Superhero Day is April 28, 2020!
Superheroes, whether they wear capes, are imaginary, are found in comic books and movies, or exist in real life, are always saving the day. They are strong, always do the right thing, and usually have cool gadgets or abilities! We have created activities to help you celebrate that all have a Superhero theme. These activities include things that will help your child develop fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving and engineering skills, and can help them engage in cooperative play, while fostering creativity and perseverance. Each theme also comes with recommended literature and movie connections. Feel free to throw in your own activities that might relate, and don’t forget to post your results to social media and tag @discoverymuse to share with everyone else!
Art Activity/Fine Motor Activity – Create Your Own Superhero!
Have you ever thought of a great idea for a new superhero character? Or wondered what superpower you would want to have, and what you would do with it? Well now’s the time! For this activity, you’ll need to collect coloring supplies and paper – because you’re going to create your own superhero!
Superheroes typically have a special power or ability, which they can be born with, received later in life, or that they create on their own. For example, Superman is born with his powers, Spiderman receives his special powers from a spider bite, and Batman has no special powers, only tools. They usually have a suit they wear when doing heroic things. Sometimes they have a sidekick or a team of people that they work with to save the day. And their gadgets and tools are varied – from bows and arrows to lasers, spiderwebs, and grappling hooks, just to name a few.
Superheroes always try to do the right thing and help people feel safe. They often fight off a villain, or “bad guy,” who is trying to scare people or do them harm. The villain may know just the thing to do to distract or prevent the superhero from being able to do his job. But the hero always wins (even if it takes a while).
To create your own superhero you will need to begin by drawing what your hero looks like. Start by sketching out your hero’s body. Add a super-suit, include the tools that your hero might use, and then identify any special powers or abilities your hero has. You can go a step further and come up with a story about how your hero saves the day.
Art Activity/Fine Motor Activity – Recognize a Real-Life Superhero!
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, from the little old lady who saved a kitty from starving to the kid who stood up to the school bully. Heroes can be the doctors and nurses who take care of the sick, the janitor that keeps your school clean (and toilet paper in the bathroom stalls!), or even your parents, who keep you safe and give you hugs when you’re sad. Heroes are everywhere, in everyday life.
Think about some of your heroes. Who are they? How can you recognize them? Below are some ideas:
- Call them and tell them they are your hero.
- Make a list of reasons why they are your hero and mail it to them.
- Draw a picture of them wearing a cape and share it with hero.
- Create a song or write a poem for them about them being your hero.
- Cut a heart shape out of construction paper, write your hero’s name on it, and hang it on your door or send it to the museum and we will hang it on our big front window.
Science Experiment – Playing with Lasers
It always seems like the “bad guy” of any hero story has an evil plan to hurt others, and sometimes he uses a crazy gadget to complete this evil plan. Today’s “bad guy” is planning on using a laser beam to destroy a city. You must devise a plan to stop him!
Collect all the mirrors you have available (ask permission first) and a flashlight or laser pointer. You will also need all the mirrors to stand up, so you may need to get some play dough to help!
Turn on the flashlight and aim it at the first mirror. Now try to angle the mirror to reflect the light to another mirror. Bounce the light from one mirror to another, lining up the new mirrors to catch the light beam. This bouncing is called reflection. (You may notice that the light ray gets fainter the further it gets from the first the source. Light scatters as it travels.) See how many times you can get the light to reflect onto another mirror.
Now, this light beam is meant to injure innocent people. What will your hero do? What happens if you place something in the way of the light? Can you stop it that way? What if your hero can’t find something big enough to put in the way? What other way can you prevent the light beam from hitting the city?
Physical Activity – Train Like a Superhero
Get some of those wiggles out while learning some cool superhero moves and strengthening your muscles!
You can follow along with Miss Jen’s video or exercise on your own time. Try out the following moves (for a count of ten or ten repetitions):
- Hulk Smash (sumo squats) – Start with hands raised above your head and legs spread wide. Bending knees, squat and bring hands down to ground in front of you as if you were “smashing” the ground.
- Flash Run – Run in place at top speed for 10 seconds.
- Leap Tall Buildings (standing forward jump) – From a standing start, jump ahead of you as far as you can (as if you were jumping to the next building over. Turn around and repeat, completing 10 repetitions.
- Thor’s Hammer Slam (lunges) – Stand with feet wide apart. Raise your hand (holding an imaginary hammer) above your head. Turn to one side and bring the hammer to the ground, lunging as you come down. Raise back up. You can alternate sides or repeat 5 times on one side, then switch hammer hold hands and lunge in the opposite direction.
- Dodge and Jab – (skater jump + jab) Start with feet together, arms up in “fighting” stance. Hop, as if leaping out of the way, to your left. Jab once with left arm, once with right. Hop to your right. Jab once with left arm, once with right. Add some additional moves like ducking your head or changing jabs to uppercuts. Repeat 10 times.
- Iron Man Lift Off (squat jumps) – Stand with feet apart, arms at sides, elbows bent and fists at shoulders. Lower into a squat position, then launch yourself up and off your feet, bringing arms down as if using them to propel yourself into the air. Repeat 10 times.
- Cape Check (plank + shoulder taps) – Lay on your stomach and then use your arms and toes to push yourself up into plank/pushup position. Holding yourself up on your right arm, use your left arm to tap your right shoulder. Then hold yourself up on your left arm and use your right arm to tap your left shoulder. Repeat 10 times (5 times per shoulder)
- Spiderman Crawl (spider crawl) – holding yourself up in plank/pushup position, bring your right knee to your right elbow and then back. Bring your left knee to your left elbow. This should look like you are crawling up the side of a bulding! Repeat 10 times.
- Superman Lift-off (Superman Yoga Pose) – Lay on your stomach and stretch hands in front of you. At the same time, raise feet and hands off the ground and as high as possible. Hold for 10 seconds.
Conversation Starters and Research Questions
- What is a superhero to you? Who are your real-life superheroes? Who is a person who has saved the day for you in the past?
- During this time period, doctors, nurses, restaurants and grocery store workers, and delivery people have definitely been considered real-life heroes. Who do you think can be added to that list?
- One of the ways the museum is acknowledging our hometown heroes is by making special hearts to display on the front window of the museums.
Videos and Websites
- 10 Real Life Kid Heroes video
- Kids Can Be Heroes Too! website
- Heroes and Superheroes Book Pairings website
- Young Heroes – My Hero website
Because we know you’re stuck at home with limited access to movies and books, we tried to compile a list that connects to today’s theme that you might already have in your collection or be able to access online. These include:
Movies (Recent superhero movies aside, there are lots of fun movies about heroes – heroes exist in every story – usually as the main character).
- The Incredibles
- Big Hero 6
- The Lego Batman Movie
- Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse
- Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel
- The Powerpuff Girls Movie
- Stan Lee’s Mighty 7: Beginnings
- Ten Rules of Being a Superhero by Deb Pilutti
- How to Be a Hero by Florence Parry Heide
- Superheroes Are Everywhere by Kamala Harris
- Even Superheroes Have Bad Days by Shelly Becker
- Superhero Instruction Manual by Kristy Dempsey
- The Day I Lost My Superpowers by Michael Escoffier
- Superheroes by The Script
- Iron Man by Black Sabbath
- Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler
- Superman by Five for Fighting
- My Hero by Foo Fighters
- Flash by Queen
- Superhero by Simon Curtis
- Everyday Superhero by Smash Mouth
- One Call Away by Charlie Puth