Monday, 16 May 2016

What a Wookie: 6 Essential Tips for Watching Star Wars with your kids

Last week we let the minions watch Star Wars for the very first time.  Despite their young age (four and a half) it was a HUGE success! While Molly and Jack are very young to enjoy this type of film, I like to think that a number of factors enhanced their viewing experience and made the entire film easier to digest.

Jackie on Star Wars Day Circa 2013

6 Essential Tips to Help Make Your Child's First Star Wars Experience Successful

  1. Watch the movie during the day
    Giving a bit of space between movie viewing and bed time can allow for time for questions, and distance between anything that might be scary or upsetting for kids and minimize any potential for nightmares.
  2. Consider breaking down the viewing into segments or episodes
    For my kids 30 minutes to 45 minutes maximum is about the breaking point for attention span, so it helped to watch the movie in three shifts, on three different days, to make sure everyone was focused and paying attentions.
  3. Press pause for questions
    There were a lot of questions during this movie.  Rather than having your kids miss important plot points because they are wondering where Princess Leia's crown is, I mean after all she is a princess, just hit pause, answer and then carry on.
  4. Press pause when your child gets distracted or upset
    Some upsetting things happen in Star Wars. Planets are destroyed, people die, and Han is kinda a jerk (a sexy, sexy, jerk, but still a jerk).  By calming your child, or taking a bathroom break when things get intense, or other needs supersede attention on the film.
  5. Unleash your inner critic
    Ask your kids about which characters they favour, which scenes really resonate with them and why.  Then tell them what you liked best when you were a kid and why, it makes for some great bonding.
  6. Become a reporter
    Maybe this is my inner Lit Geek coming to the surface, but Star Wars has so many themes and interesting discussion points as a sort of space soap opera.  Take the time to talk to your kids about important plot points in the film to enhance the experience.  
Image Courtesy of Lucas Film

Interesting Questions & Topics We Have Explored Since Watching Star Wars Together

  1. What makes someone a hero?
  2. What makes someone a villain or bad guy?
  3. Can someone be both a villain and a bad guy?
  4. Is it more important to be brave or to be safe?  Why?
  5. Can people still help us and be a part of our lives after they die?
  6. Will you be better at something if you "use" the force and believe in yourself?

To read about 7 important life lessons you (and your kids) can learn from watching Back to the Future click here.

Click here to enjoy the Chewbacca Song, I promise you won't regret it.

To read about how we made our decision to let the minions watch Star Wars at age four and a half, click here.

To read about Molly and Jack's first time watching The Princess Bride click here.

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