The Next Generation

This year, a coworker and I conducted a little experiment with our after school enrichment class called “Random Fandom”. We didn’t know if cool middle school kids would feel comfortable wearing their nerdhearts on their sleeves the way she and I do. However, we found our kids, the ones who can debate whether Sherlock or the Doctor is more brilliant, the ones who run into my classroom at 3:45, excited to share their latest fandom find, the ones who love to craft!

Over the past few months, I’ve written about some of the things we’ve done for the fandoms we love. We created top secret dossiers for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. full of paper craft monsters. We screen printed Marvel and DC tshirts that looked cooler than some found in stores. We made fandom coffee mugs, learning that you’re never too young to appreciate caffeine. We learned to write in Elvish and had a hobbit feast to celebrate The Desolation of Smaug. We even had a Top Chef style cooking competition with the Doctor Who fandom versus the Harry Potter fandom. And that’s not even scratching the surface of what we’ve done since September. What can I say? It’s been an amazing year.

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And as our year came to a close, we ended with some Harry Potter crafts. Armed with some plastic chopsticks, glue guns, and acrylic paint, we created wands that look better than any I have seen, including ones from the theme park! We simply covered the chopsticks with the hot glue, over and over to create the pattern of the wand. When the glue dried, we covered it in acrylic paint. When they dried, we sprayed a clear varnish on them. They were now ready to be used for spells and defense against the dark arts.
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Any student at Hogwarts needs his or her appropriate textbooks, and even though Hagrid’s choice was a bit more dangerous, we knew we needed to create the famous Monster book. I found several paperback copies of various HP novels at a thrift store for less than a dollar each. I found the perfect fur for 2.99 and the eyes for .99! With a piece of red felt, white felt, and white foam, we were able to create this cutie for less than five dollars each. We made holes for the eyes with small scissors and screwed them in before glueing the fur around the book. A small piece of red felt glued in the middle of the book became the tongue (our kids were very careful to glue the tongue in a way that did not block any words!). The final part was the glue red gums and white teeth made out of felt to the top and bottom of the book. They came out too cute, even if the original source of inspiration was a bit more frightening.

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What perfect timing for these crafts, especially with the new online Hogwarts School for us Muggles who want to be more like the Boy Who Lived (check it out here).

All of us in our little group looked forward to Thursday afternoons more than any other part of our week. We were so excited to find the next generation of super fans, and we can’t wait to see what lies in store for next year!

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