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.
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?
- 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.
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?