Tag Archives: Children

Fantastic Adventure: Theatre camps!

theatre%20camp%20photos%20(204)While most of my entries in the Fantastic Adventures in Family Entertainment series have been book, movie and TV show based, I have decided to broaden my approach and open it up to all forms of family entertainment. Today I’d like to talk about theatre camps! What are they? Well, I assume most people are familiar with summer camp. This is similar in that you drop your kid off at a camp for a few weeks in the summer or Winter, but instead of sports and scavenger hunts, your kids will learn how to prepare for and put on a play. This includes all aspects including set design and building, costumes, makeup, acting and directing.

Why it is a fantastic adventure. There are few things in the world that foster creativity in the same way that live theatre does. It s truly  a collaborative process where everyone belongs to a community and everyone is involved. Whether your kids are acting, directing, doing backstage work or making costumes, everyone will feel part of the process.
This is also a great opportunity to get your kids who are not as outgoing into a supporting community. Maybe your child is shy and doesn’t want to act. That’s OK. She can work backstage and help the play get up and running. Every one is an essential piece of the puzzle in theatre. And I can almost guarantee that by the end of the camp, your child will want to leave the backstage and audition for the lead role in the play. That’s just how it works. It is such an empowering place where everyone can feel safe and welcome.
Imagination and creativity are things we often squander when we’re older because we’re taught they don’t pay the bills! Let your child build their sense of imagination and creativity so they have something to tap into when they become adults. There’s nothing wrong with a career in the performing arts. Money be damned!

Fantastic Halloween Adventure: Disney’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

legendofsleepyhollowOne of my best childhood memories of Halloween is sitting around the TV turning on the Disney Channel and watching The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. For those who don’t know the story, it basically involves a very superstitious and easily scared school teacher, Mr. Ichabod Crane, being told a spooky story of a headless horsemen by the town prankster. When Ichabod makes his way home after the gathering, he is chased down by this headless horsemen and never heard from again.

This story appeals to such a broad audience because we all love a good unsolved mystery. Kids enjoy it because it is spooky, scary and a stern reminder not to run off alone!

The easily frightened Ichabod Crane
The easily frightened Ichabod Crane

The animation may leave younger kids a bit disappointed as it is not CGI and is actually hand drawn (oh, the horror)! However, they will quickly forget that little tidbit as they are sucked into the world of Sleepy Hollow. The daytime settings are pleasant to look at, which gives you a nice secure feeling. Hold on to that feeling. You’re going to need it.
When night falls on Sleepy Hollow the quiet, melodic town turns into a foreboding maze of dark forests, dimly lit cabins and dark, unlit paths. Of course, this is the part that is most appealing to kids and adults on Halloween night. If you talk to your kids and explain tot hem that the dark is not scary, and that the headless horsemen is not, in fact, real, they will not be frightened and will be able to enjoy the story for what it is.

The sense of fear and adventure stirs something primal in all of us, which is why this story and this cartoon version of it, continues to enthrall us all these years later.
Sit down and put this family friendly telling of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow in your DVD player!

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is available on DVD from Amazon.com

SALE: Jeremy, the Jack-O’-Lantern

In preparation for Halloween, which is quickly approaching, my publisher and I have set a temporary discount on my children’s picture book, Jeremy, the Jack-o’-Lantern. Now through October 31st, save 15% off the cover price only at Lulu.com !

Get in the mood for Halloween and share this story with your kids, neighbors, friends, relatives, or anyone who enjoys Halloween!

 

Jeremy Cover 001What does a pumpkin think about being turned into a jack-o’-lantern? Join Jeremy as he goes from a small pumpkin on a vine to a delightfully wicked jack-o’-lantern! Go on a journey as Jeremy experiences Halloween for the first time!

 

 

Be the Talk of the Neighborhood this Halloween!

Yeah, candy is great. Halloween candy is even better! But everyone gives out candy for Halloween. What are some items you can give out this Halloween that will have the entire neighborhood talking? Well, keep on reading!
All items available at Oriental Trading

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Jack-o’-Lantern Basketballs. Have the kids in your neighborhood work off some of that candy! Hand out these small, rubber basketballs to encourage a little exercise and Halloween fun!

 

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Candy Corn Bowling. Have this set up in your front yard as kids come up to trick or treat. You will be remembered as the house that has games! And, hey, the kids will have fun and use up a little energy.

 

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Jack-o’-Lantern Punch Balls. Give these out and encourage the kids in your neighborhood to have some fun punching giant balloons. Another way for the kids to get some exercise and blow off a little steam!

 

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Jack”O”Checkers. Slip a game of checkers into the kids’ candy bags this year (along with some candy, of course)! They will have a game to play when they get home, take a car ride, etc. Best of all, it is not an electronic device for them to stare at!!

 

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Halloween friendship bracelets. Always a fun thing for kids to wear and give to each other. Encourage the children in your neighborhood to make new friends and communicate in person, not texting!

 

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Monster Hand Goody Bag. Fill this up with some popcorn or candy corn for memorable presentation!

 

 

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Bag o’ Blood! These were a big hit with the kids in my neighborhood a few years ago. I had kids running from the house to show their parents and friends the bag of blood they just received.

 

These are just a few of the many things you can give out this year to your trick or treaters! Put your house on the map and keep the kids talking about the goodies they received all year long. They will be counting the days to the next Halloween and yours will be the first house they visit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Kyle McDuffy, Elementary School Investigator!

Hello, readers! Today, I am excited to introduce you to my newest character, Kyle McDuffy. He is an adventurous fifth grader on a mission to solve all the mysteries at Pearson Elementary. With the help of nosy Cindy and nervous Will, Kyle will investigate the greatest mysteries of his time.
First Case: ‘Principal Adams and the Toupee of Terror!’

Look for the first case to be released right here, for free, with new cases added every few weeks.
When a substantial amount of cases are revealed to the public, a complete case work collection will be released in one paperback volume.

Be sure to use the Search bar on the right side of the Home screen and enter keyword Kyle McDuffy to see all of the posts!

Family Movie Nights on The Hub Network

Monster House
Monster House

Looking to stay in for the evening with the family? I stumbled upon this ad the other day and wanted to share it, as will be a great opportunity to have a memorable family movie night. Most of the films are from the 1990s or early 2000s, so there is a good chance it has been a long time since your family has seen some of these, if at all.
Among some of the films being shown, I would strongly advise watching The Addams Family, Monster House, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Jumanji. 

There will be a different movie every night at 8pm Eastern 5pm Pacific.
Spend some quality time with the family, pop some popcorn and get ready for fantastic adventures!

For more information, visit http://www.hubworld.com and watch the video below!

Fantastic Adventure #14: Denver, the Last Dinosaur

denverToday’s post in my Fantastic Adventures in Family Entertainment brings us to the late 1980s with a prehistoric twist. Denver, the Last Dinosaur was a children’s television cartoon which paired a group of modern California teens with a prehistoric dinosaur, Denver. The teens found a prehistoric egg on a visit to the La Brea tar pits and were surprised when it hatched and out came a dinosaur! The multicultural group of modern teens – Mario, Jeremy, Shades, Wally, Casey and little sister Heather – all sought to protect Denver from concert promoter Morton Fizback, who wanted to exploit Denver at various concert events.

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Why it is a fantastic adventure: All of the kids in the group bring something different to the table. You have the jock, the extreme sports kid, the nerd, the jug head, and the annoying little sister.  Your kids will quickly find one of the characters to relate to and follow through each episode’s adventure.
Denver, a green rock n roll dinosaur, provides most of the excitement and will get most of the laughs – mostly because he is a dinosaur. Most of the episodes ave great learning moments for your kids in that they deal with issues of responsibility, being environmentally conscious, and they deal with the greed associated with money. All of these topics are woven into the adventure and excitement of the episodes, so it does not seem forced or preachy.
Most importantly and best of all, each episode deals with friendship: how to get along, how to patch things up when someone gets hurt, and all of the joy and responsibility associated with great, lasting friendships.

Denver, the Last Dinosaur is available to own on DVD and available for free on youtube.com