The Grand Rapids Comic-Con will have a significant amount of events and activities for families with even the youngest children. We will be creating numerous events for children that are both educational and informational for the young ones.
Family-Friendly Comic Books
Chris Galvan, a national expert on comic books, will be doing a seminar for parents about the comic book industry and how to shop for family-friendly comics in a world that doesn’t look so family-friendly. Chris currently writes a blog called “What’s In The Longbox” that is a comic book review site as well as being a writer for Comic Buyer’s Guide magazine, the largest publication in the world that reviewed comic books until it closed in 2013, and a comic book reviewer for West Side Comix. Chris is also a family man with children who read comic books, so he speaks from personal experience. Parents who have children who love comic books will find Chris’ presentation an essential part of the Grand Rapids Comic-Con!
Learn How To Draw
Randy Zimmerman, the publisher of Flint Comix and West Side Comix, will be doing a special drawing seminar specifically for children. Randy will be teaching the young ones on how to draw the characters Mickey Mouse and Spongebob Squarepants. Randy does these kind of art events at schools and libraries in his native area of Flint, Michigan, and will create a great experience for aspiring young artists.
How To Make Scooby Snacks
Chef Tommy Fitzgerald, the head behind Kitchen Sage and the Juice Ball Initiative, will be running a presentation entitled “How To Make Scooby Snacks” which is designed to teach children basic culinary skills and how to make smart, healthy choices on snack food. This will be a hands-on presentation where children will be able to be actively involved in making a simple snack food item that will not require adult supervision. Chef Tommy regularly gives similar presentations around West Michigan in elementary schools through Kitchen Sage, which is the official charity of the Grand Rapids Comic-Con.
Vending Room Economics 101
The Grand Rapids Comic-Con is a fantastic opportunity for parents to teach their children about the value of a dollar and what it can buy. The convention will have a large vending room with thousands of items to buy, and parents who wish to teach their children the value of money can use this opportunity to help their children learn how to plan their purchases.
Here is what we propose you should do with your children in the vending hall:
- Before attending the show, have your children make a “holy grail” list of items that they really want. Make sure that list is fairly specific: instead of putting “action figure” or “poster” on the list make sure they specify types of characters that they want (for example, “Superman action figure” or “Star Wars poster”).
- Make a budget for each child that they are allowed to spend in the vending hall based on their age. Although each family can pick their own amounts, we would propose at least $10-20 for younger children and double that for pre-teens. Make sure your children does some extra chores around the house so they understand that their money required some effort on their part.
- Make each child go through the entire vending hall at least once without spending a cent. This teaches them how to shop around and not make snap decisions on purchases.
- The second time through the vending hall is the time to pick up those “holy grail” items that they have seen.
- If they still have money left over then it is time to take a look at those items that may not have been on their list but appealed to the kids on their first or second time through the vending room.
- Make them stick to their budget. Do not bend and give them extra money!
- If they can not get everything they want then help them with discussing each item and assist them in making intelligent decisions with their money.
- If they desire to buy an item that may not be age appropriate then take advantage of the time to discuss that item and why it may not be for their age group. Don’t just tell them no, tell them why you don’t approve of a certain item and explain your point of view in a loving manner. Your children may not agree, but it gives a bonding opportunity with you and your children in an environment they will enjoy.
One unique element of popular arts shows such as the Grand Rapids Comic-Con is that many attendees will show up in costumes of their favorite superheroes and movie heroes and villains. Why not take advantage of this and have the family costume together? This is a great opportunity to have a family bonding moment, plus the children will remember the time they have long after they have grown up.
You could have everybody pick their own costumes, but why not pick a group costume that the family could do together? Maybe your family could go as a group of Jedi, The Avengers, or characters from The Wizard Of Oz, but you could also cosplay as a famed family unit such as the Addams Family or the Incredibles. Discuss it as a family and plan accordingly for a unique day of fun and imagination!
More family-friendly presentations to be announced.