How to Raise a Hero in 5 Steps (with Toys)
We are living in the golden age of super heroes. Between the blockbuster movies and hit television series that are being produced, this is a great time for parents, who loved so many of these characters as kids (and young adults), to connect with our kids through the modern line-up of superheroes and the toys that represent them! The Playskool Heroes by Hasbro product line serves as a catalyst for imaginative play based on the heroes and stories with which our kids are familiar. And given my children’s ages, it is a great line to transition my son (4) into “big kid toys” that are easy for him to hold and manipulate with his little hands, yet still maintain that cool factor that my daughter (8) enjoys playing with them with him. That’s what we call a “win-win”.
If you think about it, by letting them play hero, you are actually raising heroes (with toys). Here are the 5 steps of How to Raise a Hero (with Toys):
Step 1. Give them capes.
I know, I know, there is a memorable line from a great children’s movie that decries “NO CAPES!”, but I’m here to tell you that thinking is flawed. Give them capes.
What superhero role-play doesn’t begin with a cape? It is a time honored tradition – children wear capes. My cape was a towel tucked in the back of my shirt (with the hand towels doubling a bulging biceps).
My children? They have real capes – and many capes. We have so many capes that we can deputize just about every visitor to our house as an honorary super hero.
Step 2. Give them toys.
While donning a cape is cool, there are some acts that the human body cannot replicate (either because of limitations or the risk of injury), so provide your children with stunt doubles. Trust me, it cuts down on the co-pay. After a summer of blockbuster movies, and animated superhero shows, the line of toys from Playskool Heroes have provided the perfect stunt doubles for all the hero stories that my children have concocted together.
The Transformers Rescue Bots High Tide Playset was a fun, and easy, set to put together. My kids helped put it together and then took the thing over. We were introduced to High Tide in an episode of Rescue Bots. Initially, High Tide is kind of grumpy, but winds up learning how to become a better teammate – a quality which I heard come out in the play of my children.
Step 3. Get out of their way.
If there is a character who embodies the power of the mind, and autonomy, it may be Tony Stark. Tony, who is the man behind Iron Man, is known to be a genius. While, he can be a team player (a popular theme in any comic), he also requires time alone to create. The Super Hero Adventures Iron Man Armor Up Fortress represents this solitude. There are no other Avengers – just Tony and his suits getting ready for action.
And sometimes this is just what your kids need to build up their own hero status – time alone to play. If you think about all the restrictions that kids have (most for safety), there is something to be said for providing them with the opportunity to make all the decisions, to write their own story, to create their own play. I watched as my children created, narrated, and directed their own action adventure.
Step 4. Get into the play.
Remember, as a parent, you are the original kid. Don’t be afraid to let your inner kid come back out to play. Remember when you played alone, or with friends? Remember the adventures, the sounds, the voices you would make to impersonate the good guys or the villains?
Well, bring that kid back and let him play with your kids!
Kids love it and it feeds their imagination. Play transcends generations and is a great way to bond the “old” with the new. You get to experience the nostalgia while they get new ideas of fun ways to play!
Step 5. Repeat every day.
Something that toys and great stories have in common? They are meant to be shared. Repeatedly. Want to grow your own little heroes? Let them play every day and create their own story. So go ahead and unbox that next adventure!
Here’s some more information about these wonderful toys with which we got to play:
TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS HIGH TIDE Playset
(Ages 3-7 years/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Fall 2015)
RESCUE BOTS fans can dive into big sea adventures as they take command of the TRANFORMERS RESCUE BOTS HIGH TIDE Playset! The new recruit, HIGH TIDE, now acts as the new RESCUE BOTS command center for ocean rescues. Load the HIGH TIDE figure into the command center console, then pull up on the lever to help HIGH TIDE assume full command of his ship. When High Tide needs to dive below for a deep sea rescue, press down on the lever, and twist open the hull to reveal HIGH TIDE converted into his mini submarine form! Preschoolers will be amazed at this easy to do conversion. The High Tide playset also comes with a capture cage with trap door and a crane with multiple rescue tools.
SUPER HERO ADVENTURES IRON MAN ARMOR UP FORTRESS Playset
(Ages 3-7 years/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: FALL 2015)
Tony Stark is ready for the next mission with his SUPER HERO ADVENTURES IRON MAN ARMOR UP FORTRESS playset! Pretend to re-enact one of the most iconic moments from the Marvel cinematic universe—Tony Stark armoring up to become IRON MAN. With lights and sounds, the IRON MAN ARMOR UP FORTRESS playset makes this moment come alive! Place the Tony Stark figure into the top of the IRON MAN ARMOR UP tower and push down on the tower to lower the Tony Stark figure into his armor below, which activates with lights and sounds. The IRON MAN ARMOR UP FORTRESS playset also features a capture cage, Hall of Armor where the IRON MAN suits can be stored, and the ability to be reconfigured so that preschoolers can customize the fortress. The IRON MAN ARMOR UP FORTRESS playset includes a Tony Stark figure and 2 suits of IRON MAN armor – 1 classic red suit and 1 blue suit. This fun playset makes the world of Stark Industries the perfect setting for little heroes’ biggest adventures. Requires 1 AA battery. Demo batteries included.
JURASSIC WORLD TYRANNOSAURUS REX
(Ages 3 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Now)
TYRANNOSAURUS REX is the ultimate dinosaur for preschool JURASSIC WORLD fans to track and capture! Features light-up eyes and a roaring action. Includes a human figure and a capture cuff to track the TYRANNOSAURUS REX but watch out – the head-chomping TYRANNOSAURUS REX might gobble the human figure up first! Includes a human figure and capture gear. TYRANNOSAURUS REX figure requires 2AA batteries, demo batteries included. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.
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Disclaimer: Thanks to Playskool Heroes, which compensated me for this post, for encouraging dads and kids to be heroes together. My views and opinions are my own.