How to keep the learning going after the credits start rolling

Over the holiday break our almost 4-year-old achieved a major milestone - she watched an entire movie in a movie theatre. This was a milestone as her first movie going experience was not a positive one. 

Knowing that our little one likes to know what is going to happen before "it" happens there was lots of prep work involved. Her Dad (and my husband) did an amazing job describing the theatre experience, sharing generally what the movie was going to be about, ensuring she had her noise canceling headphones and finding lots of clips online so that we all had a general sense of the characters beforehand. 

A great post from one of my favorite sites, common sense media, reminded me that there is an opportunity to extend the movie experience long after leaving the theatre. I'm not advocating that everything needs to be a learning experience - sometimes one just needs to watch a movie and that's that. However, during the preschool years, when the developing brain is really a sponge why not make the most of an experience when you can. 

What does this mean for you?

While I really like the suggestions from Betsy Bozdech (@BetsyBoz), I wanted to share some questions that I think are more appropriate for the preschool crowd. I've stayed in line with the developmental milestones (cognitive, language, social emotional) that occur in the preschool years. 

Questions to ask after a movie:

  1. Who was your favorite character in the movie? Why did you like them? 
  2. What was your favorite part of the movie? Why did you like it? 
  3. What was the happiest/saddest part of the move? How did you know how the characters were feeling? 
  4. Did you like the way the movie ended? Could it have ended in a different way? 
  5. If you could meet any of the characters in real life, who would you pick? What do you think you would talk to them about? 

P.S. You could easily adapt these to any movie or a book!