This post has been sponsored by Marvel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
My two boys seem as different as can be on the surface. One thing they have in common is a love for Marvel, and you’ll find them decked out with Marvel Gear when they go back to school in a few weeks… but more on that and the amazing deals on Marvel back-to-school products at Dollar General below! Grayson is tall with fire engine red hair and loves anything to do with gaming and technology. He is a master of puns, has an intellectual sense of humor, and wants to be Tony Stark when he grows up. Sawyer is small for his age with a head of spirally curls and loves anything to do with bats, balls, goals, and competition. Anything physical is effortless and natural for him, and he is fiercely loyal to his friends—much like his comic book heroes: Steve Rogers and Peter Parker.
With personalities as different as they are, you might think they’d be like oil and water together. But actually, they have learned that their differences, the things that make them unique (their individual “superpowers”), can be a way for them to connect with others. We have a few back-to-school rituals that help remind them of this and boost their confidence in order to make new friends at the beginning of the school year.
Breaking the ice
Being around all new people in a new class can be tough on the first day of school, so we have a tradition to help our kids break the ice and start conversations with new friends on the first day. We always choose the outfits, backpacks, and accessories for the first day of school thoughtfully. The boys choose to wear the characters and colors that represent them, and it gives them the opportunity to talk with new friends about what they are wearing (which leads to discussions about favorite movies and toys; ice = broken).
As I said, my boys love anything Marvel and each identify strongly with their favorite Avenger—like Iron Man and Captain America. As we were doing our shopping for the first day of school, I might have gone a little crazy when I saw all the amazing deals at Dollar General. And can you blame me with these prices? You just can’t beat this variety of Marvel back-to-school items at such great prices!
So in addition to their backpacks and lunch boxes, I treated them to some toys and activity sets to keep them entertained for the rest of summer.
Letting their superpowers shine
Just like wearing their favorite characters on their backpacks and t-shirts, letting their personality shine is another way to make new friends. Once the ice has been broken, I encourage my kids to be proud of who they are and their individual personalities and be themselves from day one. Grayson does this through his red hair and not being afraid to make jokes (class clown in the making, I suspect). Sawyer does this by asking friends if they want to play different sports with him at recess. Not only will they find friends with common interests when they make their personalities clear but that confidence is contagious and encourages others to be social and friendly, too. They, in turn, encourage others to be themselves.
Celebrate your differences
Remember what I said about my boys being as different as can be and it not being like oil and water when they’re together? We’ve taught them that making friends is not just about finding what you have in common… it’s about celebrating and even embracing the things that make you different! What a boring world it would be if we were all exactly the same! Our Avengers and their friends are all different, yet they make a pretty good team.
Find the fun and positives in anything
As an eternal optimist myself, I try and remind my boys to look for the positive and find the fun in situations. New school routines can be tough after the freedom of summer, so we try and find ways to smile along the way. Whether it’s their favorite characters on their lunchbox to make their lunch break a little more fun, rewarding a successful first week with an Avengers activity book, or trying to think of what Tony Stark would do when faced with a difficult situation.
Bring the STEM learning home
Keep the back-to-school brain burnout at bay by continuing education at home the fun way. We find that building sets, like these Spider-Man and Avengers LEGO sets that we found at Dollar General, keep their creative and engineering brains working while they play. It’s a great transition after school from school time to play time, which keeps them refreshed and ready to do it all again the next day.
What are some of your kid’s unique superpowers? How do you encourage them to embrace their uniqueness when making new friends? Don’t forget to go to Dollar General for great savings on Marvel back-to-school gear this year!
WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD – Small parts will be generated. Not for children under 3 years.