Superheros first appeared in our home when my then 3 year old came home, wide-eyed from preschool, talking about these “savers” who could perform extraordinary feats. He was still unfamiliar with the Justice League, so he invented “Power Man” – a super hero all of his own, whose powers change according to the day.
We have now (thank you, preschool) welcomed Batman, Superman, and Spiderman into our home, but Power Man remains my 4 year old’s favorite. I keep thinking that I need to make him a proper Power Man outfit, but in the meantime, we have made countless paper iterations of his cape.
Making a paper superhero cape is my go-to rainy day activity. I also use this activity frequently for playdates. It takes about 30 seconds to set up, and my 4 year old gets so much enjoyment from creating it and then using it for play. There are 2 ways I make the capes:
Paper Bag Cape. Just cut the front portion of a brown paper grocery bag. It’s the perfect length for a preschooler’s cape. Then I punch a hole near each shoulder, and 2 more holes about an inch underneath the first holes. I thread yarn vertically through the holes. I make the holes this way so that I can tie the yarn around my son’s shoulders. (I try to avoid putting anything around his neck. Particularly when he’s playing games that involving running and jumping.)
Brown Butcher Paper. I cut out a cape, making a modified triangle, usually with a scalloped edging on the bottom. That makes it sound way fancier than it actually is. Then I punch holes the same way as above.
After I cut out the capes, my son decorates them. He usually asks me to write a big “P” and then “Power Man” somewhere on the cape. His preferred means of decorating are stickers and markers. In one of the examples pictured, he wants an animal rescue themed cape. He used animal stickers and then asked me to write in the names of different animals that he rescued. For the other cape, he drew a lot of fancy lines, some of which were lightning bolts.
Backyard Rescue Missions
We took several toy animals, and I placed them in precarious situations- situations so dire they needed Power Man to rescue them! After he rescued the animals, he then hid animals for me to rescue, and we took turns hiding and rescuing the animals.