Oh those dreaded, dreary days of winter when it’s too cold or just too plain yucky to even think about leaving the house. Just the thought of trying to think of something to do, warming up the car, and bundling up the kids is just overwhelming. But if you decide to spend the day hibernating, inevitably you will be faced with a child saying the words every parent dreads….. “I’m bored. There’s nothing to do.” So you have a light bulb moment – stay inside, cuddled on the couch, eating popcorn, and watching movies. Brilliant! Then comes the discussion. “What do you want to watch?” “I don’t know. What do you want to watch?” “Let’s watch _____.” “We can’t watch that! It’s not appropriate for the kids!” Now what?
Having recently converted to being a non-cable household, relying on streaming tv from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, I can sympathize with how overwhelming it can be. More than once I have realized its 3:00 am and I have binge watched 3 seasons of some tv show that isn’t even on the air anymore. There’s. Just. So. Much. But I have also discovered that it just takes a little planning. Below are some of the best family friendly movies that are available for streaming. Netflix and Hulu have the option to queue movies to watch at a later time. Add these. Or right the names on paper and put them in a jar. The next time you even have an idea that the “what do you want to watch” discussion is going to start, check your queue or pull a movie title from the jar, pop the popcorn, grab a blanket and chill.
I saw this movie for the first time when I was pregnant with my daughter. Three years later, she when through a phase where she HAD to watch it every day. I can recite almost every line from this movie and I still don’t mind watching it. There is enough “hidden humor” that adults find hysterical but goes over the heads of the kids to make it fun for the whole family. (“The Claw. The Claw is our master. He decides who will stay and who will go”
The Muppet Movie
It’s hard to believe this movie is now 37 years old. I still have fond memories of Kermit the Frog singing “Rainbow Connection” and even now, I love that song. The variety of characters and personalities (yes, puppets have personalities) make this movie endlessly entertaining. And I love that they reference the movie script to see what they’re supposed to do next.
With the recent release of the 7th in the Star Wars franchise, now is a good time to go back and see what started it all. I remember seeing it in the theater for the first time when I was 6 and recently watched it again with my 19 year old daughter. It’s amazing how well the effects have held up over the past 39 years. And you may as well add Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi while you’re at it.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
One of the best family movies of all time, the lessons it imparts are important things we all need to remember. Even the genius of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp could not top this 1971 classic. “Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination”.
I love “Charlotte’s Web” but as far as pig movies go, “Babe” is the best! Facing becoming breakfast (and lunch and dinner), Babe learns to be a sheepdog to prove his worth as something other than food. The lesson of believing in yourself when no one else does is something we all need to be reminded of now and then.
The Princess Bride
One of the only TRUE fairy tale movies. I could not be happier that a new generation is discovering how amazing this movie really is. It has everything – action, adventure, a love story, and humor. In a world of helpless princesses waiting to be rescued, Princess Buttercup has a strength and attitude all girls (and women) can look up to.
A treasure map, a misunderstood giant, being chased by the bad guys….. The Goonies has it all. The way this group of kids supported and stood up for each other is what real friendship is all about. Taking the time to get to know the giant, finding out why he was the way he was, and seeing past the exterior is what being human is all about.