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Kidvid: Indoor Adventures for Cold Winter Days

11 Jan, 2004 By: Meryl Schoenbaum

It's a good bet that no matter where you're reading this, you've been experiencing some form of unwelcome winter weather — even those of us in normally sunny Southern California have had to endure subnormal temperatures and heavy rains this season.

But while most adults have grown accustomed to the inevitable change of seasons, the thought of kids being cooped up at home when the weather takes a turn for the worse conjures up an image that would send the most fearless parent running for cover.

This season's new releases provide an easy solution for keeping kids entertained indoors during inclement weather.

Activity Titles
The first course of action in helping kids cope with an indoor day is to find fun ways they can release all their pent-up energy -- without destroying the furniture.

Avid Ideas offers Toucanz Trail Obstacle Adventure, which includes 10 indoor obstacle challenges that develop critical motor skills, such as balancing and coordination, cardiovascular and strength training, and visualization skills. Once the weather improves, the fun moves outdoors, with features on how to set up an obstacle course in your own backyard.

“At Avid Ideas, our mission is to develop activity-based products that get kids off the couch and having fun,” said Beth VanStory, co-founder and CEO.

Toucanz Trail Obstacle Adventure streets Feb. 10 (prebook Jan. 13) and is priced at $17.95 on DVD, $14.95 on VHS. It is recommended for children ages 6-11, and can be ordered from the Web site www.toucanz.com.

Virtual Drama Company lets little imaginations soar with Mrs. Murphy's Playhouse ($14.95 DVD, $12.99 VHS). The video transforms the home into a Hollywood stage, with a scenic backdrop and costumed actors -- and the young viewer as the star of the show. The title sets the stage for parents and their youngster to become characters in “Little Red Riding Hood.”

Mrs. Murphy's Playhouse is suggested for children ages 3 to 6, and is available now at www.mrsmurphysplayhouse.com.

Kideosyncrasy Inc. gets kids dancing with its self-titled video.

“We bring a little ‘Broadway' into your living room,” said Meredith Mulholland, executive producer and co-creator of the video. “It's terrific for birthday parties, putting on shows or just dancing around the house.”

Kideosyncrasy includes dance numbers for popular tunes, and is recommended for children ages 6-12. It is priced at $19.99 in both DVD and VHS formats.

The title can be ordered at www.kideosyncrasy.com.

After all that dancing and exercise, it's time to get some rest. Blue Skies Media makes going to bed a fun event with its title Best Ever Sleepover! ($14.95 DVD, $12.95 VHS). The title streets Feb. 10 (prebook Jan. 13) and is recommended for children ages 6-12. It includes games, recipes and activities for preteen girls. The video is available at www.mybff.com or by calling toll-free 1-866-425-7257.

Imaginary Adventures
Who says adventures have to be limited to the outdoors? Kids can travel to faraway places in their imagination even if they're stuck at home.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment brings one of the most famous childhood adventures, Alice in Wonderland, to video in a two-disc masterpiece edition DVD Jan. 27 (prebook now, $29.99). The title sports newly remastered audio and video as well as a recently discovered Cheshire cat song and a “Virtual Wonderland Party” that allows kids to play games, sing songs and dance along with their favorite characters.

Also from Buena Vista comes Pok?mon Heroes, streeting Jan. 20 ($26.99 DVD, $19.99 VHS). DVD bonus features include a never-before-seen “Pok?mon Camp Pikachu” short.

The classic adventure Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is available from DreamWorks ($19.95 DVD MAP, $15.95 VHS MAP). It includes a feature that enables children to use their remote control to choose a character to follow on a path filled with surprises.

Artisan Home Entertainment takes children on an adventure to a prehistoric talking-dinosaur world with Dinotopia: The Series, streeting Jan. 20 (prebook now, $24.98 DVD).

The story follows a 21st-century family stranded in an amazing prehistoric utopia.

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