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Creating cryptids can be a lot of fun — and educational. Just ask the kids who made these strange creatures.

By Rachel Brazell with Chris Burley

It’s not hard to find kids and teens who love investigating the stories of cryptids like sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster. Pop Culture Classroom used this love to teach creativity, project planning, and even budgeting skills!

Cryptids at Lafayette Mini-Con

Check out the cool cryptids September’s Lafayette Mini-Con attendees made! 

Cryptid Creation Project

Project Description:

Cryptozoologists study animals whose existence remains a secret. The most well-known of these animals are called Cryptids. Kids and adults of all ages at the Lafayette Mini-Con participated in a matching game to identify famous cryptids like unicorns and chupacabras, all before creating their own secretive creature.

Once they sketched their new creation, budgeted art supplies, and crafted their amazing animals, youth got to take a photo of their cryptid hiding out in one of five habitats: an ocean, a dessert, a swamp, a forest or a snowy mountain top.  

What Kids Learned:

Before designing their sneaky, stinky, or swift creatures, participants could read about the natural defenses that animals have to protect themselves or hide themselves in the wild. Would their cryptid remain secret by camouflaging itself in white and grey fur like a yeti? Or, would they have defense mechanisms like a skunk to deter humans from finding its den in the forest?

Students brainstormed ideas for a new cryptid of their own creation, including how they could create a 3D model of it. From a list of given art supplies – each with their own imaginary price – and a given budget, students had to plan out the materials they would use, and exactly how they would us them.

After building their cryptid critters, kids could identify which habitats would be best for their creature and pose it for a photo in the biome in which it would be happiest. Kids learned basic photo skills as they placed their animals in the frame and made adjustments to the backdrop to show off their creature creation in the best light possible.

Lafayette Mini-Con

The Cryptids Corner was a popular attraction during Pop Culture Classroom’s Lafayette Mini-Con on September 30, 2023.  

Lafayette Mini-Con 2023
Lafayette Mini-Con 2023

The free, day-long event at Lafayette Public Library in Lafayette, Colorado also featured:  

  • Science, history, and prop-making exhibits with Colorado School of Mines, Tomorrow Makers Studios, History Colorado, and the Lafayette History Museum
  • Arts workshops with Pop Culture Classroom Outreach Instructors
  • “The Mystery of the Radiant Squall”, a custom text-based role-playing game
  • Drag Queen Story Hour with Shirley Delta Blow
  • Pirate shanty sing-a-longs with Arts Hub
  • Foam sword dueling with Rennaissance Arts
  • Dance tutorials from Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
  • And more

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