Homemade super hero costumes keep kids busy.

Super Hero Activities for Children

by Shelley Frost

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... Super Preschooler! If your little hero-in-training can't get enough of the Caped Crusader, keep her busy with super hero themed activities. Whether you're passing the time on a rainy day or planning her super hero birthday party, the activities will keep young kids from choosing a life of crime -- or at least keep them from driving you crazy.

1. Dramatic Play

What child doesn't want to be like her favorite super hero? Give her the chance with a little pretend play. Chances are you or someone you know already has some super hero costumes on hand. If not, don't rush out and buy expensive costumes. Instead, turn a small blanket into a cape. Make a mask from a paper plate or a scrap of fabric. It only takes a little imagination to get your preschooler in character for hours of life-saving super hero play.

2. Create a Hero

Your preschooler may already think she has super powers -- and she does seem faster than a speeding bullet at times. This activity lets her tap into that creativity to come up with her own secret identity. Perhaps she'll become Super Ballerina Girl or Captain Unicorn. Once she coins her new super name and pins down her super powers, she needs a symbol. If you're really feeling adventurous, whip up a costume for your budding super hero that shows off her symbol. Or make a book about the newest member of the super hero club.

3. Crafts

Sure, she's busy fighting crime and keeping the city safe, but even the busiest super hero needs a little down time. Super hero crafts get those creative juices flowing while sticking with the theme. Let her decorate her own super hero cape cut from felt. Build a super hero city from cardboard boxes painted to look like buildings. Super hero puppets or wooden peg people painted to look like heroes can keep the cardboard city safe. The pages of a comic book work well for collages -- just make sure you don't cut up a prized comic book collection.

4. Challenges

Super heroes need to stay fit to take down any evildoers that threaten the safety of the city. Themed physical challenges keep your little crime fighter in shape -- without her even realizing she's getting exercise. Set up an obstacle course for superhero training. Have your junior hero carry a large stuffed animal to safety. Have her climb to the top of a "building" -- which could be the ladder on the backyard playset -- and swoop back down to the ground via the slide. Set up a board as a balance beam so she can cross a pool of gunk created by her arch nemesis. If you have several kids, play a game of super hero tag. The person who is "it" is the hero and the other players are the villains.

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