The Game: Imitating Superheroes
Considering the thrill children get out of pretending to be a grown-up, it's no wonder that they're also crazy about mimicking the most powerful (albeit make-believe) version of adults: superheroes. Pretending to be Batman or Wonder Woman allows 2- and 3-year-olds to feel brave and invincible, which helps them develop self-confidence, says Dr. Healy. Another awesome perk: All that running and leaping keeps them active and builds strength, balance, and coordination.
Your Role: Make sure your child's superheroic adventures are safe. Explain that it's okay for your child to pretend he's strong, but only if he doesn't hurt himself or anyone else. Set some ground rules for superhero play: It's only allowed in the playroom or outside, and he can never hit or jump on anyone, for example. And be sure to point out that superheroes are cool because they help out people in trouble -- not because they're tough.