Question: Is superhero play really OK? Sometimes it can be rough and the costumes can cause problems with toileting and overheating.
Yes, let’s support superhero play!
If we place children at the centre of our practice and focus on their individual interests, but then tell them we don’t do superhero play, that’s a big contradiction.
Use superheroes as a learning opportunity. Encourage children to draw or create their own superheroes – what will they look like? What they will use their powers for?
Yes, superhero play can become physical, so ensure to set up the foam mats and inform children of their purpose. This allows children who want to engage to do so safely, and those who don’t to avoid being caught in the crossfire.
If the costumes make toileting tricky, be there to help with getting in and out. Have some spare costumes on hand in the case of accidents. If you have superheroes overheating, you may need to talk to them about how their body is feeling: ‘I can see you’re getting really hot, as your face is red. In five minutes, let’s stop, have a drink and cool down’.
Finally, have fun with it! As an educator, design your own superhero and go on the journey with the children – their interests come and go, and it’s our privilege to join the ride.
Consultant, Community Child Care Association