Super Hero 5yr - Felt Superhero Capes
Anika in Smyrna, GA USA
For my son's 5th birthday, we invited kids to a Super Hero Training Camp.
Invitations: I photographed him wearing a batman mask that covered the top half of his face (he was still recognizable). I used the picture as the background of the invite. The invite read something like: Top Secret: [child's name] thinks you have what it takes to be a super hero, we'd like to invite you to our super hero training camp located at [address, date & time]. RSVP to Super-Mom" and Super food & combat gear will be provided.
Decorations: Heading up the walkway and stairs to the front door we posted leader signs that said "trainees proceed to command center" "caution restricted area" etc. We closed off doors to closets and areas that we didn't want the kids wandering into. We put signs on these doors that said "biohazard" "danger do not enter" etc. We also got the pictures to match the words off the internet. We also had balloons in black blue & grey (Batman colors).
The biggest hit was the "Batcave". We moved all of the furniture out of one of the rooms on our lower level. I used a metal frame from a 10' x 10' tent & sewed together black sheets I found at walmart to cover it. I adjusted the height so only kids would fit inside. I also strung Christmas lights on the inside. We put sofa cushions on the floor for them to sit on. They also had a tv tray for the pizza and a cooler for the juice.
When the children arrived they had to stop at the retinal scanner and fingerprint recognition station. I painted a corrugated box black and cut out eye holes near the top and a rectangle near the bottom for them to insert their hands. I put one of those paint trays with bumps all over it on the inside for the kids to rub & "scan" their finger prints. I also cut a hole in the back for me to reach in and turn on a lighted toy to scan the retinas. I had pre-recorded each child's name with my digital recorder & downloaded the soundbytes on the computer. When each child did their scanning I clicked their name and the computer said in an official sounding voice "[child's name] identity confirmed". I got lots of smiles from this!
Then they chose which cape they wanted to wear. I cut capes out of felt and hot-glued velcro fastners around the neck and a star on the back. They were given the passwords (happy birthday [b-day boy's name]) and they had to use it to get into the batcave. They then went down to the cave for pizza and juice. They loved having their own space where no adults were allowed.
Activities: For the first training session they had to demonstrate their super strength. I explained that as superheros they had to be ready to protect their city under any circumstance. Even if rocks were to start falling out of the sky! We have a breezeway that crosses above our great room. I had two helpers to dump 100 small black balloons down on the kids. They had to "crush" the rocks by stomping on them.
The second session was learning to capture a bad guy. We had the two helpers and two other volunteer parents to sit in chairs and the kids had to tie them completely in toilet paper. (if you do this get the really cheap stuff or the paper will keep tearing).
The final session was self-defense training. I had the kids get in two lines and I did a 3-minute Taebo-type lesson (plus yells whenever they threw punches or kicks - very loud they loved it). Then I instructed my helpers to lower the targets. I stuffed pillow cases with a couple of pillows each and hung them with rope from the breezeway. I had 6 total and the kids took turns punching and kicking the bags.
Lastly I set up an obstacle course: they had to crawl through a tunnel run through the pillow "targets" (which they had to dodge - helpers were swinging them) they had to flip on a mat them climb up the mountain (3 steps) and jump down onto some bubble wrap.
After this we had an awards ceremony where I passed out certificates of completion. Everyone applauded each child as they came up to get their certificate. I declared them all super heros and congratulated them on completing the program. Then the helpers released confetti from the breezeway. (I'm STILL cleaning confetti) The kids loved it though! Then the kids sang Happy Birthday. After my son blew out the candles my husband ran out and grabbed the cake and took off running.
He was dressed in a cape and mask - and he stashed the cake in another room. I started yelling that the kids were super heroes now and it was up to them to save our cake!! I passed out water guns and they took off after my husband. They chased him through the house out the back door around the house and back into the front door. That was hilarious to watch and a surprise to everyone. Nobody saw it coming. Finally the kids got to eat their cake in the batcave. We had a blast!"
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