Friday, 11 December 2015

Why do Our Kids Need Superheroes?

As a child I was completely into superhero stuff. I feel nostalgic every time I see my tiny tots enjoying their favorite superhero DVDs. The memories of bygone winter evenings when as kids we lounged near the fireplace and read superman comics are something that I cherish even today. You know what is the most difficult part of parenting a daycare toddler? To keep them interested and absorbed in learning. When I got a notification of blog update by Williamsburg Northside, I was expecting another reminder of a school activity, less I have imagined the Teaching with a BANG idea To keep the toddlers excited about learning the basic principles of science, language, art and other life lessons, educators at Williamsburg Northside came up with learning science with superheroes concept. Can an abstract idea like Superheroes inspire my kids? Very well, they can.

Most of our superhero characters are based on some sort of scientific fact. They are far more than exaggerated fictional and animated character. They can imbibe the values of truth and justice (Remember these superhero dialogues - Whosoever hold this hammer, if he is worthy, shall possess the power of Thor - from Thor; With great power comes a great responsibility –from Spiderman), they can be looked upon as a curiosity and inspiration to our young geniuses who can brainstorm a real world dimension to science fiction.  I have even prepared my list of superheroes –

A fictional superhero character that first appeared in American comic book series in 1962.

After a radioactive spider (arachnid) bites a high school student Peter Parker in a science exhibition, he gains super strength, agility and intuitive 6th sense. He is an academically brilliant student and is good in applied science, mechanics, chemistry and mathematics. He engineered his signature web shooters at an age of 15!

Lesson: With great power comes great responsibility. People with power (or in power) always have a desire. They always have a choice- to do  something that is good for others or to do something which is meant for their own good. To make a decision, you have to be generous, far-sighted and thoughtful.

A fictional American business tycoon, ingenious engineer and superhero. He first appeared in American comic book series Tales of Suspense in 1963.

A whip-smart and brilliant boy, Tony Stark has dual master’s degree in electrical engineering by the age of 19. He designs a powered suit of armor (also known as Iron Man’s armor) and builds the successive updated versions of his armor to protect the world. He also runs a successful business of weapons manufacturing.

Lesson:  iron man has his share of some hilarious mistakes, failures and even some engineering flops too and he acknowledges that. Because you won’t get it right always does not mean that you will stop trying. To achieve the success, you have to traverse failures.

The capped crusader and Dark Knight, batman first appeared in American comic book series Detective Comics in 1939.

A billionaire and philanthropist, Bruce Wayne or Batman is an ‘in charge’ of a fictional city called Gotham City. Dissimilar to other counterparts, he does not holds any type of superpower. Instead, he banks on his physical strength, martial art techniques, intellect, and science and of course, his enormous wealth.

“It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.”

Lesson: Nobody will ever remember you for what you are meant to do but for whatever you do. Batman series are more than an action-packed entertaining thriller show, it gives a lesson what it takes to be a benevolent character with superhuman capabilities.

! I am in all praise for Williamsburg for their out of the box teaching ideas. Children love superheroes, we all do and educators at Williamsburg Northside Daycare know this too well! Initiating teaching activities like this, or making these characters a part of classroom activity is definitely an imaginative and fun thing to do. Because it’s what we all want – to teach our toddlers how to live with courage and daring (quite like superheroes).