When we were invited to the TIFF Kids International Film Festival, my immediate reaction was excitement soon followed by a mild amount of stress. I was so excited to take our little one to this event, but then I realized that he does not watch TV or movies, not because we don’t let him, but because he just isn’t interested. So I began to wonder what it would be like to have a toddler in the theatre that has absolutely no interest in movies, and that’s when the stress set in.
So we planned to bring as many things that our wiggly wild one would like in case he had no intention of sitting through the short films. Well, he surprised both of us!
He actually watched the films and didn’t even care about the cookies!
Getting to the Show with a Toddler
It’s no surprise that getting our toddler out the door is a bit of a challenge, he hates shoes, pants, jackets, to be perfectly honest, he pretty much hates putting on clothes. This makes getting out the door any day of the week a bit of a challenge and when we are on a tight timeline it can become even worse! It’s almost as if he finds it funny when we fuss about him getting ready to go and it has become a bit of a game. He’ll hide, run away or do anything to stop us from putting on his shoes. After the usual mess, we made it to the TIFF Bell Lightbox just in time to get our tickets, check our stroller and grab a seat before the show started.
The festival was really ready for little ones! They offered a lot of convenient options like…
Yes, you could actually check your stroller, for free, before going into the theatre space. This is such a great feature, especially when we often worry if we can even bring our stroller into some spaces and leave it safely. They also offered lockers for extra bags, as a new mom I always have way too many bags, so this was an excellent extra.
While our little one spent the entire show in our laps, this was a great option to have!
We went to see the Reel Rascals: Short & Sweet; a collection of short animated films for children ages 3-6. Many of the films were silent films with music and this was perfect for our little one, as he loves music and, to our surprise, was actually very interested in the animation. He sat through about six of the short films and we were very impressed. Some of our favourites included: One, Two, Tree a story about a tree who tries on a pair of boots and goes on an adventure where he helps people and makes them happy along the way. We also loved Sandra Boyton’s Perfect Piggies, a stage filled with harmonizing hogs that point out all the things they love about themselves kept our toddler interested and bouncing in his seat to the music. Adults around us, my husband and I included, were laughing out loud throughout this short film as well. I think the entire audience loved this one. Right now, our little man is obsessed with Boyton’s Barnyard Dance, so it’s no wonder that those piggies coming to life on the big screen peeked his interest. We are so excited to bring him back when he is a bit older when can actually tell us what his favourites are. For now, bouncing in his seat to the music and watching carefully were our only clues.
After the film we made our way through the “walk of fame” and to the dress-up box. Sitting down was no longer an option, so playing dress-up, or just picking the shiny things out of the box and decorating a star for the “walk-of-fame” was a fun way to end our morning at the festival.
We were pleasantly surprised by how much our toddler enjoyed the films and can’t wait to bring him back when he’s a little bit older so he can share what he enjoyed with us!