#22 Read A Book Then Watch The Movie

chalkboard parenting

A great way to spend time with your kids is to read a book together then watch the movie

Read A Book Together Then Watch The Movie:

There’s something to be said about dates with simplicity. You’ve probably had a traditional dinner-and-a-movie date with your child at some point. This is similar but adds a fun twist that creates excellent conversation. I love that you can do this idea with your five-year-old or seventeen-year-old child – any age is appropriate! No need to make it difficult, simply pick a book that’s been made into a movie. If you’re spending time with a grammar school child, you can read the book and watch the film all on the same day. If you’re reading a novel with your teenager, you’ll want to allow some time to read the book before your date of watching the movie. Whatever the situation, pick the book and movie and get the popcorn ready.

Here are a few examples (with links) of great book/movie combinations:

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling (fiction)
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (fiction)
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake (children)
Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale and Stan Redding (non-fiction)
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (fiction)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (fiction)
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (non-fiction)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (fiction)
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (fiction)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett and Ronald Barrett (fiction)

WMTDS (What Makes This Date Special):

We all enjoy a great movie, and I think the simplicity makes this date special more than anything. This date allows for a simple evening at home or the theater, hopefully seeing one of the better movies you will watch this year. Reading the book beforehand will enable you to talk about it in more profound ways than if you’d just watched the movie.

Teachable Moments:

This date’s teachable moments involve creating an appreciation for literature, reading, and good cinema. Reading the book helps foster creativity and imagination while watching the movie provides an excellent comparison to other artists. You can also talk with your child about how books and movies differ because of the medium of storytelling, the perspective of the writer compared to that of the director, the actors’ interpretation of characters from the story, and more.


One slight modification to this date is to read a book for a movie that is about to come out at the theater. Plan by reading the book in the time leading up to release and see it together on opening day. The more anticipated the movie release, the more exciting this is! You can also choose a book and a movie based on a real-life person or story. To prepare for the date, learn by researching what happened before watching the movie.


This expense of this date is the cost of the movie and books. If you want to try to save money, check your local library for books and movies, or search online to find the film at a low price. You can also borrow them from a family member or friend. If you already subscribe to a service such as Netflix, you may find the movie there for no additional cost. The most expensive alternative is buying two books and attending the film in a theater. Even then, it’s still a reasonably affordable date.

chalkboard parenting

A great way to spend time with your kids is to read a book together then watch the movie


There is little planning involved. The most planning you may need to do is if you are reading a novel with an older child. Choosing to see the movie on the opening night may take some advanced planning. Otherwise, you simply need to give yourselves enough time to read the book before your date.

Materials Needed:

Just the book and the movie.

Reference Websites:

Books made into movies

Best books made into movies

List of children’s books made into feature films

History vs. Hollywood

Amazon Resources:

(Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. This commission doesn’t cost you anything at all. The commissions earned help to allow me to provide the resources offered on this site. If you would like to read my full affiliate disclosure, you may do so here.)


For a list of other ideas on how to spend one-on-one time with your child, see the full list here.

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