You remember the Rugrats, right? Every kid (and parent) growing up in the 1990s watched this show. Chances are, if you have young kids, they have never seen this show. Well, what a better time to introduce them to this gem of a show than Halloween?
In this Halloween episode, the kids get out of the playpen and wander into Stu’s haunted house in the garage while searching for the ultimate Halloween treasure – a Reptar candy bar!
Why it is a fantastic adventure: This episode is a great introduction to the American concept of Halloween. Not sure how to explain what Halloween is all about? Take some pointers from this episode. Your kids will learn what a jack-o’-lantern is, what trick or treating is and why we dress up in spooky costumes.
The real joy of this Halloween episode lies in the adventure. Tommy, Chuckie and the gang all escape from the playpen (as they so often do), and make their way into the haunted house Tommy’s dad has set up in the garage. Along the way they run into fun house mirrors, spooky decorations that come to life when they walk near, and a surprise from grandpa in disguise! This story perfectly captures that sens of adventure that every young child has. It is something that disappears all too quickly in our society. Let your children experience the pure joy of exploring and discovering new things. This cartoon is a great tool for developing that sense of adventure. Plus, it’s about Halloween, so it is automatically fun!
A recent Halloween tradition of mine has been to play the game Costume Quest by Double Fine Entertainment. It’s perfectly detailed Fall environments capture the spirit and feel of Halloween unlike any other experience. I would like to share this wonderful game with you today in the hopes it becomes your new family tradition as well!
The game takes place on Halloween night in fictional Schafer County. You play as either Wren or Reynold a sister and brother who set out on Halloween for a night of trick or treating! Unfortunately, your sibling is immediately kidnapped by evil Grubbins! (You can play as either the sister or brother). The Grubbins are sinister monsters who are secretly plotting to take over the entire world and consume all of its candy! Oh, the horror! You now have no choice but to team up with your neighborhood friends and stop the Grubbins before Halloween night is over!
The fun really comes to life in the gameplay. You essentially get to go from house to house trick or treating, collecting candy and using it to buy stamps which can be used to power up your different costumes throughout the game. Of course, it’s not all fun and games when trick or treating, for behind certain doors Grubbins lay in wait ready to pop out and attack! When they do attack, the game play is a simple battle system of tap this button and attack, run away, or use special ability. It is very intuitive and easy for a 10 year old to play!
The best part of this game has to be the visuals. Think of Halloween for one minute. What do you picture in your mind? That’s exactly what this game looks like. Every house is covered in Halloween decor, brown and gold leaves litter the ground, jack-o’-lanterns flicker all over the neighborhood, and all of the neighbors have come together to host a giant Halloween block party with apple bobbing, pie contests and more! And if that isn’t enough Halloween spirit for you, the second half of the game takes place in a decked out shopping mall, complete with Halloween costume contest, and the final part of the game sends you to an eerie Halloween carnival!
There are also Halloween costumes galore. Each costume has a different power up that will help you in battle against the Grubbins. Best of all, you can change costumes any time you wish, helping you get over obstacles and solve puzzles to progress the game forward. Building costumes, collecting candy and fighting Grubbins are all a lot of fun, especially when playing is such amazing environments!
Your kids will fall in love with the perfectly eerie yet cute Halloween visuals, and of course they will be even more excited to go out trick or treating and experience an adventure of their own!
I hope yu are as enthralled with this game as I am. It definitely deserves its place as a yearly tradition for the entire family!
Costume Quest is available on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. It is rated E 10+ Amazon.com Buy Now!
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
Fantastic Adventures, Writings , and Other Musings