Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane…It’s a Superhero Training Academy!

Superheroes are everywhere, from the blockbuster movies we see to the ever-popular Halloween costumes for both children and adults. There are even dedicated days to these comic book crusaders, such as Free Comic Book Day and San Diego Comic Con. Superheroes can inspire us to be greater; to be the do-gooders in the world.

With this in mind, I wanted to try a Superhero Training Academy for grades K to 5 this past summer. After asking for advice on the listservs and perusing some library blogs I decided to do self-directed stations. This would allow kids to spend as much or as little time as they wanted at each station. I was also inspired by the Unprogramming Conversation Starter that I attended at ALA Annual in Chicago.

My hero!

I dressed up as Batgirl, which seemed the most obvious being that she too is a librarian.

As the kids arrived, they received a checklist of superhero tasks that they needed to complete. I explained that they could spend as much time as they wanted at each station, but only when they completed all of them could they come up to me to receive their graduation certificate and become an official member of the Justice League. I purchased a really cool PDF template from Etsy to use for the certificate, but you could also just make one of your own on Publisher.

These are the superhero tasks that I chose:

1. Make Your Own Mask/Superhero Identity: I found a mask template on Google and printed it off onto cardstock. Every superhero needs a secret identity, so I printed “My identity is secret. Please call me…” onto white address labels. I also set out some yarn and markers to let them color their masks and write their names. Voila! Super easy.

The Cape Station

And because no superhero is complete without a cape, I found this handy tutorial online. I purchased red plastic table covers from my local party store and white elastic. I then found a shield template on Google. I enlarged the template 400% and printed them off onto 11″ x 17″ paper, which made them the perfect size for a cape.



Mighty Muscles

2. Mighty Muscles: Each child was tasked with lifting a boulder and a barbell 5 times each. I made a barbell with a wooden dowel, 2 foam balls, and foam spray paint that I bought at my local craft store. For the “boulder” I simply used a black bean bag.

3. Tunnel Crawl: I set out our play tunnel and told the superheroes-in-training that they needed to prove their agility by crawling through the tunnel and back.

Spiderman’s Web
Strike Out the Villain

4. Spiderman’s Web: We had a spider web decoration for Halloween, so I just covered that with masking tape facing out. The kids had to stand behind the line and make 3 large pom-poms stick to the web. You could also just put the masking tape in an open doorway so that it looks like a spider web.


Rescue Mission


5. Strike Out the Villain: I covered empty soda cans with pictures of (in)famous villains and set out plastic play balls. The children had to test their aim by knocking every villain down.




Kryptonite Disposal

6. Rescue Mission: My very handy husband built me a balance beam for this activity. I made a “lava pit” out of red paper. The object of this task was to walk across the lava pit without falling, pick up the baby doll at the end, and then carry it back.




7. Kryptonite Disposal: I found some green plastic balls in our toy area to use as Kryptonite. Using plastic spoons, kids had to carry 3 of the balls to the disposal area (a.k.a. a clean garbage can).

8. Brain Power: I put some jelly beans in a jar and the children had to guess how many there were by using their superhuman brain powers. The child who had the closest guess won the entire jar.

9. Super Refueling Station: Because even the best superheroes need to refuel after a long day of training, I set out Avengers fruit snacks, Spiderman graham crackers, and green Hawaiian Punch for a snack.

10. Photo-Op Corner: I found a roll of cityscape backdrop to hang up where the superheroes could take photos. I had a cutout of Iron Man to pose with as well.

All in all, the party was a huge success! The kids had a lot of fun showing off their super skills.

Have you ever planned a Superhero Party at your library? What activities did you do?

For more programming ideas, please visit the full Kickstart List available online.

All program photos courtesy of the Hudson Library.

Kimberly Castle-Alberts is a Children’s/YA Librarian at the Hudson Library & Historical Society in Hudson, OH and is writing this post for the School-Age Programs and Services Committee. You can follow her adventures as a youth services librarian at She can be reached at


  1. rockinlibrarian

    I’m actually going back through posts looking for programming ideas, and this one came too late for me– I did a superhero program last spring and had an AWFUL time finding good game ideas! But we DID make capes and masks. But the one activity we did that I want to add to your list because it was CRAZY and hysterical and a huge hit even though it’s incredibly messy– we did kind of the opposite of your Spider-man game for our Spider-man game. It was Pin the Web on the Supervillain. I stuck a picture of Doc Oc on the wall (over a linoleum floor), and gave the kids cans of Silly String! They had to try to shoot the Silly String so it hit the picture. You can see how that might get a little insane, but everyone had a blast. A literal blast.

  2. Lindsey

    I’d love to see the checklist you made, but the document won’t open for me. Do you have it located somewhere else? Or could you email it to me (lmkrabbenhoft AT gmail DOT com)?

  3. Pingback: A look back at the first half of the year on the ALSC Blog | ALSC Blog

  4. Abby

    I’d just love to know how you counted the jar of jellybeans! Did you actually count them yourself? Was there a math equation involved? Do tell! I’d love to steal the idea for my Summer event! 🙂

  5. Ismi

    what a creative party. It’s not about having fun but also learn so many things, and for the adults can reminded their superhero childhood 🙂

  6. MaryBeth

    How did you attach the elastic to the capes you made? Thanks.

    1. Amy

      Hi MaryBeth,

      I work with Kim Alberts and I have also made these capes. To attach the elastic the capes were cut out with a narrower top that was notched out on either side. Place the the elastic in the narrow part of the cape at the top and fold the plastic over it to cover the middle section, leaving the ends out. Then tape it shut with book tape and tie the ends together to form a loop that goes over the child’s head.
      Hope this helps!

  7. Lauren

    We had a princess/superhero party for the end of summer at our library, and it was a huge success! We also had a photobooth with a background that I hand made and stick props that I ordered. We played ‘Pin the Star on Captain America’s Shield’, and had a similar ‘Knock Down the Villian’ can game. We had a craft to make a foam crown or a mask, and decorate a treat bag that they could fill with the themed prizes they won at the games! I definitely want to do something like this again!

  8. Gianni Jackson

    Hello loved all the ideas. where if you don’t mind, did you get the spiderman that was on the wall? thank you

  9. Malin Haddy

    At our library they had a super hero party too, the kids loved it and I think it’s a great idea that you guys throw these types of parties!

  10. Capt Matt

    Cross fit needs to offer this. Turns out you need some skills before you fight evil. A center of balance, back flips, karate, Judo etc…I am in, Ninja warrior is a great start. Let’s go cross fit, fill that gym up with hot nerds.

  11. David Bump

    I’ve been thinking it would be nice to have a permanent hands-on learning center, sort of a cross between a library and a hands-on museum, only with more hands-on, like an activity center. Art, science, language clubs, music groups… then I thought it would be good to have a physical training area, too, but something different, for nerds and other people who don’t care for organized sports, gyms, and exercise machines. Ah, a superhero training center! Fans of Marvel’s X-men might know of one major inspiration for that idea. I’ve been doing web searches and it is encouraging to see some sort-of similar ideas like this.

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