There are few things that little boys (and girls) get more excited about than superheroes. Superheroes in books come in all shapes and sizes and are not limited to the ones created in comic books. There are books about super sisters, super animals and super athletes.
We took this topic for a recent Read-Aloud. We started out with Timothy and the Strong Pajamas by Viviane Schwarz about a boy who gains super powers when his mother mends his pajamas. He uses his new-found powers to help those in need including a princess, an old woman and a crew of sailors. This sparked a good discussion of types of powers one could have and how to best use them for good. We even talked about Olympic athletes and how they are like superheroes.
Timothy and the Strong Pajamas by Viviane Schwarz
Supersister by Beth Cadena
Eliot Jones, Midnight Superhero by Anne Cottringer
Princess Super Kitty by Antoinette Portis
Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod
Charlie's Superhero Underpants by Lee Wildish
Super Guinea Pig to the Rescue by Udo Weigelt
Superduck by Jez Alborough
Superman: The Story of the Man of Steel by Ralph Cosentino
For our activity, we made superhero masks and arm cuffs. We did some preparation beforehand to make this work with a younger age group, but most of it could be done onsite as well.
We used the four mask templates found here. If your printer takes construction paper, print the templates right onto construction paper in a variety of colors. You could also print the templates on white paper and let the kids color them. We cut out the masks, including the eye holes, to save time, but that could be done by the kids if they're old enough.
We used a hole punch and ribbon to attach the masks. It worked really well to have a long piece of ribbon already tied on to one side. When the child put on the mask, an adult tied the ribbon through the other hole, fitting the mask to the child's head. This process allowed for some one-on-one discussion time as well.
We also made wrist cuffs. These were simply toilet paper rolls with a slice down the middle. We curved the edges at one end to keep them from poking our hands, but that step is not absolutely necessary. The instructions for this project came from this site. We simplified things and the kids decorated cuffs and masks with markers.
While the kids picked out their books, we asked each about his/her superpower(s). The kids were excited to share their invented powers and all walked away proudly wearing their new gear.
Don't forget to make a mask for yourself!
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