Pull on your capes: April 28 is National Superhero Day!
In 1995, employees of Marvel Comics created the day and sent a team of interns out in central Pennsylvania to hear what the public thought about superheroes and what super powers they'd most want to have. Today, the day is about honoring all the superheroes in our lives -- both fictional and the real-life -- who give their all every day.
Here's how you can celebrate National Superhero day with your child and show her the importance of having heroes and being a hero to others.
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Step 1: Look the Part
You can't be a superhero without a clever disguise, right? Get yourself and your child suited up with these fun crafts before heading out on any crime-solving capers!
Make a Superhero Mask
From Batgirl to Wolverine, every superhero needs a mask! Cutesy Crafts shows you how to make superhero eye masks out of felt for all your child's favorite characters. While older kids can cut their own felt shapes, your little guys will need more help, but they can pick out the colors.
For a no-sew option, try using paper plates, a hole puncher, and some yarn. Let your kids color them with their favorite superhero's colors — or let them design their own mask!
Design Cool Superhero Cuffs
A pair of arm cuffs spells instant superhero, and they're easy to make. Check out how Kate's Creative Space uses cardboard toilet paper rolls, plus some glitter and buttons for extra flourish, to give your kid's secret identity an instant upgrade.
Last But Not Least: The Cape
Arguably, the most fun part of any superhero costume is the cape. And you don't even need to know how to sew to be able to make some for your own family of superheroes. Jolly Mom shows you how to make colorful capes with just some felt, Velcro, and hot glue. Your little hero will be flying around the backyard in no time.
Step 2: Superhero Training
Every superhero needs to be in tip-top mental and physical condition, so here are some fun games to challenge your little ones' super strength and skills.
Work Out Those Super Skills!
Even the pro superheroes need to practice their skills to stay on their game. Create your own superhero training center by setting up a DIY backyard obstacle course. Have your little superheroes run in and out of traffic cones (or pails from the sandbox). Lay a jump rope on the ground and have them travel the length of the rope jumping from one side to the other. Lay some hula hoops in the ground for them to practice their super-leaps into. The possibilities are endless.
Train Your Brain
Not all superheroes are born with super strength, the ability to fly or laser vision. Some of them survive solely on their own ingenuity (think Batman). Left Brain, Craft Brain describes how to assemble a "tinkering kit" for preschool-aged children. Your little one can design and build his own superhero gadgets.
Find Your Heroes
Another important part of Superhero Day is teaching your child about the heroes in her own life. Talk to her about why it's important to have superheroes in your life, not just the caped, masked variety who save the world from super villains in movies and comics, but the regular people who make a difference in the world every day.
Having a personal superhero gives your child someone to look up to. Ask your child what she thinks makes someone a superhero, and talk about where you can find the heroes in everyday life, whether they're firefighters, teachers, or even mom and dad.
Step 3: Be a Hero
Now that your child looks the part and has his super skills prepped and honed, the final step is, of course, to get out there and be a superhero for others. Show your child that even the smallest superheroes can make a difference in the world.
One way you can build your own superhero skills is by helping your family become more charitable — and kids of all ages can learn how to help their community, from little ones helping you deliver meals to seniors with Meals on Wheels to teens volunteering to tutor in a subject they excel at.
There are so many ways to be a superhero on National Superhero Day and beyond that your little one may have to leave his cape out all year round.