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Unsure of what to watch for a movie night? We’ve put together a list of a few of our favourite movies that are perfect for kids aged six to nine. Apart from being entertaining, they all contain quite a few teaching moments that you can talk about after the credits roll. Enjoy!
1. The Dark Crystal (1982)
Set in a far off time and place, The Dark Crystal tells of a world that has been split into light and dark, good and evil. When a young boy named Jen is chosen by the Mystics to find a mysterious crystal shard, it begins a quest that will take him through strange lands populated by fantastical creatures, both friendly and dangerous. From the imaginations of Frank Oz and Jim Henson, this epic puppet show contains plenty of symbolism that will leave you with lots to talk about after it’s over.
Lessons learned: Teamwork, redemption, trust.
2. Home Alone (1990)
Feeling forgotten and overshadowed by his older brothers and sisters, young Kevin McCallister wishes in frustration that he didn’t have a family. In the following morning’s chaos of setting out for vacation, Kevin is accidentally left behind while his family jets off to Paris. At first Kevin revels in this newfound freedom: running wild, watching TV and eating whatever he wants. But he has to deal with a pair of bungling burglars who are terrorising the neighbourhood. Kevin does his best to defend the family home, but can he hold them off until his mum rushes back from France to rescue him?
Lessons learned: Being forgotten doesn’t mean you’re unloved, surviving on your own, careful what you wish for, appreciate the things you have.
3. The Goonies (1985)
When a property developer buys their neighbourhood, it threatens to split apart a group of childhood friends forever. The Goonies decide to have one final adventure together and armed with a crumbling map, they set out to find the treasure of the villainous pirate One-Eyed Willy. Along the way they run into plenty of deadly booby traps and cross paths with dangerous criminals. Starring a young Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, Stranger Things) and written by Steven Spielberg, The Goonies is a fun ride with plenty of twists and turns to keep everyone entertained.
Lessons learned: Teamwork, bravery, breaking through cliques, making friends of various age groups and backgrounds.
4. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Based on the classic novel by Roald Dahl, the original 1971 movie captures the innocent delight of being a kid in a candy store. As one of the lucky winners of the Golden Ticket, Charlie Bucket embarks on a mind-boggling adventure filled with rivers of chocolate, everlasting gobstoppers, and singing Oompa-Loompas. It’s a day he (and you) won’t soon forget.
Lessons learned: obeying rules, gluttony, being trustworthy, maintaining hope, being okay with being strange.
5. The Journey of Natty Gann (1985)
In Depression-era America, 15-year-old Natty Gran’s widowed father takes a job in a logging camp on the other side of the country, but has to leave before he can tell Natty. Packing her few belongings, Natty sets off on a cross-country journey to find him. She makes a friend or two, including a wolfdog that she rescues from a dog-fighting ring, and gets in and out of a few scrapes. And of course she learns a thing or two about herself and the world along the way.
Lessons learned: Courage, perseverance, and taking risks.