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!
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!
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
Hello again, junior pirates! Captain Dead Skin Dave here again. I’ve been gettin’ ready to debut my first book o’ adventures next month! I’ve had my first mate, Tom, go out ta all the party stores and stock up on streamers, balloons, and he even found little plastic treasure chests! It’s sure ta be a grand party, indeed!
Today, I am pleased ta introduce you to the most feared pirate in all o’ the seas, Hairy Hazelroth!
Hairy Hazelroth was the vilest pirate of all the seas! Every visible part of his body covered in dark black hair, green ribbons tied to the end of his enormously long beard, and his giant black Captain’s hat, all made this notorious pirate easily identifiable.
Hairy and his crew were known for pillaging not only Royalty ships, but even the ships of fellow pirates. And soon, he would be coming for Dead Skin Dave!
Well, junior pirates, doesn’t Hairy Hazelroth sound scary? I can assure you, he is! You can read all about my encounter with him when me book is released next month!
Next time I will be sharin’ a little more about me first mate, Tom! I hope ye are lookin’ forward to it, ’cause I am! Until then, have a swashbuckin’ good time!
Dead Skin Dave, the Pirate coming April 2013!
For more info, click here!
All I Want for Christmas is a 1991 film about a young boy, Ethan, and his sister, Hallie. Their parents divorced one year ago right around Christmas, leaving the kids longing for their family to get back together. It isn’t until Hallie goes to see Santa (“the real one. At Macy’s.”) that Ethan sees how much his sister really wants their parents back together. The two hatch a scheme to get their parents alone together on Christmas Eve through Christmas morning. Will it work, or will it drive their parents even further apart?
Why it is a fantastic adventure: For some reason, a young Thora Birch keeps coming up in my movie reviews. I guess it’s because she was such a great child actress. Once again, she turns in an adorable performance as the innocent, yet intelligent, little sister. Ethan Embry plays a convincing and caring older brother.
This film deals with two major issues. The first is the big brother, little sister bond. Your kids will certainly learn a thing or two about how to take care of their younger siblings. Ethan is constantly watching over Hallie and making sure that she is safe. In one scene, he distracts her from hearing another argument between their parents. He watches over her and makes sure that she does not run off alone in New York city. When she inevitably does, he drops everything he does, puts himself at risk, and runs to go find her. It is a great lesson for all of the little ones in your home.
The second issue is divorce. In 1991, divorce was still a sticking point that rarely got attention in family films. Today it is more accepted and commonplace to see the topic discussed openly in family entertainment. If you have yet to discuss the topic with your kids, this is a great place to start. It portrays the kids as content and still being kids, goofing off and enjoying life, but it also shows the private side of the kids’ lives and how the each deal with grief. Ethan watches old family videos and cries, while Hallie takes the more naïve approach of asking Santa to get them back together.
Finally, this film is not all sad stuff. There is a lot of action and adventure. When the kids try to get their parents back together, the hatch a fun plan full of pranks and little white lies. There are runaway mice, towed cars, diverted cabs and a late night dinner at the family diner. All in all, it is a grand scheme worthy of The Parent Trap and it will have your kids laughing and on the edge of their seats.
The film also provides some great Christmas scenery: a white, wintry Christmas tree, falling snow and trips to Macy’s.
All I Want for Christmas is available to own on DVD, or rent it from Amazon.
Fantastic Adventures, Writings , and Other Musings