Kids — along with countless fully grown adults — can’t resist superheroes. And really, who can blame them? Between all that cape-wearing, and flying around saving the day, it is a pretty appealing career. Best of all, unlike real life, if you or someone else has a problem, you can just use a superpower to solve it, without having to think about annoying stuff like logic, money, or gravity. Anyway, if your kiddo has a party coming up and asks for it to be superhero-themed, you may initially be delighted, assuming that it’ll be pretty easy to throw together. After all, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Comics films have dominated pop culture for decades, how hard could it be?
Then you’ll realize that a lot of the superhero games and activities your child wants are kind of dangerous for those without superpowers, and primarily involve climbing and/or jumping off of things. But don’t worry: there are plenty of superhero-themed activities and party games that are perfectly safe and somehow, still really fun. If you’re looking for ideas, here are 10 superhero party games and activities that everyone will love.
Race against the clock
Superheroes usually have to accomplish something while in a race against time, and this game will give your party guests that experience. Give the kids a simple task — like filling a jar with buttons — and see how many each person can fit into the jar in a minute. The person who gets the most within a minute wins.
Feats of strength
Sadly, not the Festivus activity, but another good one nonetheless. Get a roll of aluminum foil and give each child a few long sheets. Tell them that they’ve just been granted a superpower that allows them to crush metal like it’s NBD. This one’s a group effort, so tell them you’re timing them to see if they can turn that whole roll of foil into small-ish balls (maybe around 4 inches in diameter) in less time than it took a group of supervillains. Spoiler: The kids win.
Don’t touch that kryptonite!
Take those foil balls they just made in the previous game, and tell them that the villains were so mad about losing to them that they turned their metal handiwork into kryptonite. The kid superheroes aren’t supposed to touch the kryptonite with their hands, but they need to move it all over to another part of the room/house/yard. Have them get creative and come up with different ways to do it.
Grab some plastic spiders — or whatever fake insects they have in stock — from the dollar store, along with some of those sticky hands (you know, the ones that lose their stick after mere minutes). Put all the plastic insects in a particular area. Then, on the other side of the room/yard, place a cup with each child’s name on it. Using only their sticky hand (the weird rubbery one, not their literal sticky hand), they have to pick up the spiders and move them from the spider nest to their own cup. The person with the most in their cup at the end of the game wins.
Get a bunch of brown paper bags and put some sort of (safe) object inside of them. It could be stuff from around the house, or prizes from the ol’ dollar store, etc. Have a bag ready for each kid, and without looking, have them feel around inside the bag and try to guess what’s in there using their “X-ray vision” (aka hands). Or you can up the ante and not have them feel what’s in the bag at all. Place each one on the table and tell your child which items are included in the game, but not in each bag. The child who guesses correctly gets the item in the bag. Trust us — they’ll feel just like superman if they get it right!
DIY mask station
Instead of buying the attendees superhero masks, put them to work making their own and call it a game. No need for anything too fancy — we’re talking half a paper plate and some sort of string. Have them decorate it based on their chosen superpower.
Superhero obstacle course
Let the kids show off their superpowers by going through an obstacle course that you’ve put together with stuff you’ve found around the house. Have them go one at a time, and time them. The one who makes it through the fastest (and without just barreling through and knocking everything down in their way) wins.
The perfect villain
Give the kids some paper and crayons. Tell them to imagine what their arch-nemesis villain would look like and what kinds of powers they’d have. Have them draw the villains, and then take turns telling the other superheroes in attendance all about their nemesis/villain and what makes them so evil.
Take down the villain
Get a bunch of empty plastic bottles or containers (from soda, laundry detergent, snacks, etc) and carefully tape the pictures of the superheroes’ nemesis/villains to each one. Line them up in a row, and give the kids bean bags or something of an equivalent size/weight. From a few feet away, have them gently throw the bean bags at the villain containers to try to knock them down. It’s like that carnival game, except much easier to win.
Even superheroes need snacks, so why not let the ones at your party design their own? Have some plain (and decently sized) sugar cookies ready to go, and provide the guests with frosting, sprinkles, and anything else edible they want to use to decorate their cookie with their character’s emblem — think: lasso of truth, a spider, the bat signal, a cup of coffee. Tell them to keep their design to themselves, and then once everyone is finished, have people guess what they made.
Captain America shield toss
Captain America is the epitome of patriotism, and he makes fighting bad guys look like a ton of fun. Get your kids to embrace their inner Steve Rogers and don their own shields. Have them decorate a few large, heavy-duty paper or plastic plates. After they’ve customized their “shield,” put a basket or box 20 feet from them and have them stand behind a line. Each child should have about five plates. You also want them to have weight, so when they toss them, it goes pretty far. Their goal is to get as many “shields” inside of the basket before the minute is up. The player with the most shields in the basket wins and saves the day. It’s basically a frisbee toss your kids never knew they needed and a no-mess or cleanup activity, except for picking up the plates.
Black Panther yarn battle
For this super-powered game, you’re only going to need a spool of black yarn and intense focus. Each child places one hand behind their back. The goal is to unravel the entire ball of yarn. The first child to unravel the ball wins. They can use whichever method they prefer as long as they keep a hand behind their back.
You’re going to need raisins and three half-full two-liter soda bottles. Put the bottles in a line in the middle of the party. Each player will stand above their bottle and drop the raisin, AKA the ants, from eye-level into the sodas. Bending or lowering your hand is forbidden! Not only is this a great way to put your eye muscles to the test, but raisins are also a super healthy snack for kids. The first child to get three raisins in their bottle wins.
Design your cape
This may not be a game, but when has your kiddo ever turned down arts and crafts? Every hero needs a cape, so each child will get a wide piece of fabric. Set out glue, glitter, and gel markers for their project. Make sure they have stickers, pipe cleaners, pins, fuzzy balls, and whatever else you think they’d like to stick to their cape. When everyone’s done decorating and the glue has dried, cut a hole at the top of the fabric so they can place it over their heads.
Iron Man and Bolts
Grab lug nuts from the garage and give each player a chopstick. Make sure each lug nut is standing up instead of facedown on the table. Using their chopstick, each child will pile their lug nuts on top of each other. The first kid to stack five bolts wins. To make the game even more challenging, tell players to use their mouths to hold the chopstick instead of their hands.