Your child probably loves playing superhero games. You may worry that imitating fearless heroes will lead to risk-taking, but this role-play can aid his development.
‘It will help your child to explore the difference between fantasy and reality,’ says child psychologist Diane Melvin. It can also encourage creativity, improve language skills and teach them to problem-solve together. You can also use it to challenge stereotypes: girls can do the rescuing as well as boys.
Explain that a Superman costume won’t make him invincible and that superheroes aren’t just special because they’re strong, but because they are kind and gentle to others, too.
What real mums say…
‘As soon as Dave walks in the door he and Jacob are inseparable. Whatever Daddy’s doing, Jacob wants to do.’
Penny Johnson, 28, mum to Jacob, 2 ½
Fun games to boost her concentration
How it works
How it helps
The looking game
Put toys around the room. Show her how to look from side to side and ask her to look for each toy.
She needs to listen carefully to your instructions and focus
on carrying them out.
Learning nursery rhymes
Sing a song, putting emphasis on the last word of each line and do an action at the same time.
Her brain is like a sponge and this game will teach her to memorise things she hears.
Whisper something like ‘Let’s clap your hands’ and ask her to whisper something back to you.
Whispering helps her learn how to concentrate and also how
to moderate her voice.
Repeat a word of a sentence, like ‘Can I brush your hair, hair, hair?’ and ask her to do it, too.
She’s focusing on the sound of the words and boosting her language skills at the same time.
Walkity, walkity, stop
As you walk, say ‘Walkity, walkity, walkity, walkity, stop’. Then make it a different action.
She’s concentrating on her actions and anticipating when you’re about to say ‘stop’.
What worked for me
A game helped with potty training
‘My youngest son Oliver idolises his older brothers and decided this summer he wanted to wear big boys’ pants. Unfortunately, he kept refusing to sit down on his potty, probably because he sees both his brothers standing up to do a wee, so as you can imagine when he did go to the loo it was often hit, miss or maybe.
‘He’s fascinated with money at the moment and has a Mickey Mouse money box in his room. We decided to encourage him to use the potty properly by giving him a penny every time he hits the target. Now every time he does a wee or poo in his potty he asks for a penny to put in his money box. Not only does it make him feel grown up to be using his potty, but he thinks he’s getting pocket money like his big brothers, too!’
Kate Terry, 37, from Eltham, south London, is mum to Oliver, 2, Samuel, 7 and Thomas, 11.