With age-old appeal across the generations, forts never cease to amaze kids and adults alike. After all, you must admit that even you, as an adult, get a bit excited about the idea of snuggling into a fort for the evening.
Whether hosting family or friends, a fort makes for added adventure no matter your age. Constructing a movie night fort creates the perfect spot for lasting family memories or building the bonds of friendship.
A sheet and a few pillows are all you need to put together the perfect movie watching and sleeping hideaway. With a smidge of ingenuity, these basics become the foundation of an unexpected retreat.
Building a Movie Night Fort Perfect for Sleeping
Consider the dimensions of the fort when looking to host multiple people of multiple ages and sizes. Stability becomes an issue with several wiggly bodies inside.
A Fort Magic fort building kit offers the ability to build a taller, wider and more stable fort design. The sticks, connectors, and arcs allow you and your child to create a dome shape to accommodate the height. For something a bit different, you can build a wider version to lay out more sleeping bags for lounging people.
Remember to also keep in mind how your guests plan to view the movie. Will you need to leave the end of the fort open to see the TV screen? Will you include an iPad, DVD player or small projector in the fort to show the night’s feature film?
Stocking the Fort Interior
Filling the interior of the fort with snuggly blankets of your child’s choosing is one option. Each guest may bring a sleeping bag or imaginative covering. It might even be fun to share why each person chose the cover he or she did.
Of course, a variety of pillows help for propping heads to see the screen or allowing some guests to sit without leaning into thin fort walls. Cushions stacked just the right way make a futon-like bed for those needing a softer seat or just wanting one.
Making It One Special Night
Twinkle lights make forts magical. And, for younger moviegoers, this soft light calms the fears of all-lights-off forts. Even tweens may enjoy the party atmosphere created by strings of lights running the interior or exterior of the fort.
Whether a movie night alone or a slumber party, invitations complete with tickets to enter the movie fort delight guests. Let your children spend an afternoon getting crafty and designing invitations to hand out to family and friends.
After the movie credits roll, capitalize on the moment to discuss the movie you just watched. Try one of these ideas to get the conversation started:
— Set your guests up as movie critics to give their opinion of the film and why.
— Open the discussion to compare the film and book.
— Compare the movie to others in a similar genre and let your children share their thoughts.
— Ask each moviegoer which character he or she wants to be in the sequel.
— Discuss the deeper themes of the film, i.e. kindness vs. bullying or family values.
Movies, Sleepovers and Good Eats Go Together
All movies seem more enjoyable with a bucket of buttery popcorn. Of course, at-home theatres are free to mix up the offerings. A popcorn bar with plenty of mix-in options is fun.
Expand the offerings to beyond popcorn to create a one-of-a-kind experience. Check out these 10 best movie night snacks for inspiration. Then, get your little chefs in the kitchen to whip up the snacks. Better yet, let them take the reigns in planning this part of the evening entirely.
Drinks in closed containers tend to work best in forts. Sippy cups, sports bottles, lidded tumblers with straws or juice boxes keep blankets, flooring, and pillows safe from spills and stains. Parents may also thank you for choosing non-soda, low-sugar beverage options.
Choosing Family-Friendly Movies
Of course, choosing a movie that all age groups enjoy is no easy feat. Consider these simple tips for planning an enjoyable movie-watching experience for all guests.
1. Know the rating and the reasons for it. For instance, read the fine print on the PG for “mild rude humor” or “frightening images.“ Identify the definition of family-friendly appropriate to your home based on language, sexual content, violence and themes.
2. Check sites such as Common Sense Media or PluggedIn to read reviews of unfamiliar movies. Full descriptions allow you to determine if the subject matter and plot seem appropriate to invited viewers.
3. Know your audience. Alerting parents of friends as to the movie choices ahead of time may avoid potential issues for young guests. When in doubt, consider Dove “Family-Approved” movies or other such wholesome, family-focused entertainment.
Movies entertain and fill young minds with inspiration and plenty to talk about. Hosting a movie night or even slumber party in a fort is sure to delight all your guests.
How does fort building play a role in your movie night and slumber party planning? Share with us below!
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