This week my friend Leah asked for suggestions on how to introduce her 5 year old to Wonder Woman and so my friends and I put together this list of ways to gradually bring Wonder Woman into children’s lives.
1. Dress your baby like Wonder Woman.
It might just be a onesie, but it’s a star-spangled onesie! Okay, realistically if your child can fit in a onesie then they probably won’t remember wearing it or care what it looks like. At the very least it’ll be fun for you, and it might make for some good photos to send to the amazing tumblr, Girls Love Superheroes.
2. Buy your toddler Wonder Woman toys.
An invisible jet and toddler-friendly Wonder Woman figure from the Fisher Price Little People range is a pretty good gift. While it might seem very basic, playing with a recognizable character could spark an interest later, when your child is old enough to read about Wonder Woman. At the very least it will instill a general good early memory which is one way to create a general affection for the character.
3. Read an all-ages Wonder Woman book to your child.
My friend Anna’s 3 and 5 year olds are into superheroes so she got them Wonder Woman: The Story of the Amazon Princess from the library. Other books like Wonder Woman Classic: I Am Wonder Woman would work for children who’re beginning to read themselves, and there’s a pretty comprehensive reading list for small children up at the WonderWomanMuseum.com.
4. Decorate your kids room with Wonder Woman-inspired decor.
Wonder Woman is nothing if not photogenic and there’s some fantastic Wonder Woman art, storage solutions, blankets, lampshades, etc with a serious pop art flair. If your child’s room is decorated with Wonder Woman art then it will certainly create some familiarity and curiosity around the character.
5. Buy your kid Wonder Woman merchandise.
People are always buying me stuff with Wonder Woman so I know it’s out there. Diaries, wallets, sneakers, and MAC cosmetics even created a line of Wonder Woman-branded makeup a while back (with fantastic promotional art by Mike Allred). There’s a huge range to choose from, it’s always changing, and nearly all of it makes a great gift.
6. Watch Wonder Woman cartoons.
Sad to say, but there isn’t a small-child-friendly Wonder Woman cartoon out at the moment (there was a 2009 cartoon film, but it’s a bit too violent for small children). The Wonder Woman presented in the Bruce Timm Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons is a nice one, and although she’s part of the team she is always depicted as a strong superhero in her own right.
7. Help your kid create Wonder Woman art projects.
A lot of artists have created their own art inspired by the character which is very inspiring. Try doing a search online for Wonder Woman art and you’ll stumble on all sorts of things (like Olly Moss’ paper cut out, Michael Myer’s vintage-style posters, or Ty Lettaua’s pixel art, above). Take a cue from these artists and see if you and your child can come up with ways to depict your favorite superhero yourselves.
8. Watch the old Wonder Woman TV show.
While these days it might seem hopelessly out-of-date, watching the old Lynda Carter show could still be pretty impressive to a young child. My friend Heather was introduced to Wonder Woman through reruns of the show and says “To me it was magic. Mostly I loved the opening credits, which are really, really feminist by today’s standards. ‘In your satin tights! Fighting for your rights! … Get us out from under, Wonder Woman!'” And my friend Kristie still remembers pretending to be Wonder Woman because of the show (and getting a child to play with an inner superhero has to be one of the best aspects of the genre). The show is clearly well-intentioned and the message of a strong female hero is intact and comes across in all sorts of ways.
9. Get your tween the George Perez Wonder Woman origin comics.
Once a child starts reading and finding their own interests, the George Perez origin story is an ideal introduction to the character and her world. She’s powerful, positive, kind, empathic, and healthy. Perez did a terrific job and his book “Gods and Mortals” is a nice, detailed introduction to a more complex depiction of the Wonder Woman mythology. It’s out of print right now, but the individual comic books are still available digitally on Comixology.com.
10. Give your teen Wonder Woman-style jewelry.
Not every bit of merchandise has to scream our interests, and as children grow up they might prefer more low-key expressions of their passions. For example, on Etsy there are a few jewelers making metal cuffs which echo the style of Wonder Woman’s magic, bullet-repelling bracelets, and a designer called Paul Michael has designed this ring based on her tiara (above).