Like most five-year-olds, my youngest daughter is an active learner. She learns best when the learning activity is hands-on, and the more she can move, the better. Like many kids, she also loves superhero play. Needless to say, this superhero knockdown game has been a BIG hit. It's certainly active and lots of fun — in fact, once her cape was made, Miss 5 has enjoyed it so much, we've played it over and over and over again!
Get Ready to Play Step #1: Make Your Cape
Of course, all superheroes need a cape. If you don’t have a cape, you can make one very simply from a men or women's t-shirt. Here's how:
Step 1: Take one of mom or dad's old t-shirts (or hit the thrift store for a secondhand one) and cut through the top layer of fabric, as indicated by the dotted lines in the image above.
Step 2: Then cut the sleeves off completely.
Once completed, the neck hole of the t-shirt forms the neck of the cape, slipping simply over your child’s head. Leave the cape blank or decorate the back of it with fabric markers, Sharpies, or by adding a superhero logo cut from felt with hot glue (with parental supervision).
Get Ready to Play Step #2: Make Your Knockdown Boxes
The really fun part of this game is punching and kicking a stack of small, recycled boxes. To prepare your boxes:
Step 1: Write each alphabet letter (or sight word) in large print on an index card. (As game play goes on, you can update and revise these.)
Step 2: Raid the recycling and gather together a collection of small boxes — cereal, Kleenex, and shoe boxes work well. Tape one index card to the front of each box.
Let’s Play Superhero Knockdown!
Step 1: To play, stack the knockdown boxes into a series of towers.
Step 2: Have your child pop on her superhero cape. Then, you'll want to call out a letter (or sight word) for your child to knock down. She can hit or kick it — KAPOW!
Step 3: Call out another letter (or sight word) and repeat, re-stacking the boxes as necessary.
This really is such a fun and engaging way for young children to learn. In fact, I recommend not having much else planned for the morning or afternoon when you set it up, because if your child is anything like mine, you’ll be playing superhero knockdown for quite some time!