This Weekend: Watch These 5 Movies with Your Kids

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Good movies have the power to grip us and make us feel a range of emotions. Great movies, on the other hand, will entertain us while also widening our scope of the world and inviting us to think outside of ourselves. That’s the magic of storytelling: It teaches us things in a fun, relevant way.

In this blog, we rounded up 5 best movies for children that teach empathy and convey strong messages around curiosity, kindness, integrity, diversity, and resilience. Not only will they encourage them to navigate life with wisdom, but they can also make difficult conversations easier.

And of course, these films have a message or two for the adults too. So, make plans to watch them together. Afterward, have a discussion with them about the theme of the film. The conversation may help you get a glimpse of the world through your child’s eyes. We have listed some conversation starter along with the recommended films.

If you have already seen these films…watch them again! We promise you will get a different experience seeing them through the lens of the questions listed below.

Here is the list:

1. Wonder

Based on R. J. Palacio’s award-winning novel of the same name, Wonder tells the story of Auggie, a boy with a genetic facial difference who attends school for the first time. It has scenes of bullying and intense emotions, but it’s also full of positive messages about choosing kindness, appreciating everyone for who they are (rather than what they look like), and true friendship. Empathy and perseverance are also strong themes that stand out.

Dinner table discussion

How does being bullied affect Auggie? How did you feel about Julian by the time the movie was over? 

What role does peer pressure play in some of the bullyings? How would you handle the situation that Jack Will faces?

How does the story show the importance of kindness and empathy? Why are those important character strengths?

2. Kindness is Contagious

This is one of those feel-good movies that will make you cry the happiest of tears. It interviews various people about one small act of kindness that someone did for them, and how that changed their entire life for the better. It shows us how kindness can create a better world.

Dinner table discussion:

What is the nicest thing anyone ever did for you?

What does it mean to be inclusive?

How can you show kindness to someone who is being unkind to others?

3. Inside Out

Inside Out is an animated Pixar film about the feelings of an 11-year-old girl named Riley. Anger, Sadness, Joy, Fear and Disgust are all characters in the film. They must work together to help Riley make the right decisions in life. Inside Out is more serious than a typical Pixar movie, but it can teach kids a lot about emotions.

Dinner table discussion:

Why is it hard for Riley to tell her parents how she is feeling?

How does Bing Bong feel when he helps Joy escape?

What does it mean to have “mixed emotions” about something?

4. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

In the classic family film E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, a young boy named Elliott makes friends with an alien who is stranded on Earth. Elliott tries to help E.T. “go home.” But other humans are afraid of E.T., and government scientists try to catch and study the alien. This film can help kids explore how people see others who are different.

Dinner table discussion:

Why do the kids and adults see E.T. differently?

Could Elliott have talked to his mom about E.T.? Why or why not?

Do you think you relate to any of the characters, and how?

5. Zootopia

In a world where animals can talk, a rabbit named Judy Hopps and a fox named Nick Wilde team up to solve a kidnapping case. This film is a great tool for helping kids learn about tolerance and the danger of stereotypes.

Dinner table discussion:

What kinds of stereotypes do the animals of Zootopia have about rabbits and foxes?

How do Judy’s and Nick’s opinions about each other change in the film?

Is there something human society can learn from Zootopia?

Let us know how your weekend went by commenting below.

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