A family gather on cushions to watch a film © Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

See the world from the comfort of your own home © Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

Rainy days are a great excuse to stay in, snuggle up and watch a movie or two. Kids films often bring to life all kinds of locations and cultures, from real-life spots to fantasy worlds. You may not be venturing very far, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn about new places while you’re watching.

Ready for some travel-themed screen time? Plan the perfect lazy day and inspire your youngsters to see the world with a family-friendly movie.

Before…

Choose your movie

Perhaps you have a DVD collection of remastered classics from your own childhood, or a few new releases sitting in your Netflix recommendations. If you’re feeling adventurous, choose a theme – such as pirates, cities or jungle – and find a film that suits.

Can’t decide?

Let the kids flip a coin, play rock-paper-scissors, have a staring contest or a thumb war… or keep things simple and let the grown-ups choose. Consider compiling everyone’s suggestions into a movie wish list, for next time.

A pair of legs and a bowl of popcorn © Rokas Tenys / Shutterstock

Movie watching calls for snacks, of course © Rokas Tenys / Shutterstock

During…

Snack!

There’s nothing better than curling up on the couch with some popcorn. If you’re feeling extra dedicated, you could even provide snacks associated with the movie’s location… Think tortilla chips and guacamole for Coco, Scandinavian salty liquorice for Frozen or marmalade sandwiches for Paddington.

Switch off

Turn off phones and tablets, snuggle down and enjoy some proper distraction-free family time. Being present and engaged means you’ll be able to answer any questions about the film, deal with any themes or scenes which create anxiety, and be on hand to press pause for toilet breaks. You’ll be more prepared to discuss the story afterwards too.

After…

Make… crafts inspired by the movie you watched together. Draw your favourite location from the film, create a shoebox scene or make food inspired by the story.

A young child plays dress up, wearing a hat and holding a handbag © Alina Demidenko / Shutterstock

‘My Mary Poppins look, courtesy of Mum’s wardrobe’ © Alina Demidenko / Shutterstock

Dress up… as your favourite character from the movie, using only the items available to you at home. Take photos or act out a scene in your costumes.

Research… the locations from the movie. Even if they’re fictional, they’re often based on real-life places. How far away do you live from the movie location? How would you get there? You could even design your own island or city.

Sing along… to the songs from the film. Search YouTube or Spotify for karaoke versions, or find singalong versions of the films themselves.