As a kid my summers were spent flying through VHS tapes of our favorite Disney movies with my little sister. Sometimes my dad would wake us up in the middle of the night to watch scary movies with him. And we took many family trips to the neighborhood dollar theater. Some of my best childhood memories include watching movies with my family, and to this day, I still call my mom to chat about the latest films, and get movie recommendations.

My love of movies has only grown since I was a little girl. I am a lifelong fan of animated movies. My digital Disney movie collection that far surpassed my mom’s VHS tapes and I’ve become a (mostly self-proclaimed) movie critic. It has taken me on some of my wildest dreams. I’ve had incredible opportunities to attend red carpet events for movies like Moana and The BFG and interview stars including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Oprah, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Steven Spielberg.

Disney's Wrinkle in Time red carpet blue carpet premiere event
(Wrinkle in Time World Premiere with baby Lee Lee on board)

Now, sharing movies with our kids has been one of my greatest joys. Our three children who are getting a healthy dose of movie classics from their dad and I. From The Land Before Time, to Rocky, and Indiana Jones, these kids aren’t just watching the latest and greatest.

Recently my love of reviewing family movies evolved from just something I do for fun on my blog, to writing movie reviews for Common Sense Media.

I’ve seen how fun and rewarding it can be to enjoy movies together as a family, and I want to share that with others.

How it came about

During the COVID-19 pandemic a lot of us were stuck at home with no where to go. Activities were canceled. School was virtual, and much work was done from home. I don’t know about you but we wound up spending a lot of time watching movies together. My free Disney movie checklists went bananas as families downloaded the printables to complete together. We even had a summer Marvel movie marathon and went through a movie a day during lunch. But as things started to open up again, sports restarted, kids went back to school, and our calendars to filled up again, I wanted to create something for families who still wanted to slow down and connect.

Family Movie Night

Family Movie Night

Here in the Borget house we’ve had a tradition for years where we watch movies together once a week for Family Movie Night. It’s a great time to take a breather while having fun together, but it does require some planning to run smoothly.

For some families, the busyness of everyday life can make this difficult. For others the challenge may come from trying to choose an age-appropriate movie that everyone will enjoy. Voting over what to watch can leave people frustrated. And sometimes it takes longer to decide on a movie than it does to actually watch the film. I get it!

Pulling the pieces that make our Family Movie Night run smoothly, my oldest daughter Jayda and I sat down and started sketching pages and ideas for what has now become the Movie Night Journal. You can read more about that process here.

How does it work? In summary, it’s a keepsake journal with a how-to guide for setting rules for movie night (no cell phones please!), with space to plan your movie nights using detailed lists for dozens of movie genres, hundreds of movie ideas, and fun activity sheets. Enjoy your movie nights by filling in the pages to keep track of what you watch and when. Who liked it and who didn’t. And the most memorable parts – either the actual movie scenes or memories that happened while you were watching the movie. And so much more.

What’s so special about movies anyway?

If you’re reading this far, you probably already get it. Movies give us a sense of belonging. Whether to the characters in the story, or others who enjoy it. How many times have you connected with someone over the mutual enjoyment of a favorite film? And watching movies together, whether in a movie theater or in the comfort of your home, is a shared experience that makes everyone feel closer at the end of it!

Turning off our distractions and watching a movie with our kids has kept a sense of normalcy and fun, even during times of uncertainty. Not to mention, films can be not only entertaining, but even educational at the times. Even if the story itself is meant to entertain, the takeaways and discussions we have after often give us a lot to think about.

The “journal” aspect of the book isn’t meant to feel like a chore, but rather a chance to connect and reflect on the night before rushing off to bed. Usually we fill it out during the end credit while we wait to see if there are any bonus scenes.

Movie Night with Family

Ok, I’m sold, where can I get this glorious book? 

I knew I liked you! Start your own movie night tradition, or level up your existing one with the Movie Night Journal below!

It’s August which means it’s Black Business Month. Small businesses are one thing that we love to support. And many of us understand how important it is to shop small. For many reasons, Black-owned businesses are hard to come by. And if you do discover one, many don’t survive for the long haul due to inhibiting factors. Black Business Month is a great time to celebrate and shine a light on Black-owned businesses that are changing the game!

Are you trying to determine which Disney Princess you relate the most? Check out this The Ultimate Disney Princess Bracket Challenge.

The Loud House Movie is a cute musical adventure that pulls a bit at the heartstrings. It’s worth noting that I’m completely new to this Nickelodeon franchise. I went in without ever seeing an episode of the television series. I am a sucker for animated musicals, though usually the Disney kind. So this was different… read the rest.

I’ve been wanting to put this post together for awhile. Rounding up my different posts about homeschooling. We’ve been homeschooling off and on since Jayda was in 1st grade. This will be our second (and a half) year homeschooling Jayda and Ty in a row. We take the situation year by year, but right now it’s been such a great thing for our family.

Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild is not my usual preference of movie choice to watch, but I had the chance to review it for Common Sense Media and found this action-packed fantasy film to be surprisingly delightful. It serves an audience that might not be quite ready for Capcom’s popular Monster Hunter video game franchise. Nor ready… read the rest.

Right from the get go Vivo had us smiling and tapping our feet. It’s a colorful story from Sony Animation Studios that had us laughing, crying, and begging for more. Originally planned for a theatrical release Vivo is going straight to Netflix and I really hope it’s one families don’t overlook especially because out of the animated movies that have come out so far this year, this one is one of the best. Here’s our spoiler-free Vivo Netflix movie review that should help you decide if it’s worth a watch for this week’s family movie night (hint, we think it is!).

Success by starting and learning - How to Start Where You Are

“I cannot just start a business! Everything needs to be in place first – I need this exact amount of funding, and my children need to be at least teenagers before I can dedicate time away from them.”
“I cannot start learning a new language now. I’m too old and barely have free time as it is!”

Emily Blunt and Dwane Johnson standing on a boat for Disney's Jungle Cruise

Jungle Cruise is an action-packed adventure with lots of heart. It hits like Indiana Jones meets Pirates of the Caribbean with a lot more Dad jokes. This was the summer blockbuster I’d been waiting for and I think families will enjoy it.

Have you ever found yourself looking for Black representation in books with black main characters? You might love this list and have fun going through it with your family. It may not be Black History Month, but we don’t need that excuse to celebrate representation year-round.  I love finding Black representation in books, more specifically… read the rest.

Setting up playlists on Netflix or other streaming services you use is and great way for your kids to watch content pre-approved by you whenever they want. Even when the school day is done and books are closed, my kids still love playing these movies and documentaries repeatedly!

movie night gift basket idea

Movie nights are so special in our house. And I’ve seen what a gift they can be in other families. If you’re looking for a fun housewarming gift, wedding present, or a gift basket idea, you should definitely consider making a custom gift basket for family movie night. You can easily spice it up with some custom gifts using a Cricut machine. Here’s how mine turned out.

I made an extra large gift basket but you could easily make one smaller with one less blanket. Here’s what I included in mine…

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.

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