Keeping close while staying distant

Make the most out of lockdown family time. (Image: Getty Images)
Make the most out of lockdown family time. (Image: Getty Images)

Between juggling working from home, homeschooling the kids, and keeping up to date with the lockdown news, it’s harder than we thought to make the most of our newfound extra family time. And it feels near impossible to create special memories as a family that will last beyond the Covid-19 pandemic as well.

As impossible as it may seem, it’s important to always take the time to switch off and reconnect with your loved ones, but even more so now during the uncertainty of lockdown. Whether it's just to check in or be there to comfort each other and answer questions the kids might have about what’s going on - we need to unplug and be present together. Research shows that families need a sense of familiarity, stability, and structure in their lives to help them navigate the new rules we’re living by. Brock University Associate Professor of Sport Management Dawn Trussell says that making time to spend with your family can help to create that sense of structure and unity while also strengthening familial bonds.

And quality family time doesn’t have to just be one-on-one chats - it can also be a fun time to make memories and comfort each other during these unprecedented times. A sure-fire way to do this is by setting up a family movie night at home. Here are some tips on how to plan one that is whimsical, cosy, and sure to create lasting family memories:

Choosing the movie

The ultimate star of the show is the movie and choosing one that works for the whole family is vital. Luckily, some family films are doing virtual releases while the cinemas are closed - giving you fresh options to select from with the tap of a button.

Jungle Beat The Movie is one of these exciting new virtual releases that's filled with bush and space adventure. Based on the popular kids' TV show and set in the African jungle, the movie takes us on a journey of friendship, bravery and trust as an unexpected visitor arrives.

Animated movies like Jungle Beat offer a great opportunity to discuss the lessons learnt with your kids afterwards. From the meaning of friendship to what defines bravery. They’re also engaging and entertaining to watch and guaranteed to tickle everyone’s funny bone.

Setting the scene

Once the movie is chosen, it’s time to set the ambience and mood for the movie night. Whether you opt to go for a classic and timeless blanket fort or a home theatre set-up - there are so many fun ways to get creative with your movie space.

For a good blanket fort, all you need are some plush cushions and some chairs or couches to throw a sheltering blanket over. Or for a home theatre set up, placing cushions or stools in neat rows with some blankets is all that’s required.

Switching off the main lights in favour of twinkle lights can amp up the setting and make it that much more magical.

If you’re looking to go all out, you could even opt to set up your screening area in a theme related to the movie. In the case of Jungle Beat The Movie, gathering all your house plants around your space and wearing animal PJs or onesies will surely add an exciting interactive feel to your experience.

jungle beat monkey standing by a movie night blank

(Image: Supplied)

Prepping the snacks

When it comes to movie night snacks, you can never go wrong with the classics - some tasty home-made popcorn, select sweets and gummies, and home-made milkshakes. These are sure to bring the feeling of the cinema into the comfort of your home.

You can even kick it up a notch by making snacks themed around the movie and its characters. And Jungle Beat The Movie has fun recipe ideas you can try out to add some tasty pizzazz to their launch night. From elephant-themed cupcakes to hedgehog-themed lamingtons and frog-themed ice lollies - the snack possibilities are wild.

monkey themed jungle beat flapjacks

(Image: Supplied)

Get a taste of the jungle yourself

The film will be released June 26th exclusively on DStv BoxOffice, TruthTV, and Apple TV in South Africa and they’re hosting a fun competition for you and your family to get involved in. All you must do to enter is download the movie and join in on the fun. Take pics of how you and your family are celebrating the debut and post them online tagging @junglebeatthemovie with the hashtag #PlanetEarthHugsAgain to secure your entry. By entering, you and your family stand a chance to win a jungle-inspired luxury trip.

To help increase your chances of winning you can find their handy playbook online featuring cool set-up ideas, printable character masks, exciting crafts for the kids, and delicious themed recipes to try out.

Go wild and make the most out of your quality family time and stand a chance to win even more, through some good 'ol movie night bonding.

This post was sponsored by Jungle Beat: The Movie and produced by BrandStudio24 for Parent24. 

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