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What to know before taking your kids to the movies

Aug 14, 2019
Going To The Movies With Kids 1

Thinking about taking your kids to the movies? What age is the “right” age? Are going to the movies with little ones even a good idea at all?

There’s no “right or wrong” answer… You know your child and parenting style best and should make a decision based on both.

We are a movie loving family and I couldn’t wait to take the girls to their first cinema experience. We enjoy being entertained by wholesome storylines, cute characters and see movies as another opportunity to expose the girls to various real life situations (in a safe environment).

Before taking your kids to the movies consider the following:

  • The age of your child. Movies are dark, noisy and an overload of stimuli. At around age 4 most kids are ready to sit still, wait patiently, interpret and understand what they are seeing.
  • The content and storyline. At age 2/3 what a child sees, is what they believe. Being exposed to the wrong content can lead to nightmares. It’s very important to consider whether a film is age-appropriate. Look for movies that are slower-paced, shorter, look past the special effects and evaluate the underlying themes.
  • Ask your local cinema to check their sound levels. Noises above 85 decibels are very harmful to infants and children’s ears. Being exposed to noises over 100 decibels for 15 minutes or more can cause permanent loss of hearing in kids.
  • Do a test run at home. Start with family movie nights. Pick a classic and see if your little one enjoys sitting still, watching with you.
  • Skip the trailers. Trailers might be fun for us BUT adding an additional 20 minutes of viewing time could simply be too much especially when most trailers are high stimuli snippets of excitement.
  • The time of day matters. Weekday mornings are best. Crowds are usually smaller and there’s an entire day to process and discuss what happened.
  • Book a seat near the isle. You’re sure to need the loo more than once during a full length feature. Sitting there also ensures an easy escape, if needed.

Going To The Movies With Kids

While at the movies:

  • Eat at home and make sure your little one isn’t hungry.
  • Always pack extra water to wash down the salty popcorn and other sugary treats.
  • Eliminate tantrums and unnecessary meltdowns at the snack counter by deciding what to order beforehand.
  • No need for a sugar overload. Have extra, healthier options available in your diaper bag.
  • Do another restroom check right before entering the cinema.
  • Be flexible, go with your child’s cues and never force them to watch till the end.
  • Talk through scary moments, answers questions and explain unsetting of confusing moments or themes.
  • If things become overwhelming or tiresome, take a moment to step outside for a breather.
  • If you have more than one child, invite a friend (a 2nd adult). You’ll need an extra person to stay with your little one in case the other needs the restroom or a break outside.
And now you’re ready, just find something to go see!

One of our favourite family movies of 2019 has been Toy Story 4

Duration: 100 minutes
Age Restriction: PG

Plot: TOY STORY 4 begins with a flashback to nine years earlier. Woody and the gang is still Andy’s toys. Molly (Andy’s little sister), is giving away her porcelain Bo Peep and sheep. Woody tries to save Bo, but she’s actually fine with being passed along, and so the two say goodbye. Fast-forward to the toys’ current home with Bonnie.

Woody has been replaced by Jessie as Bonnie’s favourite toy. Woody however still sees it as his job to be the best toy to her. So, on Bonne’s 1st day of school, he hides in her backpack to comfort her through school orientation. Day 1 is challenging but Bonnie makes herself a new, special friend Forky.  A spork with googly eyes, pipe cleaner arms, and popsicle stick feet.

Forky unexpectedly comes to life, but keeps trying to throw himself away believing he’s garbage. Woody takes on the responsibility of keeping Forky safe but while on a family road trip, Forky flees. Woody follows to get Forky back, to Bonnie. On their way home Woody stumbles upon Bo’s lamp in a display window of an antique store. Forky ends up being held hostage by a 1950’s doll called Gabby Gabby. Gabby Gabby has never had a home due to her defective voice box. Now she wants Woody’s voice box for a chance at happiness and so the true adventure unfolds…

Themes of the movie: Friendship, loyalty, imagination, and the power of play.

What the girls thought: Eliana loved getting to know Bo and her strong female character. Lia was captivated by Forky and the idea of making her own toys. Other new friends like Duke CaBoom as well as Ducky and Bunny provide Both girls could easily follow what was going on enjoying the beautiful animation and exciting storyline. 100 minutes also proved perfect with no one getting bored or tired.

What we thought: I’ll never forget the magic of Toy Story 1. Seeing the world through the eyes of our most loved friends, our toys! It opened up a brand new world of fantasy and adventure and over the years, as the Toy Story franchise has grown, creating increasingly realistic worlds, adding more loveable characters and giving us more insight into our favourites (Woody, Buzz, Bo…), so has our admiration.

This is most probably the last of the movies and although the ending is a little sad, this movie definitely lives up to everything we’ve come to expect from the series. Action packed, funny with lots of positive messages, high-stakes missions and close calls.

New friends Duke CaBoom,  Ducky and Bunny provide loads of laughs and although I didn’t particularly like Gabby Gabby and her team of creepy ventriloquist dummies. Gabby does redeem herself in the end.

Would we recommend the movie? Yes. If you’re a fan of the 1st 3 movies, the 4th is sure to be a hit too. Parents will enjoy it just as much as the kids. It’s fun with just enough peril and despair to keep everyone interested without overwhelming little viewers (4+) although one or two themes and characters might need to be discussed afterwards.


Win a Toy Story 4 hamper consisting of:
  • 1 x Buzz Rapid Blaster Role Play toy PLUS
  • A Bo Peep Interactive toy
Total value: R1500.
How to enter:
  1. Leave us a comment below telling us who your favourite character is from Toy Story.
  2. Make sure you follow Disney Africa on Facebook (@DisneyinAfrica) and / or Instagram (@DisneyAfrica)
  3. Follow us on either (or both) if you like, @justamammablog or @justamamma (Not compulsory)
  4. For extra entries be sure to enter on this Facebook post as well.

The giveaway ends on Sunday, the 18th of August 2019.



  1. Only entries via Facebook and comments left below will be considered.
  2. Facebook is in no way responsible or associated with this giveaway.
  3. You need to follow Disney Africa on Instagram and / or Facebook to qualify.
  4. Competition only open to South African residents residing in South Africa.
  5. Winner must be 18+ years old.
  6. Competition closes on the 18th of August 2019.
  7.  The winner is picked at random and announced on the 19th of August 2019. 
  8. This prize is not exchangeable or refundable.
  9. Please enter valid email and contact info. If we can not get hold of you within 48 hours a new winner will be picked.
  10. The greatest care will be taken when mailing your prize but Just a Mamma and Disney Africa do not accept any responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged goods.

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  • Reply Carolyn Augustus Aug 14, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    Buzz Lightyear has always been my fave

    • Reply Janel Sunderlall Aug 15, 2019 at 9:34 am

      Woody is our favorite

  • Reply Geraldine Lokchander Aug 14, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Has to be Woody

    • Reply Adele Aug 16, 2019 at 5:49 pm

      My son has just turned 4 so was wondering when the ideal age for a movie would be… think going to take him and see how he does.
      Our fav is Buzz

  • Reply Lutfiyyah Aug 14, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Woody? but forky looks interesting in Toy story 4

    • Reply Reshika Rachpall Aug 14, 2019 at 6:22 pm

      Buzz, but my kids just loved Forky in Toy Story 4, he was just to cute throwing himself into the dustbin. ❤

  • Reply Laila Williams Aug 14, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    I love Buzz Light year ❣

  • Reply Thea lennox Aug 14, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Lpve woody

    • Reply Nirvana Aug 14, 2019 at 6:56 pm

      Love Woody – our all time favorite ?

    • Reply Shakira khan Aug 18, 2019 at 2:14 am

      I love Woody … still have the toy from the first movie … which belonged to my nephew and got passed down to my 3 boys…

  • Reply Marilize Nelson Aug 14, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    We LOVED Toy Story 4!! Strong, independent Bo-Peep and quirky Forky were our favourites!

    • Reply Erica Aug 14, 2019 at 11:26 pm

      Buzz Lightyear is our favorite

    • Reply Kim Aug 15, 2019 at 5:34 am

      Buzz Lightyear has always been my fave

  • Reply Lynn botha Aug 14, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    Forky is the new favourite

  • Reply Michelle Graham Aug 14, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Buzz lightyear! Brilliant read!

  • Reply Ruweida Muhammad Aug 14, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Buzz Light Year is my favorite ?

  • Reply Anusha Naidoo Aug 14, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    Woody ❤

    • Reply Kelly Hall Aug 14, 2019 at 7:05 pm

      Woody is our favourite character!

  • Reply Martie Schoeman Aug 14, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    All of us love Woody. Our Grandkids love, love to go to the Movies with us. AGE 10 and 6. We took them as soon as they turned 4. We love to see how much they enjoy it. ??

  • Reply Leandra Du Toit Aug 14, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Buzz lightyear

  • Reply Diosa NTSHINGILA Aug 14, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Lovely giveaway ❤We love Woody

  • Reply Janet Watson Perry Aug 14, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Woody is toooooo cute!!

  • Reply Chris-Marie Aug 14, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Buzz all the way!! You’ve got a friend in me!!

  • Reply Abeda Albertyn Aug 14, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    Oh my this is an awesome giveaway.
    My all time Favorite is Buzz Lightyear ❤❤
    He puts some buzz in my life?

  • Reply Anushka Maharajh Moonilal Aug 14, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    We love woody

  • Reply Aneesa Aug 14, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    My fav character is Woody ?

  • Reply Trudy Shiburi Aug 14, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    We love Woody ???

    ⭕I’ll be honoured to win this phenomenal giveaway ❤❤❤

  • Reply Cherelle France Aug 14, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Mr Potato head is our favourite 🙁

  • Reply Carmen Aug 14, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Definitely Buzz Lightyear!!

  • Reply Chris Naicker Aug 14, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Buzz light year

  • Reply Yolandi Lubbe Aug 14, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Woody is my favourite.. He’s funny and witty.

  • Reply Nicole Naicker Aug 14, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Woody is my favorite

  • Reply Fatima Koor Aug 14, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Definitely Woody ♥️♥️

  • Reply Kirsty Robinson Aug 14, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Woody is our favorite

  • Reply Priya Jackson Aug 14, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    I love Gaby Gaby cos she is kinda scary at first and then we realise how sweet and nice she is.

  • Reply Firzana Martin Aug 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm


  • Reply Tharishia Ebrahim Aug 14, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    My little boy would love this ?? His favourite character is Buzz Lightyear.

  • Reply Roanne Lalsab Aug 14, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    This would be so awesome! Woody is my favourite ?

  • Reply Megan Little Aug 14, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    My fav character is woody. Always has been?

  • Reply Ramanya Aug 14, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Mr potato head is my favourite because he is always so positive about falling to pieces. It shows us a deeper meaning of falling apart only means we can get back together and carry on…

  • Reply Saamiya Ahmed Aug 14, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    Buzz Lightyear is my favorite ?

  • Reply Lisa Aug 14, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Woody ?

  • Reply Bhavana Singh Aug 14, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Woody is our favourite

  • Reply Carri Aug 14, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    Woody & we love Rex too!!! ?!

  • Reply Hasina Hajat Aug 15, 2019 at 4:09 am

    We love Woody ?.

    Took the kids to see Toy Story 4 during the holidays and we loved it!

  • Reply Anusha Govender Aug 15, 2019 at 4:50 am

    We all love Woody ???

  • Reply Moipone Islam Aug 15, 2019 at 5:11 am

    Love Buzz lightyear

  • Reply Lizaan Aug 15, 2019 at 5:24 am

    Buzz Lightyear

  • Reply Layla Saban Aug 15, 2019 at 5:32 am

    We love Woody

  • Reply Belinda Aug 15, 2019 at 6:02 am


    • Reply Sharleen Aug 17, 2019 at 8:30 am

      Buzz is best

  • Reply Claudia Mc Namee Aug 15, 2019 at 6:28 am

    This is quite a difficult one Jessie Cowgirl is MY daughters favourite Buzz is MY sons favourite Woody is hubby favourite and for me Rex the Dino ? have all three movies and have watched them over and over ❤

  • Reply Claire Aug 15, 2019 at 7:18 am

    We love Woody!

  • Reply Janice Williams Aug 15, 2019 at 7:28 am

    Hi i love Woody

  • Reply Simone Cameron Aug 15, 2019 at 8:09 am

    I think it’ll always be Buzz!

    My husband took my boys to see this when it came out. My youngest is 3 (turning 4 next week) and it was his first movie and it went really well. Didn’t think about an aisle seat, because he did give dad beans with the toilet runs…just as a joke eventually. lol. So I love these tips!

  • Reply Michaela Thomas Aug 15, 2019 at 8:16 am

    We have watched the first 3 movies so many times now. My 3 year old absolutely loves it! Keeps repeating lines from the movie. We love Woody and Jesse! ❤️

  • Reply Marisca Wakefield Aug 15, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Woody is our favourite character!!!

  • Reply Lethabo Aug 15, 2019 at 9:11 am

    We love woody

  • Reply Judy Padayachee Aug 15, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Love Woody

  • Reply Emma campbell Aug 15, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    I’m team woody but my son is team Buzz.

  • Reply emlyn thomas Aug 15, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    Buzz Lightyear

  • Reply JP Botha Aug 15, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    Huge Buzz fans

  • Reply STELLA ATKINSON Aug 15, 2019 at 6:26 pm


  • Reply Zayne Khan Aug 15, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    From Toy Story 1 I’ve been Woody and my cuz, Buzz.. Infinity and beyond!
    I follow!

  • Reply Yumna Aug 17, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    Buzz lightyear

  • Reply Anwar Goolam-Mahomed Aug 18, 2019 at 2:15 am

    Mr. Potato Head

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