I founded an organization that offers interactive creative arts workshops for young children. I use themes like “Under the Sea,” “Outer Space” and “Around the World” as a framework for activities, engaging children’s rich imaginations and making it more fun. We have just added “Superheroes” to our theme repertoire.
Superhero- films, television series and console games are more popular than ever. Fight scenes, explosions and high speed chases are delivered through life-like perfect CGI and graphics. Villains are becoming more ominous in each new installment. Are Superheroes still age appropriate for young kids? I believe so. Here is 5 reasons why.
Encouraging good values
Although some of the modern films may carry age restrictions for their fight scenes being too violent for young audiences, the core values across all Superhero stories are good. Narratives are simple and strong and a lesson is usually learned. The positive messaging centers around helping and protecting one another. Efforts are rewarded and good eventually overcomes evil.
I have said and written much about my belief that imagination is a muscle which needs stimulation to grow strong. Without imagination, creative thinking and problem solving is impossible. We must nurture and protect this in our children.
With so many fun, fantastical, fabulous powers like flying, turning invisible or super strength, children are spoiled for rich ideas from the larger-than-life world of superheroes. With a simple towel or bed sheet, many a young boy has transformed into Superman right in his bedroom. Believe me, he BECAME Superman in his mind. And BELIEVE ME, it was FUN!
I don’t believe that any child is born “shy.” I think “shy” is the habitual fear of getting “it” wrong. It is a societal label. I believe that some of us are, or develop into, introverts and others extroverts, with all the shades of varieties in between. Nurturing confidence in the most naturally introverted children may make the world of difference in the classroom, on the play ground and in later life. Clarke Kent, Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker provide beautiful examples of introverts with inner confidence that allows them them to become Superman, Batman and Spiderman. Super cool role models delivering good subliminal messaging.
The world is becoming an ever more threatening place and parents, but also our children, worry about their own lives, futures and the state of our world. Most psychological conditions children commonly suffer from are fear based. In Superhero stories, good always triumphs over evil, the hero always saves the day and all’s well that ends well.
Has an excellent shelf life
Superheroes never expire. With cartoon heroes being around for at least the last century, new heroes created every year and big budget recreations of the classics being guaranteed block buster smash hits, everyone around the dinner table will always have a reference to Superman or Spiderman. Now, and I believe, well into the future, Superheroes, like Lego, are timeless. Bringing our own inner child out to play make believe as Batman, is well worth the fun too:)