The must-haves for our ideal family film night

A dad and his three children enjoying a family film night.

We’re now well and truly into autumn which, in our house at least, coincides with an increase in telly viewing! It’s logical really – it gets darker earlier, it’s cold and all the best shows return to our TV screens.

To be honest, these are just excuses on my part – we’re home-loving sorts anyway so don’t need much persuading to take up residence on the sofa! My wife and I tend to watch our favourite series during the week, but it’s at the weekend when we sit down all together with the kids for family movie night.

The latter presents its own challenges, however. First of all, choosing the right film that all the kids will be happy with can be tricky. Oldest is eight and youngest is not quite three, so we need to find films that all three kids like. They need to be funny, visually compelling and with a decent amount of mild peril for all of them to be happy!

Thankfully, we’ve found a couple of films recently that fit the bill. Namely The Lorax and Trolls. They’re both great movies with important messages and definitely deliver all of the must-have elements listed above.

Their ‘mild peril’ game, in particular, is strong. I think this is so important. Kids need to learn that the world isn’t perfect and films are a great vehicle for gently introducing this.

A child taking a chocolate from a bowl with a box of tissues in the background.

No matter what film we watch all together, there are several ‘must-haves’ for our ideal family film night and I am working with Kleenex to share them with you.

Of course, a family film evening isn’t complete without snacks so we usually get some chocolatey treats in. This necessitates another must-have. Tissues! While all three kids wolf down their snacks, they seem to get the stuff everywhere in the process.

Although we intentionally chose a chocolate-coloured sofa for this very reason, it’s nice to keep sticky fingers off it so we always have a box of Kleenex to hand.

They’re also useful for emotional moments, of course. It can be difficult to predict what might inspire tears at times and all three kids have taken after me on that front.

I used to cry over the strangest of things as a kid – including an advert in which three duck ornaments fell off a wall. Sorry, kids!

Thinking about it, and don’t tell anyone, but there’s a bit in The Lorax that always makes me well up. It’s when the Once-ler quotes Dr Seuss’ original words to Ted:

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

They’re powerful words that always inspire me to try and make the world a better place for my kids.

That actually got a little deeper than I meant it to, but I’m not sorry. It’s important that films make us think and feel too.

What are the key ingredients of your perfect family film night? Which movies would you choose and why?

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.


  1. Super Busy Mum

    Haha, I never thought to have tissues ready – wipes, yes for those sticky fingers after snacks! But we steer clear of any tear-jerking family movies! My heart cannot handle them, lol.

  2. John Adams

    Tom, if you need tissues while watching Trolls because it has reduced you to tears, then you have an issue! Anyway, I hear you about having something to wipe the kids hands. I am forever telling ours to get their hands off the sofa when / after they’ve been eating. And I do love Kleenex balsam.

  3. Nicola | Mummy to Dex

    I’ve just bought two new sofas (with a two year old toddler and another baby on the way?! Yes I’m crazy) and I have Kleenex to hand at every single moment we are in that room. Why do toddler have THE stickiest of fingers?!

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