The Best '80s Movies to Watch With Your Kids

Mom Moment 55

I'm no longer the mother to little, little kids. At 5, 7, and 9, my kids certainly aren't grown up, but they're also not teeny, tiny children anymore.

Last weekend, I purged the house of the big plastic Dora playhouse, the set of Baby Einstein videos, and all of the other movies and TV shows my kids now deem babyish. Unlike when I box up their sweet baby clothes or Halloween costumes, there was nothing bittersweet about saying goodbye to entertainment geared towards the under 5 community. Hallelujah was all I could think as the Purple Heart truck drove all of the well loved disks away.

But it's even better than I thought it would be: Not only can I tolerate the movies my kids want to watch now, some of them? I adore. Turns out the movies loved as a kid, my kids now love. And there's nothing better than reliving your own childhood with your children.

Some of our favorites ...

1. Flight of the Navigator. What better way to inspire your children to treat each other well than to expose them to the story of bickering brothers, one of whom is abducted by an alien spaceship for eight years? Behave, boys, or it might happen to you!

2. Adventures in Babysitting. I couldn't get enough of this one as a kid and I still can't as a grown up. And I still want to be Elisabeth Shue.

3. The Princess Bride. Leaving this off the list? Inconceivable.

4. Troop Beverly Hills. Not only did Lily love this one, but it convinced her not to join Girl Scouts. Double win.

5. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Because the remake just isn't the same.

6. Big. A great reminder for them not to wish time away. (Just distract them a tad during the second base sleepover scene.)

7. Girls Just Wanna Have FunThis one takes the cake and Lily LOVES it. You just can't beat old school SJP and Shannen Doherty. It's delicious.

8. Can't Buy Me Love. Because money can't buy love. And Cindy Mancini had to foresight to recognize a McDreamy when she saw one.

9. E.T. In all honesty, they got a little bored during this one, but someday they'll love it. They better.

10. The Neverending Story. Because how better to instill a love of reading in your children than through a movie?

Did I miss any of your favorites?




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nonmember avatar Dawn

I wonder if the author has seen any of these movies recently on DVD instead of TV? Depending on how old your kids are, I would not recommend Adventures in Babysitting or Can't Buy Me Love if they are under 13-15 years old. Made that mistake with my 11 year old. TV edit can sure ruin a good moment!

Jammi... Jammie209

The Goonies. My girls absolutely love this movie and they are 5, 9, & 14.The

Rootbear Rootbear

The Last Unicorn, The Bear, Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters, Home Alone, Little Monsters, labyrinth, The Wizard.

I could go on.

nonmember avatar Jen

Teen witch! Back to the future!

Todd Vrancic

So loved The Last Unicorn and Labyrinth!

nonmember avatar Holly

The Secret of Nimh!

nonmember avatar Rayne

No Last Unicorn? I am dismayed!

ankharra ankharra

"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" was released in the '70s, not the '80s.

nonmember avatar Jess White

Anne of Green Gables!

4kidz916 4kidz916

That's a good list.  Gremlins was good and for the older kids The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, and St. Elmo's Fire. 

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