“Look, Mommy, I can fly! I’m a superhero.” He streaks through the house, cape flapping. You enjoy his creative imagination, and encouraging him to pretend he has superpowers puts that imagination to work. He learns new vocabulary as he talks about his superpower, too. The only downside is if he decides to jump off the bookcase or the top bunk in an attempt to fly. In that case, it might be time to hide the cape!
Children loves games, especially when they get to play the hero. Play a superhero version of freeze tag by calling out a superpower and having your preschooler pretend to have that power. When you call freeze, she loses her power and must wait until you call out a different power. To make chore time more fun, create tokens with pictures of superhero powers such as the ability to pick up full baskets of laundry or speed clean a room, and challenge her to win the token by helping you. You can work on literacy skills by joining your child in a superhero guessing game where you name a problem to be solved and she must decide what superpower she needs to solve the problem.
Your little superhero has ideas about how his superpower helps him fight crime. Pull out the crayons, markers, paints or old magazines and challenge your child to color or create his favorite superhero and use the pictures to make stick puppets he can use to dramatize his ideas. Help him think of ideas by saying things like, "A cape that stands straight out makes him appear to fly," or "Really long arms and legs make her look like she stretches a long way." Every superhero needs a sidekick, so have him design a super pet to accompany his superhero. Ask your child what super powers the super pet has.
Read superhero books to your child and watch episodes of PBS’s Super Why or Backyardigans together. The “Passport to Reading” series has comic book-style superhero stories your preschooler will enjoy. She might also enjoy “I’m a Superhero” by Daxton Wilde, "I'm Going to Be the Best Superhero Ever!” by Moira Butterfield, “Superhero Me!” by Karen Katz or “SkippyJon Jones” by Judy Schachner. Alternatively, let her create a superhero story where she is the hero. Ask, "What superpower would you like to have? Why would that be the best power? How would you use it to help others?"
Costume and Props
Every superhero has a costume, and your little superhero should not be the exception. Give him a box of discarded clothing, towels and other items to craft his own costume. Let him use fabric paints to customize a shirt and cape. He might stuff socks inside the costume around his arms and legs to display super muscles, stick a picture of a brain on his shirt to show that he is a super problem solver or display a rain cloud to let everyone know he controls the weather. Provide cardboard tubes, sections of pool noodle and other materials he can use to create weapons for crime-fighting.