Today I saw super heroes, without capes, doing many amazing and wonderful things. I had stopped by Buddy Day, sponsored by Down Syndrome Families of Las Cruces at a nearby park. The early spring grounds were packed with kids and their families zipping around, having a blast in the jumping balloons, eating hot dogs and nachos and cuddling the animals in the petting zoo. Horses pulled trolleys loaded with grinning kids around the park. Local first responders provided thrills, patient explanations, and boosts to look inside their shiny fire trucks and ambulances.
What a Good Day!
Spiderman and Mickey Mouse were also making the rounds, kneeling down to hug children, high fiving them, and listening to their excited chatter. It started me thinking. Here’s a great little game to play with kids that will encourage them to think about what makes them unique. It also gives you a chance to help them see their extended family and others through a different lens.
A Superhero lens
Here’s the 4 step easy plan:
Collect a few basic art supplies: paper, crayons, pencils, etc. maybe even some modeling clay and watercolor paints.
1–Ask your kids what their super power is. Have them describe themselves and their super power. If they’re too young or have trouble writing, have them tell you and then you, as the Superhero’s Administrative Assistant or Superhero Sidekick (trust me, they’ll love this), can write it down for them. Check out this blog from Linda Hunter of Pretend City Children’s Museum:
2–Have the kids draw, paint, make a sculpture or otherwise use some of those art materials to create a visual model of themselves as a superhero or otherwise showing their superhero awesomeness.
3–Talk about parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers—someone older than them. Ask your kids “What’s Grandma’s superpower?” “How do you think Uncle Jim is a superhero?” Write the description, draw the picture. Maybe you’ve got Grandma in a red cape, wielding a rolling pin and making the best pie ever, maybe Uncle Jim’s superpower is being a fireman and helping people, or fixing cars. Maybe Aunt Tina’s cape has dog bones on it and she’s the best puppy trainer you’ve ever seen.
4–Share the superhero goodness with the people you’ve honored. Ask some more questions about their super power and how they use it to help people. You might even take your collection of family super hero pictures and descriptions and put them together into a simple photocopied book. Make extras and share them with each other.