The 62nd World Science Fiction Convention

  • Sept. 2-6, 2004
  • Boston, MA

Program Brainstorming Introduction

  • This weblog is a place where you can give us your suggestions for Noreascon 4 programming. What great new ideas do you have and what things have you seen at other conventions that you'd like us to "steal"? (Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.) To make a suggestion, please add a comment under the appropriate heading. Feel free to write a short description of the topic and even suggest appropriate program participants for it. If there's a lot of interest in a particular topic, we'll add a new heading for it.

    Please note: This is not the place to volunteer to be on Program. If you are interested in being on the Program, please see our Program Participant Selection FAQ.

« Fannish | Main | Costuming »

September 24, 2003

Children's Programming

This is where you can give us suggestions for program ideas for children's programming.


Well, based on the movie the incredibles, Dash seems to be the favorite, so maybe you could make a toy out of him, and hey why not the others as well, but specific toys on Dash as well. The tickle-me-elmo and tumble 'n laugh Koda were big hits, so maybe they should try that with Dash, something they wouldn't expect. They'd be expecting action figures only. I think that seems interesting, but it's just a suggestion.

I sometimes let the kids play with my toys--notably Legos & a product called Marbleworks by Discovery Toys ( However, for pure amusement, there's nothing cuter than my husband & son playing Pretty Pretty Princess. I probably won't think it's so cute in a dozen years when my son actually comes home with an earring in his ear.
Barbie, however, is the bane of my existence. All those tiny shoes!

I'm a magician and I will be coming to the convention. I was wondering if you would like me to perform a 30 to 40 minute magic show for the children. If you prefer, I can one for the both the children and the adults. Please do let me know if you are interested in this idea.

Not so much about programing for kids... but how about, "Making the next generation of fans." I'd love to be on THAT panel, having three nieces and two nephews to corrupt!

I posted this message on the MidSouthCon forum as well:

I think we should have a small amount of 'Tweens Programming as well. ... At CONvergence, a convention up in Minnesota that my younger brother works on, they had a panel on Braille reading, to get an idea of how to read Braille. I thought of maybe stealing ..., er, borrowing that idea for a programming event, but adding a sci-fi twist to it by making the Braille text larger for a small group, making it out of wooden blocks and dowels (like a "Reading Alien Runes from the planet Braille" theme or an "Incredible Shrinking Ray" theme to "shrink" kids down to Braille-text size).

Another possibility is using a sci-fi theme to teach American Sign Language (a useful skill at any age, not just 'tweens).

Karaoke for kids - what a fun idea! They're not as self-conscious as adults, and could really have a nice time.

This message was posted on the MidSouthCon forum, but received no response....

A couple of years ago [somebody] brought up the possibility of including karaoke as a late night alternative to the dance. His suggestion was sort of poo-pooed, as I recall, because karaoke was considered "old hat".

Maybe we could make karaoke as a childrens or 'tweens programming item for Sat/Sun morning. Kids may not care that adults think karaoke is "old hat". There are a lot of Disney-related songs that are sort of genre-related ("Under the Sea", "Beauty and the Beast"). Are there any Weird Al Yankovic songs on karaoke? I think it might be kind of cool to see some kid belt out "Star Wars: The Saga Begins".

I don't know if this would work, but I have a game called Gummy Wars. It's Warhammer with candy.
This chocolate vs. everything else, and their all fighting for shelf space. This is one of those games where a kid might throw the match just so he can it the candy!

Literary Role Playing for kids! Neat.

I haven't been involved in children's programming so I'm not clear what works and what doesn't. Obviously sitting quietly while "experts" pontificate is not a successful kids item.

I'm planning on bringing my daughter who will, by then, be 8. Her genre interests include Harry Potter and Godzilla. What I find interesting is that when she plays with her friends and they act out their favorite characters, they freely adapt them to their own needs. Thus when my daughter is Hermione and another little girl didn't want to be one of the teacher's, they invented a new character who was Snape's daughter and a student at Hogwarts.

Perhaps some sort of role playing game where kids are encouraged to invent, or borrow from other material, would lead to them acting out stories where Harry Potter and Princess Leia and Godzilla fight the bad guys. I guess my suggestion is setting up a situation where they can play their favorite characters from different stories (literary, film, cartoons, etc.) and figure out how, say, Batman and Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo would interact.

A toy suggestion:


Foolscap just ran a program item - Out of the Toybox, what toys do adults get and enjoy? (We're not talking Porsches here, we're talking things like favorite puzzles and construction sets.)

It was a pretty successful program item - and even better, was followed by open room space so everyone could have a chance to play with the toys. The Foolscap kids were present and had a good time, according to reports (I didn't make the program item).

I don't know if this is replicable on a larger scale, but perhaps it might be feasible.

Margaret Organ-Kean