As a mom, you get how special milestones are—you remember their first words, celebrate their first steps, and document their first day of preschool. You’ve likely even daydreamed about their first big-screen adventure. The whole idea sounds thrilling—you and your little one sitting next to each other in those big, cozy chairs, the lights lowering, and a larger-than-life movie appearing on the screen. But let’s keep it real—there can be a substantial gap between expectations and reality, and taking a toddler to the movies could be a wild ride. 

Fear not, though, mama! With the right movie, a bit of prep, and a positive outlook, you can ensure that your toddler’s first cinematic venture goes off without a hitch. Here’s everything you need to set the stage for your little one’s first big-screen movie experience.

Pick the perfect flick

Mark your calendars for September 29, because that’s when PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie is making its grand entrance to a theatre near you. This cinematic adventure is tailor-made for your toddler’s first theatre outing. Heading to the big screen for the first time, the Mighty Pups are ready to deliver age-appropriate action, side-splitting humor, and an inspiring message that even the youngest of moviegoers can enjoy.

Timing is everything (really!)

Let’s be real: Timing is everything in Toddler-land. Strategically schedule your movie date for a time when your little one is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (hangry or cranky isn’t the vibe we’re going for). Fellow PAW Patrol-loving pals and their parents alike will appreciate the thoughtful timing. Opt for an early matinee—ideally around 10 am—to allow for a post-movie lunch and nap. Plus, you might even score reduced matinee pricing at many theatres!

Set the scene

Toddlers are incredibly adaptable, but they tend to do best when they know what to expect. Before the big day, introduce your child to the idea of the magical place called the movie theatre. Tell them about the big PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie posters and arcade games they may see in the lobby, the big screen, the cozy seats, the loud surround sound, and how much fun you’re going to have together. 

Pack the snacks

Refreshments are a must! While popcorn, candy, and a soda might seem like an obvious choice, they may not be an ideal snack for your little one. Instead, bring along some light, toddler-friendly treats like cut-up fruits, crackers, or small sandwiches (healthy snacks will give your child mighty strength just like the Mighty Pups in PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie). Skip anything super messy or in a loud, crinkly bag—your fellow moviegoers will thank you. 

Snag the right seats

Plan to get to the theatre early (but not too early! Remember our talk about timing?) to claim the most coveted seats in the house for PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie. With the Mighty Pups already set to appear larger than life on the big screen, opt for seats on the aisle near the back—a sweet spot for quick exits if needed, and a view of the screen that won’t make your neck ache or seem too overwhelming for your little one. 

Tote comfort zone essentials 

For the ultimate PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie adventure, let your little one bring along their favorite lovey or stuffed animal to enjoy the experience. Not only will they relish snuggling up with their closest companion, but these familiar comforts also act as mini, mighty shields against the unknown, providing them with a comforting touch of home in a new environment.

Patience is the name of the game

It’s natural for toddlers to have shorter attention spans, so don’t be surprised if your little one starts to get a bit antsy during the movie. If they lose interest or need to take a short break, just go with the flow and come back to your seats when they’re ready. Remember, it’s all about the experience, and taking breaks during PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie could lead to the best moments of surprise giggles and rekindled curiosity.

Commemorate the occasion

Make your child’s first movie theatre experience even more unforgettable by presenting them with their very own First Movie Certificate when you get to the theatre. Celebrate this monumental milestone by including “PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” the date, and the theatre’s name. Don’t forget to snap a picture with the certificate and a giant PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie poster or cardboard character cut-out in the theatre lobby!

Lights, camera, interaction

Embrace the moment by sharing hushed whispers about the Mighty Pups and the plot (being mindful of those around you, of course). Encourage questions and reactions. Also—and this should go without saying—turn your phone on silent and pay attention to the storyline. This is a special time to share quality time together… and there’s a good chance you’ll be quizzed on the most random aspects of the film on the way home. And at bedtime. And the next day. And the day after that.

Make the experience last

The excitement doesn’t have to fade once the lights come up. Help your kiddo transform into an animated version of their favorite Mighty Pup through an AR lens on Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook, or keep the fun flowing with these PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie activity sheets that will guarantee hours of additional entertainment. Your little storyteller can even create their very own Interactive Storybook that can be customized to include their name, location, favorite Mighty Pups, and stickers! Download the storybook before seeing the movie come to life, and enjoy it long after your day at the theatre ends.

So there you have it—a treasure trove of tips to make your toddler’s first movie escapade a success. By picking the perfect flick (aka PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie, in theatres September 29), prepping like a pro (don’t forget your tickets!), and keeping a positive attitude, you’ll have a magical movie day to remember. This is just the beginning of a lifetime of shared movie theatre moments, and you’re so lucky to enjoy the show!