For weeks, Aleks has been listening to the Harry Potter books in mp3 format. We had books 1 and 2 on tape, which he finished awhile back over the course of several months. Then, we got hold of the rest of the books and put them in our iTunes library. I was able to load one book at a time onto our tiny iPod and he would carry this around the house. He would spend hours in the basement, jumping on the trampoline and listening to the soft cadence of Jim Dale's British accent. I particularly like when he does Hermione's voice, "'arry!"
Sometimes we would all listen together through the computer while Aleks drew, I cooked, and Bastian made endless games of relational battles and negotiations between his toys.
Aleks started drawing Harry Potter inspired images. Here is a wizard casting a Patronus. He decided his own Patronus would be a snake. There was a drawing depicting as much, but I was unable to find it.He also added HP creatures into the creature card rotation. Here is a phoenix.
Another creature card shows a basilisk.
Aleks began watching all six movies intermittently as well. One night last week, he wanted to watch all six straight, but didn't get started on the first one until late in the evening and fell asleep soon after the second one started.
He's been asking tons of Harry Potter questions all the time, wearing his Slytherin cape almost constantly, brandishing a wand, shouting out spells at random, carrying around our miniature Marauder's Map, and even decided that if he went to Hogwarts, he'd have a dragon deliver his mail instead of an owl. His dragon would be named Scabs, which I thought was a pretty gross name. He decided that Bastian would also have a dragon deliver his mail and its name would be Frank. He drew a picture of these as well.
Then, yesterday morning, Aleks finally finished listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (book 7). Aside from asking if certain characters had really died during the last chapters, there were not many questions or much discussion at all. He announced that he'd finished and then, the first thing he did was get out his tape player and the set of tapes of Book 1 and began listening to the whole series all over again.
Yesterday evening and today, he spent most of his time listening to the tapes and playing Wizard 101 on the laptop in his room.
I've created a monster. ......Actually, I love it. I'm thrilled that he's getting into chapter books, even if he's not yet reading them himself. The world is rich, the archetypes are dynamic, and there are certainly worse ways one could spend one's time.
We even bought special headphones (designed for children to limit the decibel level and save their ears)and an armband for holding the ipod so as to avoid losing it to frequent dropping (especially while on the trampoline).