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We did a lot of traveling this summer. BUT we also watched a lot of movies. And what was great about it was that our two oldest girls were 7.5 and almost 6, making it possible for them to watch some of the movies that us parents loved when we were growing up and not just whatever was out in newest releases.
Since everyone could always love a good movie recommendation for a road trip or when you're posting up in a hotel room, here's what we've watched recently while traveling and at home, with some of my brief semi-stream of consciousness summaries. Got your own kid-friendly movie recs? Let us know in the comments below! Or on Facebook.
As always, you know your kid best and you know what they might be afraid of. You're also the one in control of what they should be exposed to, so if you want more detailed descriptions of what's in these movies, search them on Common Sense Media.
This movie is all about the traditions surrounding Dia de los Muertos but it is a great movie to watch anytime of the year. (I cried during this and told my kids that they need to put me on the ofrenda when I'm gone.)
Again, this movie doesn't have to be watched around Halloween time. It's quite funny (maybe one of Adam Sandler's funniest hits in years?) and gives a fun take on scary monsters. Also, it's about a monster hotel so how could we not love that? And now you can follow up with Hotel Transylvania 2 and 3!
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
I had some reservations about the age-appropriateness for this movie (10 and older) but my girls absolutely loved it and really didn't question much of anything about it. So aside from the music they can't stop playing (Zac Efron singing again?!?! OMG!), I hope it at least instilled in them the message that everyone should love themselves just as they are.
Officially, we watched this movie last year around Christmastime and it was a hoot for the kids to see one of their own holding down the fort by himself. We also got a kick out of their reactions to how things used to be in the early 90s. (No smartphones! No long security lines at the airport!) After this, we waited about a day before giving into the girls' demands to watch Home Alone 2. But I draw the line at 3 because it doesn't have Macaulay Culkin in it.
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
What's great about this movie is that it really does give kids a bit of a history lesson within all the zany adventures that happen when the museum closes at night. And like Hotel Translyvania, you can follow this up with the sequels.
In anticipation of the sequel that came out this summer, we watched the original for the first time with the kids and us adults really loved how well the storyline and the animation held up. But the girls loved The Incredibles 2 even more, probably because of Jack Jack which reminded them of Jake Jake, their 1.5-year-old brother.
Yup, my old favorite movie is now beloved by my daughters. It's a little scary when Rooster is chasing Annie but luckily, the sun will come out tomorrow or rather, by the end of the movie.
The girls were enthralled by this modern-day take on the traditional damsel-in-distress fairytale and also the switching back from animated to live action. It's a little cheesy in parts but that's stuff the kids don't really question.
THE PRINCESS BRIDE
Speaking of damsels in distress, we took a risk and put this on one day this summer and it was a hit. Yes, there are some dicey parts for kids, but it's also hilarious for them in so many ways.
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