I was visiting my sister in Maine a few weeks ago and her neighbors (who also have a backyard full of chickens and adorable Adirondack chairs on their front porch), had a sheet tacked to their weathered barn — specifically for the solid purpose of showing outdoor movies. I'm not sure what their secret for battling the bat-sized mosquitos is, but I was jealous nonetheless. And it would be perfect if you're on the hunt for summer kids' movies on Netflix, because it's a great way to celebrate the season.
Of course, with relatively small kids at home, movies are both impossible to sit through for more than five minutes and also tough to find without content that's really inappropriate. While this list includes movies that are suited toward kids who are older than 2 years old, they're all wholesome options for your summer movie nights that will help you enjoy the slowness of this season together with your kids and your family.
Whether you're in the mood for something summer-camp themed or an adventure tale, these are great movies your kids can watch this summer. And we'll bet you'll stake out a sofa spot or lawn chair to catch them as well.
1'Camp Cool Kids'
Camp Cool Kids is the quintessential summer camp movie, but a little updated for modern times. For example, the camp has a water course with a blow-up bounce pad and zip line. But the overall message of meeting and making new friends is perfect as we head toward the dreaded back-to-school months.
2'The Little Rascals'
While you might not be trying to get your kids to watch The Little Rascals from the 1930s, The Little Rascals remake from 1994 is a pretty good substitute. And here's betting that your kids will want to watch the original once they see this little kid gang in action.
3'The Land Before Time'
If there ever was a classic dinosaur movie from our own childhoods, The Land Before Time was it. What better way to enjoy the summer than by sharing the tale of a brontosaurus and his friends reuniting with their parents.
While the premise of Pete's Dragon might have parents a little terrified of losing their kid on a camping trip, the movie itself is a wondrous tale of a child's friendship with a dragon when he does, in fact, get lost on a camping trip for (parents, ear muffs) years.
If your kids are old enough and haven't seen The Goonies yet, it's time to share with them the tale of a group of slightly sweaty kiddos searching for lost treasure. And if you're a totally epic parent, set up a treasure hunt for your own kids the next day.
6'The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants'
The bonus of getting your kids to watch The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is that you get to perch on the edge of a couch and enjoy Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn, and Blake Lively at the very start of their careers. Double bonus? Your kids get to watch a story about girls who stay in touch despite distance and differences. It's the ultimate summer flick.
If you haven't managed to get a European vacation on the books for this summer, Leap is a nice substitute. This sweet film is about a girl from a rural French orphanage who dreams of becoming a ballerina and travels to Paris to make her dream come true.
8'Field Of Dreams'
If you happen to have a sheet tacked to your weathered barn while chickens peck happily in the coop at the end of the yard, Field of Dreams might just be your movie. It's a classic tale of time travel and baseball, and it's sure to leave you (if perhaps not your kids) in tears.
You'd think that after watching Sing approximately 57 times while my daughter was sick last summer would have spoiled it for me, you'd be wrong. Sing doesn't ever really get old. It has Matthew McConaughey as the main character as an animated koala who puts on a singing contest that gets everything wrong and then everything right.