A Housebound Halloween

Here’s a funny short film to inspire new family bonding!
Read more below for ideas to inspire and guide you ranging from easy to epic for kids & adults alike.

We decided to “up our game” with a family bonding challenge inspired by our family-favourite video game!
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Making the most of our time at home together

Halloween for our family has always been more about dress-up and walking around the neighbourhood together rather than collecting pillowcases full of candy.

Though I admit, 10 pounds of sugary goodness collected by 3 kids isn’t the worse thing. Personally, I love the salty chips the most.

So since Trick-or-Treating was cancelled in our area this year, we decided to try something different.

Children and parents alike had So. Much. Fun!

On our roster of Family Fun Fridays has been the video game classic A Boy and His Blob. It was re-imagined for the Wii in 2009 and then released on all the major current gaming systems including the iPad.

Without ever doing this before, we decided 3 weeks before Halloween to embark on an ambitious family project together.

Because: what better way to make the most of our extra time together than to really take advantage of it? In a typically busy year we’d likely never dare consider doing something that would takes weeks of planning and practice.

🤔 But this year is teaching us something.

We each took on different roles and I was amazed – our kids totally ran with it! Eight-year-old Harmony was our Creative Director and took complete charge of wardrobe, set design, and coached her younger brother Zane to tell the story.

🎬 This is our family’s “re-imagining” of this interactive game.

This also happens to be the first video we’ve ever created together! We’ve never done this before!

Everything you see here is the result of us just saying: let’s imagine it and create it! Using what we already had lying around the house, the only limits we had were time.

Enjoy watching it together and please let us know what bonding fun you were inspired to do after in the comment box below!

Do-It-Yourself Family Fun!

Choose your level of prep-work and effort.

Instructions for Some Do-It-Yourself Family Fun!

Inspired by our video to try out some new ways to play together as a family? Below we’ve outlined some ideas from “ready-to-play” to epic projects that require team work to plan, imagine, and create!

Level 1 - Play a Boy and His Blob

The 2009 re-imagined A Boy and His Blob gave us countless hours of family fun together.

We loved it because even though it’s technically a “single-player” game, we could work together as a family to solve the story’s many puzzles.

The creative and beautifully made game lets you control the Boy as he and his friend Blob navigate through many stages towards the goal of saving the Blob’s home planet.

For people who aren’t really into video games, this one may surprise you. The gorgeous art and calm music make it a joy to watch and most of the experience is about problem solving together. Even our 4 year old would stay really involved and feel like he was a part of the team. When things got extra challenging for our hand-eye coordination, we’d take turns trying to make it through these hard parts.

Best part was, we could play this for short or long periods at a time and it was never a problem to pick it back up after several weeks off doing other things together.

How to Play
We played it on our Xbox One.
Here’s the PlayStation link.
And we recently learned it’s available for the iPad, too.

Level 2 - Choose your own interactive video or board game

The key here is to find a hyper-interactive game that requires teamwork or at least gets everyone engaged.

Our family isn’t that big into video games. In fact, we really limit the amount of screen time our kids get. There are plenty of times I feel quite bad that our youngest has been exposed to more shows at an earlier age than his older two siblings. So point is, playing the Boy and His Blob was an exception for our family.

What we liked about this one was that it required a lot less hand-eye coordination (at times) so we wouldn’t be sucked into spending hours and hours trying to develop a new “button clicking” skill while staring at a screen. Also, to make sure we could take our time and chat during the game, it really helped that the video game we chose wasn’t set to a really frantic pace. That is, we suggest you look for games that aren’t so “time sensitive” (like Tetris) and require imagination and creativity (not just logic).

The key we found that made all the difference was that both parents and children alike can be relatively equal in playing together. That is, we can get to know and appreciate everyone’s different skills and perspectives.

Things to Look For
Games that are engaging for all ages
Games that require teamwork and/or let you appreciate each other’s unique skills

Level 3 - Recreate your favourite game "In Real Life"

Take your favourite video or board game and see if you can make a real-world version of it. Use your imagination! Create props and costumes!

Creativity and the challenge of making it fun for everyone.

Takes some planning.

Level 4 - Create a Play and Record it!

Film it for your own amusement and “family history records”.

No editing required. Just film to document to enjoy later!

Level 5 - Film it for others to watch, enjoy, and to be inspired by!

With probably almost anything, you can go as deep, complex, and involved as you like.

This activity can really engage the teamwork with all the family members, teach you something about the “behind-the-scenes” of film making through an experiential method, and perhaps up your own skills of video production.

Unless of course you’re already well-versed in film in which case, this will likely be more of a Level 3 for you….and perhaps you’d like to share some tips below!

More detailed Hints & Tricks coming soon!

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