So we decided it was time to give it a whirl and take Ellie to her first movie...like actually in the big theater.
We were both a little nervous that she may be too young and she is so hit or miss with movies. The ones we think she will love she ends up not interested in. Zootopia seemed like a good choice, so we headed out.
Much to our relief she actually did WAY better then we could have imagined. She sat quietly and watched for most of the movie, until about 20 minutes left and then she lost interest. She got wiggly and wanted to walk around and talk. We ended up cutting our losses and just left...which we had in our heads we were probably going to have to do anyways. We missed the end of the movie...which she didn't care about but Joe and I had actually gotten into the movie and wanted to know how it ended. I guess we will have to rent it when it comes out.
All of this got me thinking about what actually worked for us and what we would have done differently...maybe this will help you, or maybe it won't but I have compiled some tips just in case:
1// Wait until just before the movie starts to take your kiddo in and have them sit. We made the mistake of getting there super early and getting a seat, which is obviously nice but for a toddler to have to sit for longer then is necessary is just setting them up for failure. I would suggest maybe having one parent or adult go in and grab seats if you are worried about that and then taking the kids in later.
2// One word...POPCORN! Most places usually have those little kid packs that come with some sort of a drink, popcorn and then a treat (in our case it was fruit snacks) and it all comes in a little carrying case for the child. She felt so special to have her own and it kept her occupied eating away for awhile!
3// Lovies...A blanket, stuffed animal, etc. Ellie still has a pacifier we try to only let her use at bedtime, but I grabbed it for the movie just in case. She only used it for a bit, which kept her quite, but she basically ate her popcorn for the entire movie. I can't blame her, that stuff is super addicting! I also packed her little back pack with some quite toys...little lizards and frogs that she likes to play with, along with her pacifier and blanket and let her carry the back pack so she felt special.
4// Try and pick a movie you think your toddler will actually like. I know this one seems like a no brainer, but it is kind of important. Ellie loves animals...more specifically, forest animals, which made Zootopia perfect because the main characters are a fox and a rabbit. I am dying to see Finding Dori when it comes out, but I probably won't risk taking Ellie because she could give two craps about Finding Nemo or any other movie under water...so, you get my point?
5// Last, but not least...desperate times call for desperate measures. Make sure you take your phone. I feel like this would be important if you had an older sibling you took with your toddler. One that would not be too keen on just leaving with 15 minutes left in the movie because their little sister/brother can't sit still or keep quite. So, last resort...
throw hand nicely your phone over to the, no doubt, buttery little hands of your toddler, either mute or turn that volume down real low and let them watch their actual favorite videos or play their favorite apps/games. I know, I know...worst parenting ever but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!
There you have it...hopefully these are helpful to some degree and now I will share pictures of my sweet little toddler on her first trip to the movies, because I took pictures, because that is what I do, because I like to look back on them and reminisce...which usually annoys my husband; both the picture taking and the reminiscing. But really...he is super nice and will usually sort of pose for me. Love you, husband!