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October 28, 2014 / KingsIsle Entertainment

Dress As Madame Vadima With 6 Items From Your Mom’s Closet


Halloween is getting closer and closer!  Today we have another great KingsIsle costume idea for you crafty Pirates.  Dress up as Madame Vadima this Halloween with these great ideas.

She gazes into her crystal ball and tells you what fortune lies ahead of you. She is mysterious and lovely, and her predictions, while confusing, always come true. You have long admired the flowing hair and colorful costume of Madame Vadima, the mystifying fortune teller on Pirate 101, and now you can dress like her. Here are six things you can pull out of your mom’s closet to dress like Madame Vadima.


Top – Check to see if your mom has a white top that is full and flowing. Try to find one that has a stretchy neckline so you can wear it off your shoulders – just like Madame Vadima!

Skirts – Madame Vadima wears a couple of skirts that are layered. In order to dress like her, you will need to do the same. Raid you mom’s closet and find a couple of long and flowing skirts. Bonus points if any of these are green! You will need another, lighter, shorter skirt to put over it – you want the green to show.

Make-Up – Your mom’s make up will be one of the most fun parts of dressing like Madame Vadima. Have your mom help you use dark eye shadow and eyeliner along with a dark purple lipstick to look just like the mysterious fortune teller.

Scarf – Truly get in the character of a fortune-teller with a scarf around your head, just the way Madame Vadima wears hers. You can also tie another one around your waist as a long, flowing sash.

Boots – One of the most important parts of Madame Vadima’s outfit is her heeled black pair of boots. If the boots you find are too big, stuff some socks in the toes and wear a pair of thick socks so they don’t slip too much.

October 23, 2014 / KingsIsle Entertainment

How Much Screen Time is Right for Your Gamer?


Whether it’s homework or the hot new app, more activities are involving a screen of some sort. Before the rise of iPads and computers, it seemed all we had to be concerned about was how close our kids were sitting to the TV. These days, the tech explosion could cause our heads to explode because screens seem to be within arm’s reach at all times!

Limiting screen exposure can be tricky; they don’t make a lotion for it like sunblock. A recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics states that on average, today’s kids spend seven hours with all types of media that involve screens and links this time to attention problems, school difficulties and sleeping disorders. We all agree that it’s important to limit screen time, but this can be tricky since guidelines can vary by age. Here are some rules that we try to follow:

Ages 3 to 8

Most experts on the subject will tell you that any screen time is too much for kids ages 2 and under. However, that’s not stopping toddlers and young children from experiencing technology. Media use by kids 18 months of age increased from 10 percent in 2011 to a whopping 40 percent by 2013, according to a report by Common Sense Media.

These habits will likely stick with kids for the rest of their lives, so it is suggested to build healthy screen time habits early on. Try:

  • Setting school day rules, set a reasonable hours limit during the week
  • Playing with your child, Wizard101 and Pirate101 offers a great family playing experience

Ages 8 to 13

Remember when homework consisted of writing on a piece of paper? Limiting screen time at home can be tough when kids have a project to complete, plus want to get in an hour or so of Wizard101. Some studies recommend around two hours a day for this age range, but it is discretionary to each child and family. Whatever limit you set with your kid, lessons about moderation and budgeting time wisely are key.

Learn to be flexible, but also set limits on when and where screen interaction is allowed. Keep digital devices out of the bedroom, and have a “no screens at the dinner table” rule. It is also important for parents to model healthy screen use, so you don’t end up with a “Do as I say, not as I do” situation.


Ages 13 to 18

Teenagers are an especially difficult group to police when it comes to screen time. There aren’t many teens without smartphones these days, and this can put a wrench in many of a parent’s best intentions.

When setting screen time for your teenager it’s important to remember that studies have shown that higher amounts of screen time contribute greatly to a lack of much-needed sleep. Additional negative consequences from too much time online among the high school set include cyberbullying, not getting homework done and failure to pay attention in class.

Make extra screen time beyond those three hours a reward for good grades, finishing homework and chores. Encouraging after-school activities and hobbies can help your teen be active and find balance.

Other Considerations for Parents

Most studies on screen time and its effect on children include the caveat that what your children are watching does matter. As parents, we should not only be aware of how much time our kids are spending with a screen, but what they are doing as well.

Know what your child is into and be conversant about it. Look for information pages for parents like Wizard 101’s “Family Game” page, which helps us understand the games our kids are playing. Parents are encouraged to set limits with input from their children. Give them feedback on the subject and they’ll be more accepting when it’s time to turn off the computer, tablet or phone.

October 20, 2014 / KingsIsle Entertainment

Trick or Treat: Be Merle Ambrose With These Everyday Household Items


If Merle Ambrose is your favorite character from Wizard101, then you’re in for a real treat this Halloween! While Merle is best known as the commanding Wizard who created Wizard City, he is also the headmaster of Ravenwood School of Magical Arts and is currently researching a third triangle of astral magics – one we know little about. You can easily dress as this great and powerful Wizard with items you probably already have lying around your house.

Stuff you’ll need:

  • Purple construction paper or poster board
  • White construction paper or poster board
  • Bathrobe (preferably purple)
  • Long stick from your backyard
  • Tennis ball from your garage
  • Cotton balls from your bathroom
  • Pencil
  • Single hole punch
  • 12″ piece of string
  • Blue paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue
  • Foil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Compass

Making the Mystical Robe

To create Merle Ambrose’s robe, you’ll need to borrow or use your own bathrobe. Bonus points if it’s purple to match the mystical wizard’s wardrobe! Cut stars out of the foil (younger Wizards should ask for help with the cutting while making their costume!) and tape them to the robe.

Crafting Merle Ambrose’s Hat

Use the ruler and compass to draw a large half-circle on the purple construction paper/poster board. Cut it out and roll it into a cone. Make small cuts along the bottom edge of the cone, then bend them outward.

On a second sheet of purple construction paper/poster board, measure the circumference of your hat and draw a circle that big. Then, draw a larger circle around it to make the brim. There should be 3 or 4 inches between the two circles.

Glue the hat to the brim, then use the ruler to make the bends in the hat so it looks like Merle Ambrose’s. Glue more stars onto the hat so it matches the robe.


Growing a Wizard’s Beard (the Fast Way)

Cut a sheet of white construction paper or poster board in the shape of a beard. It should be straight at the top and cut like a scalloped upside-down triangle. Use the hole punch to make a hole at each corner of the flat edge of the triangle.

Tie a piece of string through one hole, hold the beard up to your face, and pull the string around your head to the other hole. This will make sure your beard fits properly. Secure the other end of the string after passing it through the other hole, but don’t make the knot so tight that you can’t put the beard on and take it off.

When the shape looks like a beard, make it fluffy and more “beard-like” by gluing on cotton balls from your mom’s medicine cabinet.

Creating the Wizard Staff

For Merle Ambrose’s magical staff, head to your backyard and pick up a large stick. Next, roll some of the gold foil you used for the stars and shape it into the curve at the top of the stick, like Merle’s. When you’re done, visit your garage to pick up an old tennis ball. Paint the tennis ball blue and glue the curved gold foil and the ball to the top of your stick. Now you are ready to make magic!