Turn a Movie into an Active Adventure


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  35 comments   :  20,544 Views

My family recently went to see a movie at the theater and one of the trailers caught our attention. The Jensen Project is the made for TV movie follow up to Secrets of the Mountain and looks to be an action packed thriller. While enjoying a movie on a Friday evening can be part of a healthy TV viewing habit, this movie sounds like it could easily become part of an active adventure as well.

My children are very imaginative and have huge boxes of figurines and themed Lego sets they have collected and used over the years to act out many of their favorite stories. As they have grown, their active adventures on their bikes, at the pool, park, or sledding slope have been based on favorite books and movie plots. I know not every child plays in the same manner, but even as teenagers, our children still love to turn movies and books into an adventure with each other and their friends. Some of our best family times have been when we have joined in.

I am sure we will see lots of P & G product placement or Wal-Mart cloth shopping bags (they are the sponsors of the movie after all) throughout the Jensen Project movie but the premise lends itself to fun active games and adventure long after the movie has ended. "Former scientists, accompanied by their tech-minded teenage son, are thrust into a frantic pursuit to keep a potentially dangerous technology from falling into the wrong hands. The Jensen Project is a roller-coaster adventure race against the clock following clues, thwarting evil schemes and rediscovering each other in the process." Here are some ideas to turn this action packed tech movie into a weekend of fun and activity for families and friends.

  • After the movie is over, head outside with flashlights to enjoy an active game of flashlight tag pretending the flashlights are laser beams. You can modify the rules if you like to play in teams and keep track of how many times each team scores a laser "hit" on the other. Families with older teens or groups of friends might want to schedule an outing to a local indoor laser tag or paint ball facility to take the game to a higher level.
  • If you have family or friends that love to decipher clues, set up an outdoor treasure hunt game. Get creative with your clues and send team members running around the yard, garage, and house to gather a variety of strange items. Make the last clue a challenge to build something out of the items they have gathered in a certain amount of time.
  • Set up a "crack the code" modified hop-scotch game for younger children learning numbers and letters. Make the clues a basic math problem like 2 + 2 = 4 so they jump twice on the number two and then jump to the answer of four. If you use letters, have them jump to each letter to spell out easy words. For older school age children, use easy science words that you define for them or ask them to define for you after they have spelled out the word.
  • Turn a hike on a nearby long, winding park trail into a spy game. Split your group into two teams and start at opposite ends of the trail. Use trees, stumps, and large rocks to hide behind or crawl around to hide and sneak up on the other team for the capture (being mindful of park rules of course). Establish a home base for each team to serve as the jail for captured spies and create rules for how teams can break their spies out of jail to return to the action.
Sitting and watching TV can be a wonderful way to relax with family or friends at the end of a long day or a fun way to gather socially. It can also become a habit that doesn't promote an active lifestyle if we do it too frequently. I think one of the reasons activities such as video games are so engaging is that they tap into the imagination. With a little planning and imagination, movies, books and TV adventures can become not just interactive but physically active opportunities that keep you, your family, and friends moving. We will be watching The Jensen Project this Friday evening and are looking forward to a weekend of active imaginative play afterwards; how about you?

Have you ever tried to take passive activities like reading or watching TV and turn them into games or activities? Do you think engaging your imagination could be helpful to staying active? What creative ideas can you come up with for your favorite books or movies?

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  • 35
    Thank you for such great ideas. - 7/16/2010   6:48:12 PM
  • 34
    Awesome!!!! I like this ideas! - 7/15/2010   9:02:06 AM
  • 33
    Awesome!!!! I like this ideas! - 7/15/2010   9:02:05 AM
  • 32
    Great ideas. I can't wait to try flash light tag with my family!! - 7/14/2010   9:35:48 AM
  • 31
    When my children were younger, after watching a film they used to draw pictures and try to remember character names.
    If it's a film you know, you can write a phrase etc that is used in the film and see who can spot it first or give each person a line to listen out for.
    At the school I work in, we make a lotto board for the children to have infront of them to spot things throughtout the film.
    There are lots of great ideas on here. Don't forget healthy movie snacks too x - 7/13/2010   5:14:33 PM
  • 30
    What fun! I want to take my grandkids to the movie, & then have fun with it. - 7/13/2010   3:29:13 PM
  • 29
    My kids favorite alltime thing was a treasure hunt. I would write numerous clues that would lead them all over the house and yard, and at the end they would find something special. This was especially great during holidays and birthdays. - 7/13/2010   2:14:08 PM
  • 28
    When we were kids we used to go home from a movie and pretend we were the characters in thaT movie----- - 7/13/2010   1:22:10 PM
    For me, part of the enjoyment of a movie is having a few hours of mindless relaxation. Wellness is about all things in moderation, so the occasional movie isn't an event that I feel like I need to turn into an active time. - 7/13/2010   11:01:18 AM
  • 26
    Great ideas to help the family be active AND stay together. Awesome! - 7/13/2010   9:01:01 AM
  • 25
    When I was a kid it was all Nancy Drew - first from the books, then the TV show. We would make up our own mysteries and run around trying to solve them. Since we were the ones who made them up, I guess we solved them all. :-) - 7/13/2010   8:13:46 AM
    Reminds me of the time my brother decided he needed a towel around his neck so that he could be Mighty Mouse while watching Mighty Mouse. He jumped off a footstool and rammed one of his baby teeth back into the gum line, poor kid. - 7/13/2010   7:51:08 AM
  • 23
    Over the Fourth of July weekend, we had a family treasure hunt in the woods--aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, etc (3 generations) searching all over the woods, climbing trees, wading in the creek, etc to retreive the 5 clues & treasure per team. We had two teams & two different sets of clues & a treasure for each. It took a little planning, but was so much fun!
    I like the Flashlight tag idea--my children have always enjoyed playing "Ghost in the Graveyard", another version of tag in the dark--it was the most anticipated annual activity for the big summer sleepover when each of my 5 children would invite 2 or 3 friends to stayover night. - 7/13/2010   7:34:26 AM
  • 22
    I played Star Wars and Cowboys & Indians as a child, as an adult I read Little Women where the March sisters act out Pilgrims Progress. Until this moment I never made the connection between active playing and inactive watching. Somethings we need to be reminded about fairly often. - 7/13/2010   3:25:50 AM
  • 21
    When I was a kid, my friends and I like to imitate the actions in movies - the fighting, the dialogs etc etc. It was so fun, I wish I can find friends to do same things now but everyone just want to do more serious, mature things, the popular stuffs that you need to pay lots of money and go far, far away - which usually make me feel left out. Now I just do some "arm sparing" with my elder brother whenever we see each other - very rarely - good to keep reflex sharp, haha. - 7/13/2010   2:12:53 AM
  • 20
    Do you have a promotional deal with The Jensen Project? It seems like this article mentioned that specifically a few too many times... - 7/13/2010   1:23:02 AM
  • 19
    I never thought of that but in the 50's and 60's they used to have a movie every Fri. night or Sat. night. We may have been engrossed in the movie but on Sat. afternoon or during the week we would play in our yard and incorporate the plots of our games like in the movies. One was We dare you but that may not work good in today's society. - 7/13/2010   12:33:00 AM
  • GRANMA777
    Great ideas - 7/12/2010   11:33:45 PM
  • 17
    We were already planning to watch the movie and now it can become an active adventure! Great ideas! - 7/12/2010   8:30:30 PM
  • 16
    Playing tag in the dark used to be fun; but falls and breaks temper my frolicing. - 7/12/2010   7:01:25 PM
  • BHENSON123
    We had a group of young adults at my folks one weekend when our adult children were visiting with their spouses/significant others. In an effort to get them out, we hid a series of GPS coordinates which lead to a $20 bill. Then we gave each couple their first set of coordinates and challenged them to find it first. We weren't sure how they would react but they LOVED it. We're planning another treasure hunt when they all come over for Halloween. - 7/12/2010   6:13:19 PM
  • SUNSET09
    We would enjoy bringing books to life as everyone would have a favorite character to play and take turns. We would also take vegetables and play with them, using them as weapons and mics to sing into. It's never too late to enjoy your family and be creative! Thanx for the memories ! - 7/12/2010   4:14:40 PM
  • STATS2332
    I love it! I was always the mom the kids came to to make pieces foir a costume. - 7/12/2010   3:08:40 PM
  • 12
    Very good ideas. Wish I'd seen this when my kids were little, but, SP wasn't around then!!! - 7/12/2010   3:08:18 PM
  • 11
    What an awesome idea! I love families who actually interact and play with one another! Sadly it's not as common as it should be. - 7/12/2010   2:54:01 PM
  • 10
    yes,yes, and yes...imagination and movement is DEFINITELY something many, many families could benefit from...great ideas...thanks... - 7/12/2010   1:47:50 PM
    I plan to watch the movie now, because of this blog and try some of the games with my grandchildren. Thanks for this one. - 7/12/2010   1:45:15 PM
  • 8
    There is one movie from which I now "play a game." After watching "Mrs. Doubtfire", I now dance with my vacuum to make the chore more fun. It can be a bit of a workout as well! - 7/12/2010   1:15:40 PM
  • 7
    Thank your for your great blog. I don't have kids, but the article really took me back to my childhood. I remember playing at school with the other kids and acting out Star Trek on the monkey bars. LOL! Maybe I can do something like this with my friends. Sounds like something many of my friends might enjoy too. - 7/12/2010   1:07:16 PM
  • 6
    I know that as a kid I lived like that. My favorite books, movies and TV shows were always promptly acted out (and expanded upon) by me and my toys or by me and my siblings and friends as we ran around, climbed on the playset, climbed up trees, and "buswhacked" our way through the hills below our house.

    A lot of my imaginitive exercise comes now from sort of daydreaming about the future as I exercise. I imagine myself landing or creating a role in a movie or stage play that I really want and it keeps me smiling even as the workout gets tough. Or I dance and imagine that I'm already performing instead of all by myself in my living room.

    As far as movies for inspiration...well I jumped into the C25K program because all the people running around in Avatar made it look like fun! - 7/12/2010   12:39:03 PM
    great idea for families with children still at home. - 7/12/2010   12:16:16 PM
  • 4
    When I was a young girl, I LOVED taking part in "The Little Mermaid" movie. Although I did all the post-movie/show imagination stuff listed above, during this one movie I would pretend I was an extra character, and the living room was an extension of the scenery in the movie. I would move around and pretend I was an observer of all the things Ariel (or others) did. - 7/12/2010   11:28:22 AM
    At the risk of sounding like a total nerd, certain large aspects of my life are in response to Michael Crichton's time travel novel "Timeline". One of the main characters is a professor and living historian of the 12th century, that is he strives to speak the vernacular languages and engage in the activities of his period. I was so taken by this character that I decided to take up his way of life. I am now a medieval studies graduate student as well as a 10th century combat re-enactor. My group's two weekly practices are an important part of my fitness regime. RIP Crichton! Thank you for the inspiration! - 7/12/2010   10:30:36 AM
  • LJ1225
    Great ideas for turning movies and books into action packed fun! Thanks. - 7/12/2010   10:00:15 AM
  • 1
    Interesting. - 7/12/2010   9:14:08 AM

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