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Tell Us Your Favorite Family Films
What do you watch in your house on Family Movie Night? Click here to send us a note.
Your kids will be giggling all night long at the Marx Brothers' old-fashioned antics. Just for the fun of it, we popped Animal Crackers into our DVD players without mentioning that this black and white film was made over seventy years ago. After a few minutes, that Marx Brothers magic took over. The storyline, as if it matters, has Groucho playing an African jungle explorer who has just returned home. During a fancy party in his honor, while Groucho regales high society guests with tales of his exploits, a valuable painting is stolen. Locating the art is just a premise for plenty of silliness that includes fake paintings, an unconventional piano playing scene and a rather lyrical moment with Harpo playing... the harp! Whether your kids pick up on the film's themes of class struggle and social rank, or just crack up at what are now famous witticisms, there is something to please everybody in this beloved film.
Want some cultural relief from those homework-laden afternoons? Think art. Autumn typically brings a colorful showing of fresh art exhibits around every town, and we've discovered a few tricks for helping kids enjoy a museum. Before entering any gallery, we ask our kids to look for a favorite piece. It sounds corny, but it works. One of our boys loved a black and white photograph of nature because he liked to imagine himself in that spot. Another was taken with an outdoor sculpture that changed as it moved in the wind. Our middle school-aged daughter spent thirty minutes trying to figure out where a video installation's images were stored, and declared that the artist should exhibit on YouTube. Just before boredom set in, we delivered on an earlier promise (okay, a bribe) of an ice-cream cone and soon found ourselves in an animated chat...kids LOVE to express their opinions about what they've seen. Kids discussing art over ice-cream? Now, that's a pretty picture. (For additional tips, see KOTC Kernels, below).
Our Buttery Bits of Wisdom from watching this film with our kids:
Tips for talking with your kids about the film:
Visit Your City's Best New Art Exhibit
Age Recommendation: Five and up.
Time Allotment: Plan to spend an hour, maybe more depending on the ages of your kids.
Our Buttery Bits of Wisdom about seeing art with kids: