Monday 31 January 2011

10 Top Tips for Taking Pre-schoolers to the Cinema (Twin Pre-schoolers!)

So, we went to the cinema yesterday morning because for once in our lives dh was off on a Saturday and we all got up in time! Upon arriving JJ announced that he wanted to see the Sorcerers Apprentice and the girls wanted to see Tinkerbell, which is what we went there with the aim to see.  Being the kind of loving mum I am I suggested to dh that he take JJ in to see his film and I would take the girls in to see Tinkerbell.  It was only after buying the tickets that I wondered what on earth I had let myself in for.  Two 3 year old lively kids on my own in a quiet cinema?  Am I bonkers? well yes - so go for it I thought.

Our first cinema experience with the girls was last July when they were just 3 years. We went to see Toy Story 3 and paid near on £50 for the privilege of listening to the girls both chatter loudly, try to escape from their seats and generally be pests. I blogged about the disaster it was here!  Dh left the film with both girls about half way through.

Then a couple of weeks ago we ventured into a cinema again, half a year after the last time.  This time the film was free and I was also pretty certain it should engage the girls and keep them occupied.  Thankfully Disney's Tangled did the job and the girls adored it and behaved much better.  Thus why I was willing to give the 2:1 ratio a go on this Saturday morning.

So Saturday was a success, so much so that I thought I would share my top 10 tips for taking pre-schoolers/ toddlers to the cinema with you, even twins where the ratio is 2:1!
  1. Do some training with the kids before hand. I have never been one to sit and watch TV with the kids but for the last couple of months once a week I get the kids in their PJs really early and we sit down and snuggle and watch TV. They have to talk in whispers and are not allowed to get down to play.
  2. Check out the Saturday/ Sunday morning kids screenings at your local cinemas.  5 of us went on Saturday for £5.00, now that is value! and you then do not mind if you do have to leave early!
  3. Arrive at the cinema in good time, so that you can get the tickets you want and good seats.  Nothing worse than disappointed youngsters in a film they were not expecting to see.
  4. In the same vein, take your seat early and then the kids have plenty of time to ask any question they fancy before the film starts. Let them help you choose the seat and feel important.
  5. Talk the kids through what will happen, ie: everyone will sit down, lights will dim, there will be adverts, then the film will start and we all have to talk in whispers etc.  It was amazing how much this helped this time.
  6. Limit the amount of fluid they drink before and during the showing.  We did 2 toilet runs in a very short film, I think it was the fun factor!
  7. Take snacks with you. If you want to buy popcorn at the cinema go ahead but I begrudge paying more on the popcorn that the ticket price! So I pop a bag at home and take it in the kids bag, I also take little bowls which fit into the drinks holders. My girls love to munch popcorn and this keeps them quiet for a few moments. I also took them a Chuppa Chups lolly each (I am sure some of you ace parents do not give your kids these, but mine occasionally do have them - you must have noticed it is honest parenting here at MFTH...).
  8. Do remember the wipes though if you give a sticky lolly!  and tissues as well, snotty noses wiped on your neighbours sleeves is a recipe for disaster!
  9. Once the movie finishes wait in your seats will others filter out the cinema.  Surely you are not in a rush?  Better to leave towards the end of the crowd and know exactly where your children are.
  10. Lastly and most importantly think positive.  This will be OK.  If you have taken them to a weekend morning kids showing then other people expect some noise and if they don't - really they should!  If Mummy stays stress free it will really help the kids to do the same. Don't jump on their every movement or noise made, choose your battles.  ON Saturday both girls stood at one point and watched bits of the film and they both sat on my lap at differing points and they swapped chairs too but that made it all exciting for them and totally manageable for me as I just stayed unfazed. At their height is does not matter if they stand in a tiered seating area, so why would I worry about it?
So there you have it.  My tips for taking your little kids to the cinema.  Have fun and let me know how you get on.  Mich x
This is another entry for the Multiples Mayhem Carnival being held over at Two become Four on Monday 7th February 2011. If you would like to join in and tell a story about your multiples please get in touch with the host of this carnival - the lovely Rebecca.

Multiples Mayhem Carnival at two become four
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