Family movie nights have always been a regular part of our week. Whenever it fits into the schedule that week, we love to snuggle up on the couch or in our bed to watch a movie and eat popcorn. We love being all together, in such close proximity—usually laughing and making little comments along the way.
Once in awhile I’ll do a family movie night concession stand, which the kids absolutely love, and is a special treat. One of my close friends introduced me to it years ago, and I loved it so much I immediately incorporated it into our own family. While we do it throughout the year, it’s one of my kids’ absolute favorite summer traditions.
Earning money for our family movie night concession stand…
The entire week leading up to our movie night, the kids are able to earn “money” (I use Monopoly money, or electronic Monopoly) by making good choices, being kind to siblings, listening right away to mom and dad, going the extra mile, and getting all of their jobs done.
Depending on the ages of your children, the way they can earn money can be altered to fit their age and your family rules. This is something that works for all ages–which is another reason I love it!
Family movie night concession stand…how it works!
The night of the movie, I set up the concession stand with a variety of items and label them with a price—bags of popcorn, candy bars, bottled water and lemonade, cookies, and fruit (which is free!). Before I price the items, I look to see how much the kids earned, so I can coordinate the prices accordingly. If they’ve only earned $5, I don’t want to put the prices too high, and if they’ve earned $20, if I put everything at $1 or $2 they’ll end up with way too many sweets.
About ten minutes before we start the movie, the kids get to come to the concession stand and use their earned money from the week to purchase the treats that they want to eat while we watch our movie. It is so fun to see them get so excited about everything that’s there, and the fact that they earned it themselves.
I also made concession “trays” for them to use, and they’re so fun! I used the cardboard that’s used for 12 canned good items–it has short sides that are just right. I spray painted the cardboard, then mod podged cute scrapbook paper around the sides and used stamps to add names to the center. Super cute, so simple, and so perfect for all of their concession stand treats!
Not only is it a really fun family tradition, it also encourages extra good behavior that week. Sometimes when we need a little “kickstart” to improve our good choices, a concession stand is a great way to start.
I like to keep it as a special activity, so we only do it a handful of times each year, but ending the summer and kicking off the new school year has always been the perfect time to do it!
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