Magic Capes, Amazing Powers

Magic Capes, Amazing Powers

Transforming Superhero Play in the Classroom

Eric Hoffman


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For as long as there have been heroes and villains in our books, on our TVs, and in our everyday lives, children have been imitating them in their play. Superhero play remains a wonderful, developmentally appropriate way for children to explore power, experience adventure, and investigate big questions about the world. Yet, many adults are troubled by the effects media storylines, stereotypes, and violence have on children’s superhero play.

Magic Capes, Amazing Powers takes an in-depth look at why children are so strongly attracted to superhero and weapons play. It also examines the concerns felt by families and teachers and suggests practical solutions that take into account the needs of both children and their caregivers. It explores how the use of redirection, storytelling, dramatic play materials, anti-bias curriculum, and clear limit setting can guide superhero play in a positive direction, one that addresses caregiver concerns and allows children to do what they do best—play!