Thursday, October 2, 2014

On Beyond Zombie Linky Party #3 - Children and Comics

Where to start... Comics! A year ago I didn't read them. But slowly over the past few years, I have been falling down the rabbit hole of nerdom. I play lots of table top games and board games. I watch all the latest Marvel movies. But I was hesitant to pick up comics. Because once you start reading, you don't stop. There are SO MANY to choose from. I started with my favorite characters and I've been spiraling since then, reading through various story lines and then going to others from there, because everything is so connected, like a giant spiderweb. It is seriously a fantastic universe.

I read to my children. A lot. And that includes comic books. My daughter adores Captain America and Spider-Man, and my son likes Iron Man (he's really interested in engineering). There are a handful of comics that are based on their favorite superhero TV shows, like Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble, and Hulk: Agents of S.M.A.S.H. But there are also other comics, like Mini Hulks and A-Babies vs X-Babies, which may seem silly, but to my daughter who loves playing mommy to her superhero action figures, she loves it and can't get enough.

Seriously. So cute!

Who can resist baby Galactus?

There are plenty of series that are suitable for children. The Marvel Adventures series is rated for all ages, and they include the Avengers, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Hulk, among others. The kids love reading them. If you visit a local comic store, they should be able to suggest you some series that kids will love. And perhaps your library will also have some available.

Sometimes local comic stores will have a stack of free comics. But the big day to find them is on Free Comic Day, which is on the first Saturday in May. They often have a good selection of kid-friendly comics to choose from. This past May we arrived late, but the kids got most of the ones they had picked out. Their favorites are Hello Kitty and Friends, Jellaby, Avatar and Donald Duck.

A handful of the comics we picked up on Free Comic Book Day.

The Hello Kitty and Friends comic series is wonderful as an early reader. There are hardly any words in it, just the occasional sound word, like klong or bang. Children can use their imagination to tell the story and decide what is going on in the pictures. Each time we read it, the story changes. It's a wonderful way to work on verbal skills and literacy skills.

Some parents may be nervous to hand over their comics to their kids and hope and pray that no damage comes to it, but we aren't so finicky. Mainly because we read the majority of our comics on Marvel Unlimited. But besides that, there are other places to collect comics for kids, such as in cereal boxes. I think General Mills put these DC comics out. One of our grandparents collected them, along with other cereal box books.

Bean isn't able to completely read on her own yet, however she does make a good attempt at it. And if she can't read, she will make up the story based on the pictures.

Some kids really love comics and want to take it a step future and create their own comic books! Luckily there are some resources online for that! Here's a simple and Free Printable Comic Book Pack from Suzy Homeschooler. Children can use these printables to write and draw their own comics. It's also fairly easy to create your own comic pages in Paint or on PicMonkey. Use that as a test run and if they are really serious about making their own comics, consider Lulu Jr's My Comic Book Kit. You can be your own author and illustrator to your comic and when you're done, send it in and they will send you back a professional print copy!  

If your kids are older and are familiar with using computers, then they might instead prefer some online comic book makers, like Comic Master and Marvel Kids' Create Your Own Comic. And here's a post with 5 Ideas for Teaching with Comics and 5 Free Online Resources to Create them (which lists the top two links).

This week I am featuring two posts! Planet Smarty Pants' An Engineering Challenge for Kids–Build a Boat and Mosswood Connection's WineCraft Art Project. We love creative activities like this and these two are frugal, educational and look like so much fun to build and play with!

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Munchkin and Bean
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Here's where YOU come in!

Link up your geeky or nerdy posts below! Comics, superheroes, LEGO, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, World of Warcraft, Magic the Gathering, math, science, STEM, video games, table top games, mythology, dragons, books, outer space, Star Wars, Star Trek, robotics, and any other geeky or nerdy activity you want to share!

Don't have a blog, but you want to share an activity idea or photo? Add it to the comments or email me at MunchkinandBean(at)yahoo(dot)com and I will do my best to include it as a Reader Idea in my next On Beyond Zombie Linky Party post!

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