January 2011 Parent Zone

January Parent Zone 2011

Superheroes Unite!

If your kids are like many others who love any sort of superhero, then you’ll probably know the names of all the X-Men characters as well as the differences between Superman, Batman and Spiderman.

Many superheroes have awesome superpowers that help them to be faster, stronger, and more impervious to the bad guys than normal people are.  Kids are drawn to the timeless “good vs. evil” theme and want to play it out over and over again.

Some kids may just want to be entertained, while others may actually identify with a particular character.  Still others may want to be like the character and do extraordinary feats.  While most kids do know the difference between good and bad, they also know that good guys are necessary because of the bad guys.

Superheroes appeal to young children for a number of reasons.  These can include positive qualities of strength, power, and patience.  A lot of superheroes have some sort of desire to help others and often spend lots of time doing things for or helping others.

Here are some ways you can help your superhero-obsessed child balance fantasy and reality:

  • Encourage physical play: riding bikes, shooting baskets, playing tag.
  • Reinforce the difference between fantasy and reality with statements like, “OK. Let’s quit pretending and come eat some real supper.”
  • Talk about the distorted physical features on the action figures and the use of exaggeration for effect. You might say, “Wow. If that character were real, his biceps would be twice as big as (insert famous athlete’s name)!”
  • Identify real heroes. Talk about what defines a hero for your child and help him or her understand that real heroes are people who care about others, utilize their talents, and seek to make the world a better place. Contrasting this with the world of superheroes will help him or her keep the plastic figures and caped crusaders in perspective.

Other Links to Explore

A Fascination with Superheroes

Introducing Kids to Superheroes

How to Make Superhero Costumes

Superheroes Coloring Pages

Super Hero Door Hanger

Make Your Own Super Hero



The Incredible Shrinking Super Hero
by Zachary Rau


Alpha Betti
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DC Super Heroes: the ultimate pop-up book
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How to Draw DC Comics Super Heroes
illustrated by John Delaney and Ron Boyd


Rumble in the Rainforest
by Sarah Hines-Stephens


Mad Hatter’s Movie Madness
by Donald Lemke


Marvel Adventures Black Widow and Avengers
by Paul Tobin


Spider-Man power pack: Big-City Super Heroes
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Greatest Battles
by Matthew K. Manning


Fantastic Four: The Ultimate Guide
by Tom DeFalco

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