Introduce them into the ecosystem first, before the movies. Any age is okay as long as as they take an proactive interest. Engage yourself and make it interesting and fun. Put Lego Star Wars kits together, just as you would any Lego kits, and talk about the ships and characters. If the kid sees your passion they’ll be curious. It’ll grow like crazy from there. And then someday, you can show them the movies too.
It’s the Ecosystem
First off I consider Star Wars to be much more than just the movies. There’s the entire culture of games, toys, merchandise, pillows, books, etc to engage in. You can find Star Wars related stuff your kid would be interested in possibly long before they’d have the patience to sit and watch a full feature length movie. It’s the Star Wars ecosystem that is truly amazing.
The Bobble Head & Funny Nose Impetus
Being a geek of course there is Star Wars memorabilia around the house, like Star Wars Lego kits (I like the mini kits), a Darth Vader keychain put on my bag zipper pull, etc. So at about 3 yrs old my son noticed and ask about my Darth Vader Bobble Head on my car dash. I’d bob his head when getting in the car, and one day he asked ‘who’s that?!’. I told him about Darth and how he talked (ooom pahhh). That was it. Then a month or two later he comes home from the dentist with one of those Nitrous oxide ‘funny nose’ masks. That night he says ‘hey Dad, look at this, I sound like Darth Vader.’ I was floored. This kid had never seen a single movie, book, etc up to that point. He’s destined to be fan, and there the journey begins…
Building Legos Together
One of our favorite things to do together is build lego kits. I like Star Wars and Technic, so we build mostly Star Wars legos. My boy started at ~3 yrs and my girl at 2.5, they love it. They can start if you do it with them as young as they have the attention span. We generally stick with smaller kits we can build together in their attention span.
My kids really love it when we put on some ‘real star wars’ (a movie), I jump to a part with the kit in question, and we act it out with the Legos while watching. Like the X-wings attacking the Death Star. Here are some of our favorite kits…
Playing Star Wars Video Game
Playing Lego Star Wars has been my son’s favorite thing to do for like the last 6 months. I pulled my xbox 360 out of the closet and blew the dust off to show him the game. Then he really took off, purchased all the characters, and could eventually crème me. This past Christmas we got a Kinect so we could give him this second game, he digs playing a Rancor crushing towns and buildings.
Identify with a Favorite Character
My boy really likes and identifies with characters, far more than I did as a kid. He took to R2-D2. The rest of the Star Wars universe pivots around R2-D2 to him. Other character and events are all about how they relate to R2-D2. Now he’s on to Princess Leia and Darth Vader. So if your kid identifies with a character, build the Star Wars universe around that character. My boy is never seen these days without one of these in-hand.
Star Wars Books
There are so many great books that are like eye candy for kids to look at. Here are some of our family favorites. The Omnibus comic book is our nightly bed-time reading.
Star Wars Angry Birds
One of his favorite games on the iPad was Angry Birds, then Space Angry Birds, so it was fortuitous timing that Angry Birds Star Wars recently was release. He is into his plushies and carries them around.
Star Wars Shirts
Okay, this first one has been a favorite of mine, the next is his. There are many more, WalMart is a good place to look.
The Actual Movies
There are Star Wars movies too??? He’s only seen bits and pieces. His attention span lasts about 20minues. But now he’s asking to see them. At 4 yrs old his attention span is good for about 30min before he’s playing with another toy, so we watch them in increments. Makes it a little more fun too, we recap what we saw last and it’s like checking in on our favorite characters to see what they’re up to now. Of course we’re only really interested in the original trilogy. He can discover the others on his own someday. : )
The Saga Continues…
My boy just recently celebrated his 4 yr old birthday, and what was the theme? You guessed it, “Lego Star Wars”. So there you have it. My recommendation, show your passion, then drown them in stuff, and someday they’ll be interested in seeing the movies too.