Superhero play: more than just an excuse to fight
Does your child love pretending to be a superhero?
Five years of age is the time of the action figure. Children are exploring big themes, ideas such as good and bad, right and wrong.
But superhero play can be boisterous. There are jumps and bumps and scratches. Baddies are captured or even 'killed'.
This kind of play is not very nuanced. That comes later. Villains are truly villainous and justice is swift. But that's OK. It's a reflection of children's binary view of the world at this age.
Small world play helps children to act out these scenarios in a less energetic way. It's not a complete substitute. Jumping around will always be huge fun and a necessary part of play, but most of the ideas can be processed in this more contained form.
If you're choosing a toy for a five-year-old, figures and vehicles are the place to start. Play at this age is all about story-telling and you'll often hear them narrating as they go. I'm assuming that by this stage you already own the blocks and fabric that they'll need to create their scene (or you could just use a cardboard box - see earlier posts in this series).