I am expanding my fantastic adventures series to include games and outdoor activities! Look forward to even more content and exciting things to do with your family.
Today I present Scribblenauts Unlimited, a video game for the Wii U console and PCs. What makes this video game a fantastic adventure? It’s educational, but so much fun your kids will forget they are learning to better use the English language.
A pig needs to be cleaned. Type in any object you can think of. In this case, perhaps a sponge, bucket, hose, soap? You name it, the game creates it. Need to fix a broken car? Just write in ‘Mechanic’ and one will pop right into the game world to fix the car. You can also add adjectives to any character to make them complete a task. For example add the adjective praying to a nun, and well, you’ll have a praying nun. Think of Mad Libs as an interactive video game. You approach different characters, objects or animals throughout the game. Each one needs your help. It is then up to you to use your imagination and knowledge of the English language to help!
You and your kids will have a blast helping out the citizens of Scribblenauts’ world, which is done in a colorful, vivid animation style.
The characters are fun to look at and the detail in the cities and backgrounds is visually pleasing.
Your kids will use their imaginations to create any object their heart desires. (No worries, there are vulgarity filters in place). And this, perhaps, is the strongest case for Scribblenauts Unlimited. Anything that gets your kids to think creatively is a plus. Being creative while also playing a game and staring at the TV? It’s the best of both worlds! Just don’t tell your kids that they are actually learning while playing!
Ahoy, mateys! Dead Skin Dave, the pirate, here! I’m just checkin’ in on ye to make sure yer enjoyin’ me book!
If yer into colorin’ I’ve got some pages fer yer parents to print out!
Color it in as ye see fit, and if yer feelin’ up to it, have yer parents post yer drawin’ in the comments section so I can see the amazing job ye have done.
Now, get coloring!
Parents, print these out and present for your kids to color! Take them to school functions, picnics, car rides, hand them out to all of your friends and family!
Hook is the next entry in my fantastic adventures series. I would have written about this already, but it was such a huge part of my childhood I assumed everyone has seen this film. While it is popular, there are probably lots of young kids and families who have not seen it. So, I feel I need to get the word out on this amazing adventure! Hook is a great sequel to the traditional Peter Pan story. What would happen if Peter gave up Neverland to grow old with Wendy’s daughter? It turns out he would forget all about Neverland, the lost boys, and everything about being Peter Pan. And what would happen if Captain Hook made his way to Earth to kidnap the children of the adult Peter Pan? Join in the adventure as Peter rediscovers why being a kid is so much fun.
Why it is a fantastic adventure: If your kids are familiar with the story of Peter Pan, they will instantly recognize a lot of story elements, both from the book and stage play. Your children will feel like insiders and feel like the are in on some sort of secret.
Once the story transitions to Neverland, the sets and action are breathtaking, immediately sucking your kids into the world. Neverland has never been so real. Each of your children will immediately find a lost boy they like and relate to, creating an even greater immersion.
Imaginations will soar as your kids will immediately plan their own battle against the evil pirates, creating coconut swords and bamboo armor.
Of course, a land with no parents and no rules is an exciting prospect for any kid. This is a great film for sparking imaginations. There is a make believe feast, and lots of different “games”, which all require the classic kid talent of make-believe.
The acting is top notch from everyone involved. It is almost as if the actors knew they were making a masterpiece. Robin Williams seems a bit out of sorts in the beginning, but comes into his own as a grown up Peter Pan. Dustin Hoffman delivers the best performance of Captain Hook ever put on film. Oddly enough, Julia Roberts is the weakest link, so that tells you how great the acting is.
There is also something for parents to take home. Just the mere thought of losing your children is horrifying, but bonding with your children while rediscovering the fun of your youth is something that will call to your very essence.
Do not miss this masterpiece of imagination and adventure.
Today’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.
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
Dead Skin Dave here fer one last blog post. It sure has been fun gettin’ out o’ me book and tellin’ ye all about my fantastic adventure. I hope ye are all plannin’ on orderin’ me book and reading it very soon!
I hope ye enjoyed me posts, and I look forward to seein’ ye all inside o’ me book!
Alas, have no fear! I will still be sendin’ activities fer me junior pirates through my author! Ye haven’t heard the last from me! My author, Ryan R. Palmer has many fun things on the horizon for all o’ the fans of Dead Skin Dave!
Catch ye on the open seas!
-Dead Skin Dave
Dead Skin Dave, the Pirate! is NOW AVAILABLE! Click here to order!
It is somewhat fitting that the thirteenth entry in my fantastic adventures series is a bit of a troublemaker. The classic character Dennis the Menace made his live action film debut in 1993 in the film Dennis the Menace. The story branches out a bit from the Sunday comics and centers around Dennis’ hometown, which is known for its safety and security, being visited by a jewelry thief. Dennis, up to his usual pranks, ends up being kidnapped by the thief, who instantly regrets taking such a bratty kid hostage. You also get great interaction with Dennis and Mr. Wilson, as Dennis plays most of his pranks on the unsuspecting Mr. Wilson.
Why it is a fantastic adventure: Aside from having a lot of fun watching Dennis’ pranks unfold, your kids will learn quite a few things along the way. Dennis learns that pranks have their consequences, and may even hurt the people you care about.
This film is a great way to introduce your kids to the great comedy of Walter Matthau. It is all family friendly fun that will have your kid laughing for days.
Another great teaching moment in this film deals with running away. I’m sure every kid has had at least one serious thought of running away from home. After Mr. Wilson gets upset at Dennis for pulling one too many pranks, Dennis runs away from home, only to be kidnapped by the evil, scary looking jewelry thief. The scenes with the jewelry thief (brilliantly played by a creepy looking Christopher Lloyd), may be a bit scary for the youngest kids in your home, but your youngsters will be too busy laughing at the jewelry thief and what Dennis does to him, that they will enjoy every moment of the film.
Out of all of the entertaining and tense moments in this film, the touching scenes between Dennis, Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Wilson are the ones that really stand out above the rest. They are heartwarming, truthful and a great way for your kids to see the value of friendships and loved ones.
Jack Frost is a 1998 movie starring Michael Keaton as a talking snowman. Well, okay, it’s more than that. Jack Frost is a singer who’s on the road most of the time so he can’t spend a lot of time with his son Charlie, although they love each other very much. When Jack dies in a car accident, Charlie becomes a very sad young man, until… Jack returns as a snowman! Now they can do all the things they’ve missed when Jack was human.
Why it is a fantastic adventure: The film deals with one major issue, a kid losing his father. If you have kids who have has this happen to them, this film can be a good coping tool, as the end of the movie deals with moving on and making peace with the fact that dad is never coming back.
Moving on to happier topics, this film also deals with what it is like to be a kid in junior high, and all of the alienation and awkwardness that comes along with that. However, this movie adds a very Christmas-y twist, as Charlie gets to spend quality time getting back at the bullies with the help of a giant snowman.
Charlie gets to spend extra time with his dad, who wasn’t there too much when he was alive. This not only leads to fun and adventure, it also provides the film with a lot of heart. This is one film that will tug at your heartstrings and let your kids experience a genuinely emotional experience about parents.
The puppet and CGI work all hold up very well, and the snowman really takes on a likable and believable personality. You may have missed this one, as it did not do too well in 1998, so give it a chance this Christmas and believe in magic once again.
Jack Frost is available to own on DVD or rent from Amazon or Netflix.
I am fairly certain there is not a kid out there who has not seen at least one of these TV specials. These puppet based Christmas shows cover all of the classic stories. Rudolph, Jack Frost, Santa Claus, Frosty and more! Without further ado, I shall skip the summaries and dig right in.
Why it is a fantastic adventure: The stop motion puppet animation is timeless and give the shows such a whimsical look that they will stick in your kids’ heads for the rest of their lives. This will help establish your kids’ first sense of Christmas. As soon as they see these images they will instantly be reminded of Christmas cheer.
The storylines of all of these shows are all full of positive messages and great teachable moments. As always, it is best to open a dialogue with your children after watching or reading anything, and these specials really bring out the best of the human spirit.
Each of these specials will take your kids on a fantastic adventure filled with daring, danger, excitement and good old fashioned holiday cheer. My favorite, A Year Without a Santa Claus, deals with the scary thought of what would happen if Santa couldn’t make it out to deliver the gifts! It is great plot points like these that will have your kids enthralled.
Do not miss these specials! Check local listings, as they are almost always on TV around Christmas. You can also buy them on DVD.
Most kids are familiar with the lovely book by Chris Van Allsburg, but lesser known is the somewhat recent film adaptation by Robert Zemeckis. The film adds several elements to the story, including multiple characters, intriguing plot points, and dialogue that fits right in with the book. The story revolves around a boy and his journey on the Polar Express on its way to the North Pole to see Santa Claus.
Why it is a fantastic adventure: The animation is top of the line technology, as all of the actors actually look and act like themselves due to stellar face and movement recognition software.
The story is filled with adventure as it follows around a group of kids. Not only will your kids be excited for the adventure, they will relish the fact that this journey is from the point of view of kids. They will be hoping and believing that they can go on an adventure just like this one.
Perhaps the best reason to watch this movie with your kids this Christmas: They will undoubtedly believe in Santa Claus and the spirit of Christmas cheer after watching this film.
Overall, it is a fun film filled with a lot of action sequences and a heartwarming and inspiring ending. Make a batch of hit chocolate and settle in one the couch for an unforgettable adventure.
My next entry into my Fantastic Adventures series is the delightfully fun and bizarre book My Teacher Fried my Brains. The first day of seventh grade was probably the worst day of Duncan Dougal’s life. He knows that things are really bad when he finds an alien’s hand in a dumpster and then gets plugged into an alien brain fryer! Can Duncan find out which of the four new teachers in his school is an alien before his brains get fried to a pulp—or before the aliens try to fry the whole planet?
Why it is a fantastic adventure: The first thing that will interest your kids is the title. The very concept of a teacher being a bad guy is instantly intriguing to the young mind. After all, teachers are the ones that make us do homework, go up and do stuff in front of the whole class, and generally make kids’ lives a lot of work.
Once your kids learn that the teacher is actually an alien, well then that just seals the deal. Just wait until your kids come home from school one day and tell you all about how they saw Mrs. Micer’s hair move and eyes come out from underneath. Your kids will spend the next several months looking for signs of extraterrestrial life from their teachers. What fun!
The story itself is full of action and adventure, as the main characters sneak around the school during off hours, invade the faculty lounge, and come up with crazy schemes to oust their alien teacher.
With just the right amount of creepy, alien fun, action, adventure, and plot twists, My Teacher Fried my Brains will be at the top of your kids’ all time favorite list and will have them using their wondrous imaginations to find out if their teacher is an alien. The possibilities are endless!