I love sharing treasured memories and favorites from my childhood with Wild Thing and Caterpillar. In fact, that is how our Where the Wild Things-themed room for Wild Thing came to be. Last night, we had a Family Movie Night featuring one of my favorite movies from childhood: E.T. The 30th anniversary of the release of the film was Oct. 3rd, so it seemed appropriate timing.
Caterpillar did not really watch it at all, but enjoyed snuggling with us on the couch (he is 14 months old). My husband and I enjoyed the nostalgic evening, and Wild Thing thought the frogs and flying bicycles were cool and could not decide if E.T. was a dog or dinosaur.
To make it special, we had Reese's Pieces (of course), and I set the table with Sunflowers. They should be Marigolds, but I never made it to the Garden Store so I just got Sunflowers at the grocery store instead. We had fun with our snacks too making two different E.T. finger food items: breadsticks with marinara sauce and pretzel rods with red pepper hummus. Both were the closest we could come to making snacks that looked like E.T.'s glowing finger.
It is a great film for Halloween and to get kids engaged about space. A family movie night featuring E.T. could be followed the next day by space and moon activities:
- Five Moon Activities for Kids + Moon Books from What Do We Do All Day?
- Montessori-Inspired Moon Unit from Living Montessori Now
- Super Space Sensory Bin + Space Spelling from Here Come the Girls
- Space Themed Sensory Tub from One Perfect Day
- Kids Crafts: Solar System by Red Ted Art
Or, you could make Glowing Jello in honor of E.T.s glowing finger, or simply taking a family bike ride.
I vividly remember seeing E.T. as a child and recently had friends share touching stories of their memories of the film too, including a story from a friend about how the film helped him deal with the loss of his grandfather and of how valuable it is to see a story of two very different beings becoming so close (Elliot and E.T., of course). I agree that the way Elliot does not fear E.T., who is so different, but embraces and comes to love E.T. is the most valuable aspect of this film and one of the main reasons I cherish it and love sharing it with my own kids for many years to come.
A special commemorative DVD comes out Oct. 9th, so if you have a major E.T. fan in your life, consider an E.T. movie night gift: Reeses pieces, marigolds, the movie (unless they already have it) and, depending on the friend, a 6 pack of Coors -- and maybe some plastic frogs.
I love family movie night! How about you? What are your favorite family movie night flix or traditions?
Here are two of my favorite posts from Let's Lasso the Moon about Family Movie Night: Five Must Read Roald Dahl Movie Pairings and Popcorn for Dinner.
Perfect timing too, since it is World Space Week (Oct. 4-10)!
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