Superhero Play

12 06 2011

On Friday, I had a parent approach me to ask for advice about her son and his seeming ‘obsession’ with Spiderman. She explained to me that she is worried Spiderman is effecting her sons play, turning it aggressive at home as well as spending to much time being Spiderman during solo play at home.

Superhero play can be tricky. In childcare, it is hard to establish boundaries and limits when it comes to superhero play. My attitude towards superhero play used to be laid back, just let them do it. But after noticing a continuing pattern of injuries and tears during superhero play among a group of boys, as well as listening to a parents concerns I began to look into it further.

Being a member of generation Y, I turned to google. It turned up some interesting points of view.

The National Childcare Accreditation Council has an interesting article which you can find here. It basically outlines what superhero play is, why children do it, and ways to support and extend upon superhero play, as well as how it relates to QIAS principles. It is essentially, a pro-superhero-play article.

The Media Awareness Network ( a Canadian website) also has an article outlining ways we can support and guide superhero play. You can read it here.

Great Schools (an American website) has this to say about superhero play. It points out the fact that children have been imitating larger then life characters since the days before television. It outlines ways to support positive superhero play, how we can recognise the ‘red flags,’ and how it can support learning.


After reading these articles, my view of superhero play changed. I felt silly that I had been so quick to condemn superhero play in my mind. It can be such a good opportunity for learning. But still, at the same time the overly aggresive behaviour has to stop.

On Tuesday when I go back to work, I plan on showing my room leader these articles and enforcing the following with the kids:

  • A time and place where they are allowed to play spiderman/batman/buzz lightyear/darth vader etc
  • Group discussions about superheroes in general and what qualities they have and why the children like them.
  • Draw up a list with the children about who each child’s favourite superhero is

I am hoping that these things will help them feel like their superhero interests have been acknowledged and are valued. And then maybe things will calm down a bit.

Wish me luck!




BEST BEST BEST cooked playdough recipe!

8 06 2011

Teacher Tom's Cooked Playdough RecipeI found this amazing playdough recipe over at Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning which was suggested to them by Teacher Tom. Its a good one. I dont usually make cooked playdough because I dont have the time or space, but this is a good one. Perfect mix of ingredients.

Parquetry Blocks

8 06 2011

Recently the children have been getting bored of our regular puzzles so we added parquetry blocks to give the children a chance to challenge themselves.

The parquetry block set we have has coloured blocks in the shapes of triangles, squares and diamonds, as well as large cardboard squares with the patterns printed on. Some of the boards have the shapes filled in with colour, and some have white shapes. I love this because it gives the chance to either make it less complex by not having to match the colour to the shape on the board, or to make it more complex by having to think about which shape and colour will fit.

The puzzle table is usually our solo-play area but with the parquetry blocks added it became an area for group work as the parquetry blocks provided a challenge and the children worked together to complete the puzzles. Some of the puzzles were easier than others, and they worked together to complete the more intricate, complex puzzles.

Parquetry blocks get their name from the art of parquet, being the geometric mosaic of wood pieces for a decorative effect, usually used in flooring or veneer patterns on furniture.