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My Top 5: Christmas films for young children

With the Christmas time off fast approaching, more learning at home really isn’t on our agenda for the holidays. Instead, we’re planning to stay indoors, put our feet up, get out the popcorn and indulge in some good old-fashioned gogglebox watching. So here are our Top 5 films for the festive season, with some tips from My Tutor to help you explain the educational benefits of watching them to your teacher.

1. Home Alone (1990)

Home Alone is one of our firm favourites. The slapstick comedy sees eight-year-old Kevin accidentally left behind by his family when they leave for a Christmas getaway to France. But when Kevin realises that he has to stop a pair of burglars from trying to invade his home, he demonstrates exactly how GCSE Physics can be put into practice. When Harry and Marv slip over a selection of toy cars that have craftily been left at the bottom of the stairs, this is actually showing the workings of Newton’s 2nd Law. Who knew?

2. Love Actually (2003)

One for mummies and more than just a Rom-Com, Love Actually – does actually – gives us an insight into international relations. The plot reflects many real aspects of the dynamics between the UK and the US, and alludes to the power struggles within their relationship over the years.

3. A Muppet’s Christmas Carol (1992)

Perhaps a more obvious feature on the list, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has been a long-standing part of the English curriculum. Originally published in 1843, it tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, but with the Muppets instead taking on the story, and Kermit taking the lead role.

A perfect depiction of the themes which are recurrently used as exam topics, and with Gonzo’s narration largely taken directly from the novel, it’s a great way to liven up an English classic and enhance the studying of the original novel.

4. Frozen (2013)

One of the biggest Disney films to ever be created, Frozen is set in the land of Glendale and tells the story of sisters, Elsa and Anna. The state of this icy kingdom fluctuates between the three different matters: solid, liquid and gas. Ice is a solid, which melts to water (a liquid), and then becomes fog and steam, which are examples of gas. Elsa also uses these states of matter to her advantage as she creates ice sculptures from thin air, fights fires with miniature snow storms and freezes the world around her wherever she goes. Next time you watch, see if you can point out the moments where the states change from one to another. 

5. Finding Nemo (2003)

A family favourite – the story of a young clownfish who goes missing, and whose dad swims around the coast of Australia to find him teaches us about geographical zones. The Great Barrier Reef – Nemo’s home – is an example of a management zone. It’s been a world heritage site since 1981, and the Australian government has a number of restrictions in place to stop it from being damaged. Parts of it aren’t allowed people at all, while other parts are open to tourists and scientists so they can visit. Zoning like this means there are economic and social benefits as well as the environmental benefit of protecting the area.

And that’s it! Should you watch all 5 of our top Christmas picks – which is fairly likely if you have a four-year-old – there’s plenty of subtle, yet educational messages hiding around in those festive films. But if you start to feel guilty, and looking to continue learning at home, you can also check out these online tutors who can help you stay on track!

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Saffron and Cyrus is a Newcastle-based family lifestyle blog, covering diversity, self-care, days out, travel, reviews, recipes and more from our family life.
The blog is written by new mum over 40, Aranda, with input from hubby H and four-year-old Cyrus.

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