Ask a child what superheroes do, and the answer is most likely that they ‘save the day.’ This innocence is what makes superhero play so much fun. Here are a few reasons why superhero play is fun and how to encourage it. Remember that the focus can easily be shifted to the good work that superheroes do and not the bad behaviors of the criminals.
Superhero Play Involves Powers
Each superhero is unique, thanks mostly to their diverse powers. Superman can fly. Spiderman can spin webs. Catwoman can scale buildings. Even Queen Elsa, from Disney’s hugely popular film Frozen, is an honorary superhero thanks to her powers of creating ice. Superheroes have a mythical, magical presence to them, which is what entices children. They push the boundaries of life and offer a glimpse into the ‘what if?’
The different powers that superheroes possess means that children become excited about trying different personas. Each play session can change and evolve with new powers. And with the magic of this realm, anything becomes possible.
Superhero Play is Creative
Superhero play often begins with established characters, but it can quickly transform into something organic. It might take exposure to the Avengers characters to become interested in superheroes, but this play can quickly morph into something different. What better way to engage with your child than by thinking up new, exciting superheroes to become. Get in on the fun and dream up different powers that would make your life both easier and more interesting!
The same can happen with costumes. While superhero costumes are in abundance in stores, having all of the different characters is impractical. Instead, start with basics that can be easily transformed into different characters. Capes and eye masks are interchangeable. To add another creative dimension, have children create their own costumes. Eye masks can be made out of construction paper. And if you have a child keen on sewing, an old bed sheet can quickly be turned into a cape.
Often, children pick up on the color that a superhero normally wears, and this is all that is needed for a transformation to take place. Green means the hulk. Red and blue means Wonder Woman and black means Batman. Children are immensely creative if given the opportunity. So be sure to start with less and see first what they are able to come up with on their own.
Superhero Play Brings Children Together
When children engage in superhero play, there is often a need for collaboration. While play can be just good guys versus bad guys, if children are playing with their friends, they often team up. Indeed, superheroes naturally form pairs or even teams to help save the day. Whether it is Batman and Robin, or the Avengers, there is a natural capacity for children to play together with other children.