Thursday, November 18, 2010

Should we Encourage Superhero Play?

Young children have minimum power over their own lives-as they live in an adult world of preset rules and guidelines for behaviour. Therefore it is easy to see why superheroes are so attractive to them. In the superhero world, they are the creators of the play, where they become the good guy who saves the day or the villain who frightens them.
Through Superhero play children see first hand the difference between right and wrong as Superheroes are by their very nature courageous and virtuous .
Often times children will use their superhero play to make sense of a confusing or frightening experience in their lives. As they work through the Superhero scenario, they gain insight into their own feelings and can better cope with their fears (the dark, the rain, bed time, a bully at school, the fire alarm system).

As children weave their Superhero tales they learn about
the development of a story line-the beginning(conflict), middle (the development of the conflict) and the end (resolution). Often times these tales develop in group format thus encouraging group skills, negations, compromise, cooperation, and respect for others ideas. Imagination explodes as children share ideas to further develop their plot.
Literacy skills improve as children find new words to describe their characters and develop their story line.
Other areas that are supported with this type of play;
Development of art skills as children design and create 3 dimensional characters using a variety of materials.
Little scientists emerge as children explore the properties of the elements they give their heroes powers such as fire, water and, wind.

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