Comics & Role-Playing Gaming Promote Creativity & Storytelling for Teens

Comics & Role-Playing Gaming Promote Creativity & Storytelling for Teens

Serving as a continuation of innate childhood creativity, comics and role-playing games offer maturing tweens and teens the opportunity to exercise imagination and creativity within complex structures. Comics challenge readers’ ability to combine textual and visual elements for understanding, while role-playing games challenge players by containing creative story-telling to a pre-existing structure. Families can utilize a handful of community resources to pursue these interests!

As children grow and move through the early stages of human development, their innate creativity runs wild, allowing their imaginations to know no bounds. Children are expert storytellers and clever artists. But sometimes this creativity gets lost as children move towards the adolescence and early adulthood – as children mature, they sometimes outgrow the creative outlets that they once enjoyed.

Serving as filler for the hole created by the outgrowing of childhood creativity are comics and role-playing games, both of which serve as a more complex form of creative storytelling for older children, teens, and adults. Comics and role-playing games touch upon the fantasy-driven storytelling that is a hallmark of childhood, but put this practice into a much more sophisticated structure. Comics offer complex stories that weave real-life with fantasy in engaging narratives in a format that uses both textual and visual elements – making them appealing to and engaging for creative readers. Readers of comic books (and their graphic novel cousins) not only read words, but take cues from the visual elements included – engaging their abilities to comprehend language and visual cues simultaneously.  Read the rest of this entry »

Houdini’s Magic Comes to Holyoke

Houdini’s Magic Come to Holyoke
Opening Night: Friday, Sept. 14th
Wistariahurst Museum

Select pieces from the Magic Collection of Sidney Radner are highlighted by many items of Harry Houdini memorabilia. The exhibit, ” Houdini, Holyoke and the Sidney Radner Collection” explores Radner’s connection to the history of magic and Houdini, through his collection which contains handcuffs, tools, posters, documents, and ephemera. There will be an opening reception on Friday, Sept 14 from 6-8pm to view significant pieces of magic and Houdini memorabilia. Roving magicians and slight of hand practitioners will keep all delighted and entertained. ($)

During the months of September and October, the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke will house a special exhibit filled with magic history – featuring specifically many items used by the world famous magician Harry Houdini!  The exhibit includes many different objects, including handcuffs, tools, posters, documents, and more, all from the collection of Houdini enthusiast and fellow magician Sidney Radner (known otherwise as Rednar the Magician).

The opening night of the exhibit (September 14th) will include exciting events between 6 and 8pm.  There will be roving magicians (pockets literally full of illusions to share), and a chance to see some of the most exciting Houdini memorabilia up close and personal.

By visiting the museum, families can learn about the history of performed magic and its evolution over time, as well as the secrets behind some of Houdini’s favorite tricks.  Older students can use a visit to the exhibit as a logic lesson, especially when learning about card tricks.  Looking at the history of magic can also help supplement studies of American history and cultural change.  Kids can compare the portrayal of magicians in posters and print material to the ways in which magic is introduced and portrayed today.

The Wistariahurst Museum is located at 238 Cabot Street in Holyoke, MA. For more information, visit or call 413-322-5660.

Magic Down Under Episode on HFVS (05/17/08)



Magic Down Under Episode
with Sienna & Persephone

WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA
Saturday mornings from 9-10am

05/17/08 PLAYLIST

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  • Steve Weeks – “Look, Look!” [Alphabet Songs Vol. II: Ivan Idea]
  • Ellis Paul – “Wabi-Sabi” [Dragonfly Races]
  • Twink – “Mr. Magic” [The Broken Record]
  • The Beatles – “Magical Mystery Tour” [1967-1970 Disc 1]
  • Nat King Cole Trio – “Kee-Mo Ky-Mo (The Magic Song” [Nicky’s Jazz For Kids]
  • The Sippy Cups – “Magic Toast” [Electric Storyland]
  • The Harmonica Pocket – “Spiders in My Breakfast” [Ladybug One]
  • SHOW ID: Harmonica Pocket (
  • Matt Nathanson – “Starfish and Coffee” [For the Kids Too]
  • STORY TIME: Steve Weeks (
  • Mem Fox – “Possum Magic” [Possum Magic]
  • Steve Weeks – “Kiki Kangaroo” [Alphabet Songs Vol II: Ivan Idea]
  • Justin Roberts – “Koala Bear Diner” [Meltdown!]
  • Joe McDermott – “Baby Kangaroo” [Everywhere You Go]
  • SHOW ID: Princess Katie & Racer Steve (
  • Princess Katie & Racer Steve – “Hot Shot!” [Fast & Feisty]
  • The Sippy Cups – “Little House of Jello” [Electric Storyland]

We checked out Mem Fox’s web site to see what information she might have on the Australian culinary highlights mentioned in her story, Possum Magic. This is what she had to offer:

“I chose pumpkin scones in Brisbane (for those of you reading this outside Australia, Brisbane is the capital of the state of Queensland) because at that time the wife of the premier of Queensland was Flo Bjelke-Petersen, nationally famous for her pumpkin scones— it was an in-joke for the parents who read the book to their children. The other foods were chosen for their alliterative qualities and because they were typically Australian. The recipes for ANZAC biscuits, lamingtons and pavlovas can be found below.

Now for the recipes: Read the rest of this entry »

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