The first Avengers movie, released in 2012, brought the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe together as a team for the first time. Battling Thor’s younger brother Loki (“he’s adopted”) and a whole army of aliens, we learned that even superheroes have to work out their differences when assigned a group project. Note to parents: this movie is rated PG-13 with some pretty epic battle scenes.
Prior to the release of The Avengers, movie goers were able to meet Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Hulk in previous cinematic installments. When they’re all brought together for a common cause — saving the world — there are a few kinks to work out. Here’s what you can talk to your kids about after you’ve seen the film:
- Form a team. Your teammates can be your family, your friends, pals across the world or your neighbors next door. Wins, and even losses, are easier when they’re shared, but more importantly, knowing the hard work can be divided makes tackling any job, game or project that much easier. Who is on your team?
- Don’t panic under pressure. Even in the best-laid plans of saving the universe, things go wrong. One guy attacks a ship, another lets a Hulk loose, an invading force breaks an engine, what do we do? Panicking won’t save the ship. When things go wrong, it’s OK to rely on your team for help.
- Save your friends from bad choices. Hawkeye was swayed to join Loki’s group of bad guys under a spell. Black Widow knew he was better than that and didn’t give up on him. Our friends will sometimes make bad choices (let’s say a friend tells a racist or sexist joke), and a hero kid works hard to teach the friend right from wrong before turning his back.
Now that you’ve seen The Avengers, try these screen-free activities inspired by the movie.
- Eat shawarma. At the end of the movie, our heroes reflect on their accomplishments over shawarma. Learn to make celebratory shawarma with this recipe.
- Train like a superhero. Set up a climbing, moving, jumping course inside or in your backyard to train to move as fast as a superhero.
- Create your own comic. Let your kids create their own superheroes – what kind of powers does he or she have? What kind of outfit? What kind of non-super life? – and then draw a comic. Find a tutorial here.
- Make a super craft. Great for younger siblings that want to get involved, replicate Captain America’s shield or a Hulk mask on a paper plate.
- Become a superhero. Superheroes use their skills to help others. What can your kids do in their neighborhood to be a help (mow lawns, clean sidewalks, deliver groceries, read stories)?