In my eyes, Martin Luther King Jr. was an everyday hero. He went above and beyond to improve the lives of others, even having a super power of speech. So, as I wrap up this series inspired by Martin Luther King Jr., I want to share a real life (and fun) activity that we can use to help our children understand empathy and big emotions.
Kids idolize superheroes – those who seem invincible! This lesson allows them to look through the eyes of the hero and see that they too, have feelings. This isn’t a hard project, and if you are creative/artistic enough it can even be completed for free. For those of you who are artistically challenged (or lazy) like me, I will point you in the right direction for the items you need.
- Draw or print up some superhero masks. I downloaded mine from the Digital2U Etsy shop here: Photo Booth Super Hero Masks. Then, you will need to laminate the masks and stock up on dry erase markers.
- Next. write up a few superhero situations. For example, Iron Man takes Hulk’s book away without asking or Wonder Woman pushes Spider Man when he wants to play with her toys. The great thing is, you can adjust these stories to fit your child’s stage of development.
- Let your child pick a story and find the superhero that is feeling the “big emotions.”
- Give your child free rein to draw and write on the superhero, with the questions: how do you think he feels? What might he say? This helps the child to see the situation from another person’s perspective. You can even take it up a notch by adding in the “offending” superhero and discuss their point of view.
- Discuss empathy and how you can use it with each other.
Sheri Little M.A. is a health educator, social worker, trama-focused parent coach, and the mother to three children. I am dedicated to helping families grow stronger and more resilient through parent education and the identification of resources for children. You can find her on Facebook or Twitter.