Hotel Transylvania Themed Dinner & A Movie Night

This summer one of my goals is to encourage my youngest child to read more books. Reading has not come with as much ease or enthusiasm for her as it did for my oldest. I’m really digging into my creative depths to come up with ideas to engage her and the idea occurred to me to include the t.v…sounds counterproductive, right? Hear me out!

I had an idea to include an item from our summer bucket list-Family Movie Night and incorporate it into reading more books. Here’s the idea:

* Choose the movie ahead of time for Movie Night

* Go to our local library and borrow a book that goes with that movie

* Read the book with her a couple of times during that week to get her excited and practice her reading skills without her really feeling like it’s “work”

* Involve the kids with planning a dinner and movie snack that goes with the movie’s theme

* Enjoy the dinner and movie..repeat the process again for the next movie of their choosing

The first movie on their list was Hotel Transylvania, which luckily we already own but haven’t watched in awhile. We went to the library the following day and checked out this book, Hotel Transylvania 2, We Are Family. It was the only Hotel Transylvania book they had but hey, it fit the theme and we happily took it! I either read it with my daughter or my son read it independently during the week. Friday would be movie day so they were able to read it a few times. Choosing the movie ahead of time was key here, the excitement for reading the book was increased as Movie Night approached.

I let the kids go on Pinterest to get some ideas under my supervision (they are like mama and have their own boards..the apple didn’t fall far from this tree). They were then allowed to choose 2 ideas they found there and I promised if the ideas were easy enough I’d work them in. Luckily, both ideas were snacks and easy ones at that, thanks kids!!

It was unanimously decided that they wanted the main dish to be pizza, shocking that kids would be pick this for dinner, right? I was on board though, we would have a busy day that day so the prep work for throwing in a pizza would be nonexistent, happy mommy! Now onto the drinks and snacks that the kids picked.

For drinks- we had a couple of red juice barrels left over from a recent party so I named them Vampire Juice (they could pretend it was blood and my son was fully cool with that..boys!!!). I put them on a tray with some fun straws and as they drank “the blood” they giggled repeatedly.

For the two snacks- we had individual containers of orange jell-o to represent Blobby. I used some gel icing on top to add a face. We also had Frankenstein smiles- apple slices with peanut butter and mini marshmallows. For these-you just slice the apple, spread the peanut butter on two slices of apple, put the desired amount of marshmallows on top of the peanut butter of one slice and the other peanut butter covered slice on top of that..done!!

No movie would be complete without popcorn-ours was just movie theater style microwave popcorn that I named Mavis & Johnny’s Zing Popcorn. We had the popcorn container already-you can get these at your local Dollar Tree. I added these fun skeleton tongs purchased this past Halloween (that somehow didn’t get put away with the other Halloween stuff almost a year ago 🤔) for a fun touch.

A little tiny bit of decoration..because frankly I don’t know how NOT to! I printed up a Now Showing sign on my computer with a picture from the DVD cover and our menu. I just put it in a frame. I didn’t even cut the paper, just folded it to fit..some would call it laziness, I call it speedy 😉. The frame sat on top of an old hat box decorated with admit one tickets made for a party we had like 4 years ago (and recently discovered in the garage while looking for something else..funny how that works??). I added the tray with our snacks and drinks, the book we’ve been reading, the DVD case and the popcorn bowl.

Lastly, the actual movie watching area for the kiddos..because even though we have a huge couch they like to watch on the floor. This is just couch cushions from the neighboring living room thrown on the floor and covered with a couple of fleece blankets. I added a few throw pillows and extra blankets (in a basket next to it) and each child’s coziest pair of slippers to finish it off.

Everything I’ve shown you took 25 minutes-the amount of time the pizza needed to cook in the oven. I’m telling you this to make sure you know this was not a time consuming endeavor! You can absolutely make memories with your kids without a ton of creativity or effort!! The kids loved this so much they are already planning the next one..stay tuned for our next movie themed activities coming soon to a home theatre!! Janet