I occasionally have readers asking me for toddler movie recommendations. That's an oxymoron, right? I see a lot of flicks nowadays geared at the younger set. They have cute, fuzzy little characters who sing and dance and practically scream, “Hey kids age two to three, I'm your pal!” Like Monsters University. It's no wonder that sweet pigtailed girl became obsessed with Mike Wazowski in the first movie. He's freaking adorable.

tips for getting little ones excited for movie time when they're not old enough for the theater

The trouble is, when these toddler movies get released in theaters, their ads are everywhere and the little kids catch on quickly. They get SUPER-excited and point, “Beez, beez, beez!” That's my toddler's word for “please,” and I hear it all day, every day, a thousand million times. At least he's a polite little guy.

So how do you manage toddler movie time? I'm not about to sit in a dark theater with my impatient, on-the-go, move-move-move toddler for two hours (kill me now, beez?) but I can totally build on that excitement and create a fun event at home for our family. Blu-Ray to the rescue! And with the cool pre-purchase options that movies have nowadays, I don't have to impatiently sit around and wait until the official release date. I can get a box in-hand right now, which goes a long way with my toddler. He usually thinks boxes are cooler than what comes inside them anyway.

Tips for Toddler Movie Excitement at Home

toddler movie time is enhanced by fun toys

I shared a couple weeks ago how we got a stuffed Mike Wazowski doll and created mini hats out of Juicy Juice boxes. Stocking up on themed items (especially when it's something you need to buy anyway) is a good idea to build on your kid's excitement without spending a ton of extra money.

During the phase between the theater release and the day you finally get your hands on the DVD, you can keep the enthusiasm going with a pre-order. We picked up Monsters University the very first day it was out for pre-purchase and it came with some AWESOME goodies. Exclusive previews, a free theater admission to any Disney film, and a coupon for juice. We go through those Fruitifuls boxes around here pretty fast, so that'll come in handy.

You can also stock up on themed items to get your kids excited about new habits at home. We're (slowly) entering potty-training mode, so I like to pick up Pull-Ups with cute characters on them. Some Boy's much more apt to get on board with a new concept if toddler movie time is involved in one way or another.

Obviously, we also get on board with ALL the branded toys. When it comes time to actually watch the movie at home, I sit him in my lap and eat lots of popcorn and other movie snacks. If I'm feeling like an over-the-top achiever, I'll even make themed snacks to go with the movie.

Do you have any other ideas for keeping younger kids involved with the excitement of a toddler movie when they're too young to go to the theater?