Friday, March 28, 2014

SOL Day 28: The Caped Defender

Most days, you will find all three of my sons (ages 12, 10, and 5) occupied with some sort of technology. They are either playing Minecraft on their computers, watching movies or television shows on DVDs or through Netflix, playing games on their iPods, or listening to music. This is especially the case recently because of the extremely long, cold winter we have had here in Ohio. It's hard to get them outside to play when the average temperature doesn't get above 35 degrees for more than a couple of days (or hours) at a time.

I think that there is value in a child of the 21st century being able to navigate their way through today's technology. We hear about it all the time in staff meetings and through professional development. My kids can swipe their way through an iPad like nobody's business. However, I think that we also need to be fostering their creativity and imagination in as many ways possible. For my five-year-old, that takes the form of imaginative play.

When I was growing up, we didn't have iPods, laptops, or interactive games (unless you count PacMan on my Atari, which I don't.) We left the house in the morning, rode our bikes to our friends' houses, made up secret identities for each other and acted out entire scenarios of meeting handsome princes and riding off into the sunset. I was gone for hours and didn't come home until the old-fashioned dinner bell at my grandmother's house rang.  I remember one summer I spent hours at my friend Maria's house. We laced up our roller skates, cued up Lionel Richie's "Dancing on the Ceiling" and choreographed and entire skating routine to that song.

Today, I saw evidence that the art of imaginative play is not lost to my kindergartner. We had gotten Nick a superhero cape and mask set for Christmas this year (because he was always asking to have a baby blanket tied around his neck like a cape.) Last night, he asked me if I knew where his cape was. Oddly enough, I knew exactly where it was. Next thing I knew, he was asking for his mask. After an extensive search through the toy tubs, I found that too. I got him outfitted and off he went into his room to play.

Nick, aka The Caped Defender
Suddenly, as I'm sitting on the couch catching up on my shows on the DVR, out comes Nick "whooshing" his way across the room and shouting, "Rocket shoes, go! The Caped Defender...away!" Here is the conversation that followed:

     Me: Who are you supposed to be?
     Nick: I'm the Caped Defender!
     Me: Who do you defend?
     Nick: I defend people that are in trouble. And I fight evil.
     Me: Do you have any super powers?
     Nick: Of course. (He says in a very exasperated tone.)
     Me: Well, what are they?
     Nick: I use my laser eyes to cut through glass. I use super                        strength to pull stuff that are really heavy.
     Me: Anything else?
     Nick: Oh yeah. I have a confuse ray.
     Me: What is a confuse ray?
     Nick: I confuse someone if they are bad, then I cut them in half                 with my laser eyes.

That kid keeps me amused, that's for sure. A little while later, I told him that I needed to go to the grocery store for something. He asked if he could come along. I said of course he could. He then asked if he could come as the Caped Defender, because I might need help lifting something heavy, and with his super strength, he would be a big help.

I know he won't be this age for long. I have two other "big boys" as proof that they grow up. So, I'm going to enjoy his active imagination and adorable speech as long as I can.


  1. Technology seems to be here to stay and I'm glad kids have the opportunity to use it. But your slice reminded me of the fun that comes with imaginative play. Enjoy that little boy!!

  2. Oh, what a perfect small moment with your little Caped Defender. Confuse Ray! Perfect!

  3. The Caped Defender to the rescue of playtime! So cute! (I've had several students slicing about how bored they are over break, and I've been encouraging them to get outside!!!)

  4. Your caped defender sounds like a lot of fun! And as you know, he will get big way too fast. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

  5. You are lucky to be able to go to the store with The Caped Defender. I have heard of his superpowers and ability to help those in need. I'm sure it was your easiest grocery trip ever.