My family has always loved Family Movie Night. It is an evening of spending time together, ordering a pizza, popping some popcorn, sprinkling M&Ms on your popcorn, and watching something together. I wanted to share a couple of my recommendation for family movie night that falls into the theme of history. The kids will not have a clue that you are tossing a history lesson into a family movie night. I am currently watching these again with my grandboys for when they stay the night and we have a movie night.
Liberty's Kids: Est. 1776 is an animated historical fiction series that was produced for television that originally aired on PBS. The storyline is based on Benjamin Franklin and four fictional associates of his in their experiences during the American Revolution. The series covers a 16-year span starting from the Boston Tea Party that took place in 1773 to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789. There are 40 shows within the series. It is a great series for teaching young children about 18th century American history. You might even recognize some of the voices within the series. The celebrity voices include Walter Cronkite, Sylvester Stallone, Ben Stiller, Billy Crystal, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Liam Neeson, and Whoopi Goldberg. WildBrain has posted the series on YouTube where you can watch it for free.
An American Girl movies are not just for girls, for my family, they made great family movie nights and sparked conversations. I believe that there are a few other An American Girl movies too, but these are the ones that we have seen. Amazon has almost all of the movies available for a small rental fee. They may be available in other places that you can watch them from.
Felicity: An American Girl Adventure - Felicity is growing up in Virginia right before the American Revolution. While America is getting ready to fight for its freedom, Felicity is fighting for her freedom to be allowed to explore the outdoors. Not only is Felicity forced to learn the valuable lessons of loyalty, responsibility, and independence, she has to learn the difference between Loyalists and Patriots.
Samantha: An American Girl Holiday - Samantha's lives in New York during the Victorian Era in 1904. Samantha is faced with learning about the world around her as her father accepts jobs for the family to be servants to a family. Samantha is faced with learning how to be friends with someone who comes from a completely different background than her.
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl - During the Great Depression Kit and her family are living in Ohio. When her father loses his business and is forced to leave to find work. In order to not lose their house, her mother decides to take in boarders to help bring in money. She has to learn during this difficult time for Americans the importance of doing the right thing and helping others as her world is being affected by the Great Depression.
Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front - At the height of World War II Molly is vaguely aware of the war going on until her father is called to duty and shipped overseas to support the war effort. When a young refugee from England comes to stay with Molly's family she is forced to see the actual effects the war is having on people. This is when Molly truly begins to understand what is going on in the world.
Melody: An American Girl Story - Melody is an African American girl who is growing up during the Civil Rights Movement and its impact on the people of her community in Detroit, Michigan in 1963. As a 10 year girl of color, she has to find her inner strength to handle the news of national events that threaten her sense of safety as her world is getting ready to change.
These are just a few of the movies that our family has enjoyed for movie nights in the past. I loved them because they touched on historical events and helped to spark conversations with my children. This is a great time to talk about your family's history if you know a family member that was affected by any of these events too.
I would love to hear if your family watches or has watched any of these. What movies have your family enjoyed watching that touch on the subject of history that you loved?
Until next time, take care.