If your child is a real movie lover, then here are some Movie Magic activities to keep them busy over the school holidays.

Think outside the box (excuse the pun!), and create some real movie magic in your own home. Here are a few indoor ideas to get you started.

At home movie theatre experience

It’s always nice to go out to the movies, but you can recreate that movie theatre feel at home, and turn an ordinary DVD, or streaming movie, into a real experience. Not only will your children have lots of fun, but with so many things to organise it will entertain them for a whole day or more.

Firstly choose a movie to rent, and have your kids make a movie poster to advertise that it is ‘Coming Soon’ to your ‘at home’ theatre. Stick the poster to your lounge window, or if you’re really brave – to your letterbox.

Make invitations to attend the official premiere, and send them to your children’s friends with details of date, time and occasion. If you want, ask everyone to dress in fancy clothes so that the premiere can be extra special.

Set your lounge or theatre room up with rows of chairs, cushions or beanbags, and roll out a red carpet for your guests. If you don’t have a red rug, make a pathway with garden stakes up to your door, and tie on lots of red balloons. Make sure the curtains are closed, so the room is dark like a real theatre.

As your children’s guests arrive, greet them with a bag of sweet ‘n salty popcorn or a chocolate dipped ice-cream, and usher them to their seat with a torch. The premiere will be the talk of tinsel town!

Make your own movie

Think you might have a budding peter Jackson in the house? Have your children make their own movie with a video or sports camera, or even on your mobile phone. They can do the post-production editing using free phone apps, or there’s simple, free software you can download onto a desktop computer.

They will have to come up with a storyline first, and then spend time putting it together. You can even take them right through the process of drawing a movie storyboard and writing a short script. Of course there will also be the grand opening premiere at the end.

In some cities there are ‘movie making’ holiday programmes available, specifically using the computer. Start by asking your child’s school if they know of any movie making workshops, or check out your local computer shops. If all else fails, advertise at your local polytechnic, university or high school for a capable student who can help out. Give your child a few hours with an expert, and you’ll be amazed by what they come up with.

Hollywood ‘Walk of Fame’ paver

Nothing says Hollywood like a ‘Walk of Fame’ paver, and there are two ways to make one depending on the age and stage of your child. You can either buy a concrete paving stone and simply paint on their details, along with painted hand prints, or make a concrete paver right from scratch.

To make a mould, cut the bottom off a plastic bucket so you’re left with a dish approximately 5 cm deep. Mix up some quick set concrete and pour it into the dish. Using a stick (or the end of a paintbrush), draw on the Hollywood star and write your child’s details, then have them press their hands into the centre of the star.

Decorate the paver by pressing in pieces of coloured glass, tiles, old coins, marbles or shells. After 24 hours, or once the concrete is completely set, remove the paver from the mould and it’s ready to grace your ‘Walk of Fame’.

Write a fan letter

Your child is bound to have a favourite actor or actress, and chances are there’s a fan club already set up. Search the internet for a fan mail address, and have your child write and send a letter.

There is no guarantee they’ll get a reply, but most celebrities with a child or teenage fan base have a good system for sending out photographs or return letters – even if everyone gets the same one!

Write a movie review

Another great writing activity is to write and submit a movie review. There are a number of websites that accept viewer reviews. Reviews have a particular form, or framework, which makes them easier to write. Writing a review will really make your children stop and think about how the movie made them feel.

And because their review should get published online, your children will see their name as the author, which is pretty cool.

Have a talent show

Get your children’s friends together for a talent show in the backyard, and award them all with prizes for different categories, so everybody wins. You could have best costume, best dancing, best singer, and most funny – use your imagination. Make up miniature OSCARS for them to take home, and have them make a speech when the awards are presented.

You could turn this into an event for the whole neighbourhood, or use it to get together with friends who also have children. Think of it as your very own OSCAR party.

Extreme makeover

Let your child be a star for a day, and give them an extreme makeover from head to toe.

Even boys will enjoy being fussed over while you style their hair, and girls will love putting on makeup and having their nails done. If it fits into your budget, (or it’s the time of year when you need to buy new clothes anyway), take them on a shopping trip to complete their new look.

Don’t forget to take plenty of before and after photos, so they can look back on their day of luxury.

Go to the movies

Of course if your child is a movie lover, then a simple trip to the movies is bound to please. The school holidays are always full of fun movies, so pack up the family and get ready for a great time. There’s always a sprinkling of adult humour in kid’s movies, so stay alert and you’ll have as much fun as your children.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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Kym Klein

Great ideas thanks very much. Esp. love the at home movies where you are more relaxed anyway – just need to be a bit creative! Kym

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