Tag Archives: kid friendly

Fantastic Halloween Adventure: Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost

thCAEK0OUXThe next stop on our Halloween tour: Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost! This animated movie came straight to DVD in 1999. Like most Scooby-Doo movies, this one revolves around a mystery. In this case, there is a witch’s ghost tormenting the citizens of Oakhaven, a sleepy little town where famed Horror writer Ben Ravencroft goes to write his books. Ben Ravencroft runs into Scooby and the gang after they solve a mystery at a local history museum.
Once Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Fred arrive in Oak Haven, they immediately begin to investigate the suspicious behavior of the mayor. The gang is skeptical about the Witch’s ghost being real , but once they see it for themselves will they believe in ghosts? Join the spooky adventurers as they try to solve the mystery of the Witch’s ghost!

Fred, Daphne and Velma with Ben Ravencroft
Fred, Daphne and Velma with Ben Ravencroft
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Picturesque Oakhaven! I’m ready for Fall… and food!

Why it is a fantastic Adventure: This movie is one that I view every October to get me into the Halloween and Fall spirit. The town of Oak Haven has a picturesque Massachusetts Fall setting: brown leaves, barren trees, a small Main Street where everyone knows everyone, and even a re-creation of a Puritan village. If you live in parts of the world where the weather doesn’t change much and Fall doesn’t really happen, this is a great way to get yourself and the kids in the proper Fall mindset.
Along the way, the gang meet a group of Gothic witches who are in the rock band, The Hex Girls. This trio provides a few songs in the movie (which are actually pretty good) and help keep the kids entertained through the somewhat plodding mystery story.
Scooby-Doo provides the majority of the movie’s laughs, whether he is scarfing down a gigantic sandwich, begging for Scooby Snacks, or trying to churn butter in the Puritan village. He also provides crucial entertainment value in a story that is somewhat dark for a kids’ Halloween adventure.
On that point, the ghost in this movie is real. She is not someone dressed up in a costume to be de-masked at the end. She has a real thirst for revenge and will do anything to get her way. She brings pumpkins to life and turns them into evil jack-o’-lanterns that try to eat Scooby and the gang.

The plot deals with witches, Wiccans and warlocks, and provides a safe introduction to the topic of real life witches- Wiccans -that you can elaborate on later if you so desire.
The mystery plot is a lot of fun and will keep your kids guessing until the end, especially since the witch turns out to be real (but who was behind the other part of the mystery, and why was the mayor being so suspicious?). There are plenty of eerie locations to keep up the Halloween vibe: abandoned mills, forests full of dead trees, a cabin shrouded in an eerie fog.

Overall, Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost is a great atmosphere setting movie with a fun mystery and a few teachable moments and imagination igniting ideas for your kids. Watch and get ready for Halloween!

Available to purchase on DVD from Amazon.com

The Hex Girls introduce your kids to great music and modern witches!
The Hex Girls introduce your kids to great music and modern witches!

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!

 

 

Fantastic Halloween Adventure: Rugrats – Candy Bar Creep Show

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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!

Candy, the ultimate reward!
Candy, the ultimate reward!

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!

You can watch this episode for FREE if you have Amazon Prime

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dead Skin Dave, the Pirate FREE e-book!

Say goodbye to Summer and hello to Fall with one last pirate adventure!

Dead Skin Dave, the Pirate! e-book version will be FREE for the next five days!

Click here to get your FREE copy today!

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31 Days of Halloween

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Coming this October, I will embark an an ambitious quest to post 31 Halloween related blog posts. Be prepared for chilling content and thrilling activities you will find no where else!

  • Halloween Movie Reviews
  • Candy Reviews!
  • Halloween Specials!
  • Fantastic Adventures in Family Entertainment 2nd Annual Halloween Edition!
  • Costume Ideas
  • Decoration Ideas
  • Spooky Book reviews!
  • And Much More….

Stay tuned for the entire month of October! You won’t want to miss out on this one of a kind adventure for the entire family!