behavior · children · creativity · emotion · health · play · psychology

Tiny superheroes combat big challenges with capes made by Seattle mom | Local News | The Seattle Times

Robyn Rosenberger makes capes for only the fiercest of fighters.
Robyn Rosenberger makes capes for only the fiercest of fighters.

Have you ever had days where you felt you had super powers, or felt you needed them? One woman in Seattle is making that a reality for over 1,700 kids with illnesses and disabilities in 50 states and 14 countries, with a new workshop opening to help out more kids:


Gabby has epilepsy and is completely dependent: She cannot talk, walk or eat on her own. But she is a tiny superhero — her superpowers include perseverance, courage and strength — and she has the cape to prove it. A purple number, with a blue letter “G” hand-sewn on by Robyn Rosenberger.

Rosenberger is the powerhouse behind TinySuperheroes, which makes capes as a form of empowerment. “Our mission is to empower these kids to feel as extraordinary as we see they are,” Rosenberger explained.


via Tiny superheroes combat big challenges with capes made by Seattle mom | Local News | The Seattle Times.


On the surface this may seem a little fluffy, but it exemplifies the power of play, particularly imaginary play and pretending.  First, it gives the kids a chance to take a break from their illness and maybe laugh a little, which is good for everyone.  Second, the crazy thing is researchers are finding that by pretending to be big, strong, dominant, and super-hero-esque, it can train your body to actually be more strong, dominant, and super-hero-esque. Even healthy kids can feel pretty powerless, so by imagining what it feels like to be strong and healthy it can help their minds and bodies map out what that might look and feel like and maybe even help along the road the recovery.


So by giving these kids superhero capes, these volunteers are in fact giving these kids some pretty strong medicine.


Now I want a cape, or at least a magic wand.

If you are interested in helping out, visit the Tiny Superheroes site.



behavior · children · creativity · culture · happiness · health · play

Cool doctors doing what’s right… – The Meta Picture

Hospitals can be scary places, for grown ups and for kids. This is a great way to make hospitals a little less intimidating, and add some silliness to an otherwise boring, and possibly painful, medical procedure.

Originally from Cool doctors doing what’s right… – The Meta Picture.

brain · community · creativity · happiness · mental health · play · psychology

Grandma the superhero

Mental health is important throughout the entire human lifespan, from infancy (see previous post) to old age.

Courtesy of Boing Boing, I ran across this great story about actively pursuing good mental health, helping out a fellow human being, and using creativity and silliness to accomplish it.

“Sacha Goldberger found his 91-year-old Hungarian grandmother Frederika, a WWII survivor, feeling lonely and depressed. To cheer her up, he photographed her dressed up as a fictional superhero. To his surprise, she loved it. The photos are a bit comical, but there’s an underlying sense of hope, strength and courage in them.”

View Grandma’s Superhero Therapy (18 photos). From the blog: 

Frederika was born in Budapest 20 years before World War II. During the war, at the peril of her own life, she courageously saved the lives of ten people. When asked how, he tells us “she hid the Jewish people she knew, moving them around to different places everyday.” As a survivor of Nazism and Communism, she then immigrated away from Hungary to France, forced by the Communist regime to leave her homeland illegally or face death.

Aside from great strength, Frederika has an incredible sense of humor, one that defies time and misfortune. She is funny and cynical, always mocking people that she loves.

With the unexpected success of this series, titled “Mamika,” Goldberger created a MySpace page for his grandmother. She now has over 2,200 friends and receives messages like: “You’re the grandmother that I have dreamed of, would you adopt me?” and ” You made my day, I hope to be like you at your age.”

People often forget just how much fun, funny, and spunky people can be after living on this Earth for a few decades. My grandmas were and are unstoppable forces of nature.

There have been a few photographic projects with older folks, in retirement homes or elsewhere, but the artist in me definitely feels like this demographic is an important part of humanity to explore that has been relatively neglected.