Cambodia has experienced decades of conflict. Surprisingly, children commit many crimes, mostly because older children force younger children to steal. Believe it or not, if a child is caught committing a crime such as stealing, they are charged as an adult. I know it seems shocking, but it doesn’t matter how young a child might be, but they will be immediately detained and separated from their family. This is a serious problem in Cambodia. To find out more information please click on the link www.everychild.org.
Cambodia can be a scary place for a child. Most families struggle to meet their daily survival needs, for some families it might be a consistent battle. How do you think these families react in life or death situations? Imagine you have eaten in three days, what would you do? What would be like to fight daily for survival? I know the pressure placed upon families in Cambodia is enormous. I find Cambodia a safe place, although just like everywhere else in the world… if needs are not being met, some people believe stealing or showing aggressive behaviors is the solution. Of course stealing and violence is not the answer to any problem. Teach your children right from wrong.
Although educators believe superhero play promotes aggressive behaviors, imaginative play is still a vital part of child development. Superhero play should not be banned or ignored. Children need to understand that true superheroes solve problems without violence. True superheroes are people who are courageous and do things to help others in need. Early childhood classrooms are often too regulated and preplanned to fit the curriculum. I believe the classroom should reflect the array of children’s interests. Superhero play is an opportunity for pro-social play, which can have a positive impact on children’s social-emotional development. Children engaged in superhero play use their imagination and learn to work well with others. This theme enables children to advance their social emotional development by combining superhero play with characteristics of kindness, teamwork, and problem solving skills.
- Children will be able to recreate daily life experiences, role-play, and build ides about the world by looking through a different lens.
- Children will be able to learn how to regulate their feelings by learning how to problem solve and understand their emotions.
- Children will learn about teamwork, problem-solving and unique skills of heroes by comprehending and interpreting meaning from books.
- Children will learn special abilities of fiction and non-fictional characters by realizing heroes are not only known for their special skills but also for their personalities.
- Have children classify parts of superhero outfits in the following categories: head, body, feet, and hands. This is a great way to introduce new vocabulary: mask, tights, cape, boots, pants, shirt, logo, hat, etc.
- Watch a YouTube clip of Super Why. This smart superhero uses his reading and alphabet power to help fairy-tale characters. Also, at www.pbs.com there are tons of educational Super Why games.
- Have children brainstorm what super skill they would have. For example are they super smart, strong, helpful, or kind? Have children write/draw a picture of them using their super skill. If children cannot write sentences yet, slowly write each child’s description so they can hear the sounds of the words as the letters are written. As an extension activity, collect your children’s work and create a class book, How to be a Super Hero.
- Download, print, and then read the storySuper Friend.
- Have children participate in story time interactively by answering and asking questions. For example, ask children to think of a time when they used teamwork. After reading role-play and review the Stop/Think/Act poster and say the Super Friend Pledge.
- Have pairs of children act-out Super-Friend problem solving scenarios: fighting over a toy, giving a hug, sharing a ball, giving a complement, etc. Use a T- graph to sort super choices and un-super choices. Discuss as a group what is happening in each scenario. Ask questions to help children understand the differences between super choices and un-super choices. How are these friends feeling? Did they make a super choice? What would a super friend do?
- Give a nametag to each child, make sure children do not get their own name. When a name is called have the child say something positive about the child’s on the nametag.
- Pick a child to be the Superhero of the day! (great for classroom management)
- Have children decorate and design their own superhero cape! Make their capes out of felt, poster board, or fabric. Also provide glitter, stickers, or other manipulatives to decorate cape.
- Cutout superhero masks! Have children decorate their very own superhero mask.