6 tips to enjoy the cinema with a toddler
If you’ve been on the Mums’ Days Facebook Page recently you’ll see I was about to do something crazy. I was going to take Reuben to see Postman Pat: The Movie at the cinema. It was his first trip to the cinema and he’s never even watched any Postman Pat. A bit of a mistake, some might say.
To give you a bit of background, in case you’re considering doing a similar trip, Reuben is very capable of watching telly. It’s sort of his favourite thing I’m ashamed to say! He’ll watch between 30 and 45 minutes of Monster’s Inc or Peppa Pig. But he’s familiar with those shows, and kids do love repetition, so I was really conscious that he’s not seen Postman Pat so within 5 minutes he might decide he wasn’t going to watch it.
To prepare, and this is all I did, I showed Reuben an episode of Postman Pat on Youtube. He happily sat through the 15 minute episode, so I was confident that he’d be OK for at least 30 minutes with the help of popcorn.
So off we went. Mike and Gabby went their way to Melificent (not jealous at all…) and we went ours. Reuben didn’t even want to come with me, he wanted Mike (I tried to swap but Mike wasn’t having any of it), so I was having to use popcorn to coax him in. In the end I carried him. I had so much stuff, his bag and coat, my bag and coat, plus a tub of popcorn that I ended up carrying him like a kid carries a cat. Not a great start to his first cinema experience but I was getting flustered.
Reuben come on…
But once he was in place, he was happy as Larry with his popcorn between his legs. If I took a bite, he’d look up at me and give me a telling off (the only bit I could understand was ‘Mum’). We got there a bit too early for my liking and had to watch about 15 minutes of adverts.
The film itself was actually quite good! I know there have been mixed reviews but I’m afraid I’m not an avid Postman Pat fan. We’re more into Thomas in this house, so I don’t have any affinity with the ‘mild-mannered’ or ‘slow paced’ original and as far as kids’ films go, it was good enough for me!
And for Reuben there were tractors, trains, vans, sheep, cows, bikes, a cat, Robots, etc, etc, so it was good enough for him too. He sat through a full hour (at least) of the film happily munching occasionally on his popcorn (you’ll be happy to know he didn’t finish the tub by any stretch – that’s when I moved in). After an hour he did get restless, so I pulled out my trump card and gave him some milk, which bought us another 15 minutes.
Then he’d had enough. And enough was enough. Annoying because Postman Pat was about to save the day. And he got off his seat, kept putting his hand on the bald man’s head in front, and then left. I tried to get him to sit on the steps but pretty much had to quickly gather the suitcase load of stuff and leave. When I say quickly, I threw my phone under the bald man’s seat whilst Reuben simultaneously started to fall down the stairs. Thankfully a quick-witted mama next to me prevented the fall! So I grabbed stuff, grabbed the phone, grabbed the baby and we left, a mere 15 minutes before the end.
We then relaxed outside for 20 minutes waiting for Mike and Gabriella’s film to finish. Reuben read his book and ran about, and I sat on a handily placed sofa outside the mens’ toilets.
All in all, I recon, despite the drama at the end, it was good going and good value! So, here are my tips for enjoying the cinema with your littlest ones…
6 tips to enjoy the cinema with a toddler – Postman Pat
- If you’re going to see, for example, Postman Pat, show you kid Postman Pat episodes in advance!
- Don’t take too much stuff – you may need to make a quick get away.
- Get somewhere near the aisle and not too far back (depending upon if you have steps to climb – we did and it felt like I’d climbed Everest by the time we’d reached row K)
- Don’t go too early, there are normally around 20 minutes of adverts – check with your cinema but if I were you I’d risk arriving a bit late!
- Take snacks they like – Reuben ate most of his before we arrived and therefore gorged on popcorn!
- If you do have to leave and wait for others, have a plan B. I’d brought some books and a colouring book, which bought us time. If it had been longer we would have gone to the near by soft play (sweet hell!).