Weekend Fun and Games

Filed under: Gadgets, Books for Kids, Music, Movies, New In Pop Culture

It's Friday and time to think about weekend activities. Here are some considerations as adapted from reviews and ratings by Common Sense Media.

At the Movies
Like the book on which it is based, The Velveteen Rabbit examines complicated family relationships with a childlike innocence. A 10-year-old boy deals with a neglectful father and a distant grandmother by disappearing into an imaginary world of forgotten toys. While the film's message is mature, it is delivered in a gentle way that makes it suitable for young children. Rated G, OK for Kids 5+

Changeling DVD Changeling is a truly frightening movie made more so by the fact that it is based on a true story. The disappearance and likely murder of a young boy sets off a chain of events that lead a mother to the brink of insanity. Along the way, there are graphic scenes of violence involving children, abuse against women and a realization that authority figures can't always to be trusted. A well-acted but disturbing film that packs an emotional punch. Rated R, OK for Kids 16+

Dark Days in Monkey City is an apt title for this look at the violence and power struggles of toque macaque monkeys in the Sri Lankan jungle. The little guys are mean and their natural tendency toward conflict is played up in this highly stylized, comic book-style docuseries. Lots of monkey-on-monkey violence highlighted with animated blood splatters result in a show that is a little too intense for younger and less mature children. Rated TV-14, OK for Kids 13+

Bones of FaerieA war against the world of Faerie has left the human world tainted with magic in Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner. Plants and trees are hostile and children born with otherworldly powers are promptly executed. After her magical baby sister is left to die, a young girl seeks to hide her own powers by fleeing into the forest. Drawing parallels between magic and nuclear radiation, it is a dark and somewhat violent tale. OK for Kids 10+

With All I Ever Wanted, the talented Kelly Clarkson ditches the rough-edged sound of her second CD and returns to the catchy pop tunes that served her so well in the past. Teens will relate to the boy-girl drama and parents will appreciate the clean lyrics and strong-girl persona Clarkson presents. OK for Kids 12+

green avatarTree-hugging children (and their parents) will delight in Green, an ecology-minded virtual world. Kids create an avatar and explore eight worlds in which they can play games, learn about the environment and watch videos. Of course, there is a shopping element -- activities pay off in greenbacks which players use to purchase items for their virtual rooms. The site is free and features both pre-scripted and filtered chat, both of which are monitored. OK for Kids 8+

common sense media

We'd love to hear what you're doing, seeing, reading and playing over the weekend. Share your ideas and we'll feature the best of them.
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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.