It's never been easier to make video - most of us now walk around with a video recorder in our pocket...a mobile phone. If you haven't got a swish mobile with video capability then unless your still stuck on a traditional film camera, the chances are that you can record video on your camera. Use video as a tool to engage your little ones. Older children can make their own 'film' - have them record a scene that they play out amongst themselves. Record younger children singing or acting, or just playing. Demonstrate how you can record and play back. If you can show your video on a television then do that - that is certain to delight the children!
Record older children as they learn to read and record them explaining concepts to you. For eample, ask them what a volcano is, or how rain occurs. Really clever kids might know the answer, but if they don't, you might get some really funny explanations.
Many cinema's run children's clubs on weekend and school holiday mornings and from time to time they'll show films suitable for a toddler audience. Tickets are usually aimed at 'pocket money' prices, often with adults admitted free for each child too. This makes for an economical family outing. New feature releases aren't usually included in these cheaper trips, so if you're looking to enjoy Shrek Forever After or Toy Story 3 (both being released in 3D) with your children, you'll probably have to pay the full admission price for a regular viewing.
At What Age can I take my Children to the Cinema?
Kid's clubs at cinema don't usually have any age restrictions, although preschoolers should probably only be watching 'U' classified films. Films rated 'PG' may contain scenes that will frighten them. At two years, toddlers will become a little restless and probably won't last the duration of a film, but from 3 years onwards, many kids can concentrate through a film and will probably be mesmerised. High noise levels through the film are more than tolerated, and you'll be amazed at how your little ones will barely notice the rabble around them even if you can't concentrate on the film for any length of time! Of course, you need not be worried if your children make noise during the show either.
It is a good idea to take some toys or activity books with you into the cinema in case your children can't last the viewing. If you need to leave then do so, but if you have older siblings who want to stay, you may need to find a way to entertain a younger child until the film ends. Many cinemas leave the lights on a low setting during the children's performances, but this isn't always the case, so do be aware that the cinema may be dark, limiting the range of activities that can be undertaken.