Candy sushi is a fun, easy, and creative way to replicate sushi with candy. We like to set our candy sushi ingredients out buffet style, with everything prepped (ie: cut, sliced, unwrapped) ahead of time to save time and potential messes. The first and only rule of candy sushi is that participants must wash their hands. Other than that, they can make the sushi as realistic or unrealistic as they want. Candy sushi is always a huge success at Tosho-con. Here's our shopping list:
Bases: Rice Krispy Treats, Marshmallows, Yodels/Swiss Rolls
Essentials: Swedish fish, pull and peel twizzlers (they are getting harder and harder to find!), green sour gummies (usually in the shape of leaves) for wasabi, and orange gummies that can be used whole for salmon or cut up for ginger. We found it is best when cutting the orange gummies to put some orange pixi powder in the mix to keep it from getting too sticky.
Extras:Chocolate sauce for soy sauce, skittles, M&M's--basically any candy that could be useful in recreating sushi.
Plating: Giving out disposable chopsticks will add to the fun. Try getting donations from local Chinese restaurants; otherwise, check online for distributors who may sell them cheap. You can also have them take their sushi home in actual sushi containers, which can be found from distributors online.
Collection Connection: Find books and movies about sushi from your library and have them available during the program.
Anime Jeopardy is great for testing anime knowledge and is very easy to make! Jeopardy templates can be found via Google--there are a ton out there! Pick one and download it. The first thing you need to do is simply erase everything on it except for the table and the points (ie: 100, 200, 400) . Once you come up with your categories, type them into the first row. Write your questions on the pages following the table. Link each one to its respective category and point, so if you click on Heroes for 100, you will directly be sent to slide X, which has the question. Remember, have the question visible, but use animation so the answer--and maybe a nice picture--comes up after.
If don't have ideas for questions or categories to use, you can easily Google to find some or make up questions based on Wikipedia summaries of series.
Anime Minute to Win runs in the same way that the hit NBC game show runs: contestants have 60 seconds to complete a challenge. With anime minute to win it, create challenges that are related to anime or Japanese culture. Challenges I've done include a chopstick race, the chopstack challenge from the website (players have to stack 3 chapsticks vertically using chopsticks), ninja throw (substitute regular cards for YGO or Pokemon cards) and have them throw into a watermelon (you can also glue felt to the back and have them throw onto a flannel board), etc..
Anime $25,000 Pyramid: Using Power Point, create the same triangle game board as the classic game show. One player looks at the screen and tries to get the other to guess what the character or series is using clues.
Anime Name That Tune: Have players guess the theme song using clips from popular or obscure series.
Crafts are fun to break up the day. Try to pick things that are easy to do when you don't know exactly how many people will show up (like in a convention setting). Also, people may come in and out during the time allotted, so keep this in mind when doing crafts. Here are some crafts we've done at Tosho-con:
Japanese Brush Painting: The first two years we had an art teacher who was knowledgeable about brush painting to lead the activity. In 2012, we had one of our artistic teens lead the event. She made demos to hang up on the walls, handed out paper, paint (we used water colors this time), and books on brush painting for participants to refer to.
Decorating Chinese Take-out Containers: We ordered 100 take-out containers from http://www.uline.com/. We then got scrapbooking paper and other goodies to decorate with. It took us some time until we found paper that was the right grade that allowed us to fold it easily on the box, have it stick without wrinkling too much, and that wasn't too expensive. Most containers are made origami-style from one piece of material. We undid the container and wrapped them carefully with the paper and then put them back together. We then added Velcro closures to the container.
Steampunk Bottle Cap Jewelry: I collected beer and old fashioned soda bottle caps from colleagues, friends, and family members. We painted the back black so the logos didn't show. I ordered little steampunk-style gears, as well as 1-inch cut-outs of steampunk-related images from sellers on Ebay. I also collected old, broken jewelry. We set them out on the table, and the teens were able to make their own bottle cap jewelry. Some of them had been hole punched at the top to put string in for necklaces; you can also by magnet s to stick on the back.
Cherry Blossom Trees: Start by collecting little branches from outside. Then buy pink and green tissue paper. Roll up the pink with triangles of the green, so the pink blossom surrounds the green inside. Glue them to the branch. Place in a nice bottle to show off your tree.
Anime Papercraft: Search for papercraft templates online. Print them out on cardstock paper. Teens can create their own 3D anime "figurines" by cutting on the dotted lines and folding where necessary. Hot glue may be necessary for a more professional assembly of the characters; otherwise, even tape or glue sticks would suffice.
Decoupage/Collage: Use colored print-outs of anime characters or actual manga pages from discarded manga and Shonen/Shojo Jump anthologies. For decoupage, buy Mod Podge (or make your own) and have the kids/teens put the cut-out images or text onto the item. I had my co-workers collect salsa and candle jars they didn't need. The kids then glued the cut-outs onto that. I also found some wooden boxes lying around, and those worked well too! For collage, simply get paper for them to glue on.