add kindness to family movie night.
Enjoy these cozy kindness projects during your next family movie night!
Host a Color-a-Smile-a-thon.
This wonderful, nonprofit organization accepts all standard-sized kids’ drawings and sends them on to nursing homes, meals on wheels recipients, hospitals, and other individuals in need of a smile. Transform your coffee table into an art studio, and get started!
Create Greeting Cards.
Here’s another one for little artists. If you have perpetual doodlers in the family, put those creative juices to work making cards for children with a serious illness. You can find information about children with chronic illnesses who are eager for "happy mail” at www.cardsforhospitalizedkids.org or www.sendkidstheworld.com.
Decorate Lunch Bags for Meals on Wheels Recipients.
Help seniors in the community feel loved and stay independent by supporting Meals on Wheels. Your cheery, creatively designed lunch bags will be used to deliver dessert to local seniors.
Make No Sew Fleece Blankets.
Pass on the gift of coziness with a blanket for Project Linus. Kids love tying the fringe along the edges, knowing their gift will bring comfort to another child.
Create Hand-Made Treasures to Share.
Spread joy and neighborly love in your community with homemade keepsakes or simple gifts. Pick a seasonal craft, gather up your materials, and make as many as you can during your featured family movie.
Make Pet toys or Blankets.
Animal lovers could watch their favorite creature feature while making gifts for animals in a shelter.
Create Learning Toys for Babies.
These great discovery bottles are simple to make, fun to decorate, and so stimulating for infants and toddlers. Donate your creations to a shelter or give them to your pediatrician to hand out as needed.
Wondering what to watch? Check out these great lists!
Choose your movie carefully.
The right film can spark incredible conversations with children of every age. Great movies inspire compassion by helping us understand the dilemmas others face. Plus, as the parents of young children know all-too-well, whatever you watch tonight might become your child's new obsession for months to come.
Adapt these kid-friendly reflection questions to your featured movie:
Did you like this movie? Why or why not?
Who was your favorite character? What did you enjoy about that character?
What challenges were the characters having a hard time solving?
What do you think about how they faced the situation and what they decided to do about it?
How do you think you would feel if you were in a similar situation?
What would you do if you had to solve a problem like the one the character in the movie had to deal with?Do you have other ideas for a movie night kindness activity? We’d love to hear it!
Enjoy the next rainy spring day with a family movie and an act of kindness. Do you have any other ideas for a movie night kindness activity? We'd love to hear it!
Still looking? Browse these creative kindness activities!
A version of this post was first published by our friends at Family Fun Twin Cities.