I am not a psychologist, although Psychology was my minor in college. This post is purely my opinion. I see moms way too worried about their kids when they are playing. “Be careful, you might get hurt!” “Slow down, don’t run” “No climbing, you might fall” are all phrases that I’ve heard over and over when the kids are obviously just playing and being kids. When are kids suppose to have fun and be kids if they can’t now? Of course, we as parents need to protect our kids and keep them safe. I also feel that we need to let kids gain confidence in their bodies and abilities too.
My son loves to role play and when you get a group of kids together, especially boys, it is natural for them to be Spiderman, Superman, Batman, etc fighting the bad guys. Sometimes this involves kids taking risks as they actively play “in character”. My kids run faster, climb better, and jump more when they are playing superheros.
Superhero Role Playing is an easy way for kids to learn and understand the differences between right and wrong, good and evil. They also learn how to empathize with others as they create scenes and situations that their character must face. Their communication and problem solving skills are enhanced as they develop new plots and ways to get the bad guys! It is the one time where kids can feel in control of a “big situation” and feel like they have power.
We often go outside and head straight to our hide-out or bat-cave which is my kids’ Backyard Discovery Patriott Playset. We man our posts as we search the yard for bad guys trying to sneak in. We often hide behind the spiral slide as we can sneak a peek at the other side without the bad guys seeing us. It’s amazing what tools we use to fight the bad guys like sand toys from the sandbox!
Ka-boom! Bow! Bing! Zip! Clank! Fwap! Zoom! Poof!
We always get the bad guys!
So, alongside the cognitive and social development that superhero role playing can enhance, lots of physical play and exercise is usually involved with superhero role playing. When we can get our kids active using their imaginations and getting physical exercise, I think it is a good thing!
As a side note: I just can’t say enough good things about having your own playground in your backyard. Our playset is the go-to place for so many fun activities! It’s more than just a slide, swings, rock wall, and sandbox. It is imagination headquarters!
At the beginning of summer, my kids could hardly swing by themselves. Now, they can pump and swing on their own. Elijah can even jump off in mid-air, in his batman costume of course!
My kids have only seen bits and pieces of the movies that their superheros are from. That is a whole other post! Somehow, they know the good guys from the bad guys and that good needs to prevail!
This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to Backyard Discovery who supplied the product for review and the ongoing relationship with AkronOhioMoms.com. Check out the great selection of playsets from Backyard Discovery at www.swingsetsonline.com.
One thought on “Is Superhero Role Playing good for kids?”
I could not agree more. I am not an expert on child development, but do have 3 very active boys and some background in elementary education. Active play that involves role- playing, problem solveing, and gross motor skills is the best of all worlds. Kids need a sense of right and wrong and an appreciation for standing up against all odds. Sometimes as parents we worry too much about “safe” play and limit imagination and creativity. The phrase that I hear too often is “act your age”. I want to say back “Ummm, he is 5, he is acting his age.