International Superhero Day of Play (and Gratitude)
It's International Superhero Day on April 28th. Celebrate, through play with your kids, all of the heroes in our lives: firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, bus drivers, farmers, and grocery store cashiers. And YOU. Six plus weeks stuck in a house with young children? Yep, that takes a hero. Pull out those superhero capes, firefighter hats, doctor kits, toy registers, and toy food to organize some hero play - real and fictional - for your kids.
Be a different superhero each day or all in the same day.
The Imaginary Superhero
Day 1: Your children are superheroes today - the flying, extra strong, move through walls type. Buy a cape, or make a cape with a towel and rubber band, and let superhero day commence. Here's how:
1. Superhero Stamina: Make your superheroes run laps inside or outside your home. Add some burpees, jumping jacks and push-ups.
2. Superhero Brains: Superheroes need to use their brains as well as their powers. Time for schoolwork and read-out-loud.
3. Superhero Stealth: Superheroes need to be patient and quiet and move about undetected. Play a game (or twenty) of hide-n-seek. Add the twist that the superheroes can change hiding spots as long as they do not get caught.
The Medical Superhero
Day 2: Your children are medical heroes - doctors, nurses, EMTs, therapists (or any/all of them!). Grab a mask or make one with paper, rubber bands and tape. Pull out a play doctor kit or your supply of Ace Bandages and Band-Aids. Imaginary play, a few different ways:
1. Hero Medical Care: Have your children play doctor/nurse, and you be the patient, with Band-Aids, cold packs, temperature checks and a massage or two.
2. Hero Triage: Instruct your children to create their own field hospital for all of their stuffed animals and toys. Have them use pillows, blankets, Magna-tiles, or blocks for walls and beds.
3. Hero Transport: Finally, instruct your children to include transportation to the field hospital with boxes and bins, blankets and toy cars used as ambulances.
The Food Supply Hero
Day 3: Your children are essential workers in the food chain. Give them aprons and set their imaginations loose with a little direction for their organized play.
1. Food Catch: Designate one child to be the farmer. The rest of the family gets to be chickens. Crazy chickens. You can even make chicken headband with this printable PDF template. Then play tag. If you're caught by the farmer, you become food. Last chicken clucking becomes the next farmer.
2. Food Harvest: Hide a special wrapped treat - such as lollipops or left over Easter candy - around the house or yard for your children to find and collect.
3. Food Sort: Instruct your children to gather fake toy food or real food and create a grocery store. Make a register with paper and pen and a calculator. Use bins, boxes or baskets. Create store signs. No toy food? Make some with paper and markers.
4. Food Sell: One child is the cashier and you (or your other children) are the shoppers.
The First Responder Hero
Day 4: It's first responder day. Dress up your children as firefighters, police officers, and lifeguards. Don't have any costumes? Use red or blue t-shirts and swimsuits instead!
1. Get out the Hose: Throw your children into the backyard, if you have one, and turn on the hose. Tell your child play "firefighter" however they choose. Encourage them to build mud houses and then hose them down when they catch on fire.
2. Make Aluminum Handcuffs: It's time for your children to fight crime. Hand over the aluminum foil and let handcuff making commence. Hide your children's stuffed animals around the house, and then have them find these stuffed criminals, cuff them, and bring them to a laundry bin jail. For added fun, let them find and cuff you.
3. Guard the Bath Water: Throw your children into the tub with bubbles and toys. It's lifeguard time. Their job: to ensure that the toys are social distancing, to prevent drownings, and to rescue any toy swimmers from great white sharks and Corona viruses.
The Parent Hero
Day 5: Today you get to switch rolls with your children. They get to be you. You get to be them.
1. Dress Switch: Dress like your children and let your children dress as you (on a fancy day). Try heels, ties, belted dresses or work shirts.
2. Roll Play Switch: You act like your children. Your children act like you. Let one child at a time lead the game. Throw in a tantrum or two, some sweetness, and 8,000 questions.
3. Story Telling: Have each child "read" you a few books. For non-readers, have them tell stories based on the pictures in the book.
Thank you to all the superheroes out there, working hard inside and outside the home during this strange time.
xo, Rock Paper Sprinkles