Kids craft Father's Day suits for superdads at Raleigh museum

jshaffer@newsobserver.comJune 15, 2014 

— For the superlative Dad, greatness is achieved by assembling trampolines and bicycles, picking gravel out of knee scrapes, carrying two backpacks on hiking trips and making oatmeal with craisins – not raisins.

But on Sunday, their grateful children made their own symbols of superpower out of simpler materials: yarn, paper and tin foil.

In a two-hour workshop at Marbles Kids Museum downtown, superdad sidekicks made their fathers capes out of sheets of plastic, decorating them with orange letters, stripes and lightning bolts drawn with electrical tape.

“It fits pretty good,” said Pete Briley, 30, wearing the red cape fashioned by his 2-year-old son, Mason. “I can’t feel it walking around, and I’m not worried about embarrassment.”

They formed wristbands out of plastic cups that were slashed in half and refastened with tape, and masks made from paper cutouts colored red and green.

“I think we’ve got some supermoms, too,” said Alex Laube, who works at Marbles, “which is always good.”

The two-day event drew more than 300 people on Saturday, spilling over into Sunday as the remains of Father’s Day brunch got rinsed off plates.

Once they finished making supersuits, their attention turned to demonstrations of real-live invisible items, such as glass beads dropped into globs of baby oil; real-live superpowerful tools, such as neodymium magnets; and real-live ultra-powerful substances, such as carbon nanotubes.

Laube demonstrated how to make superthin fibers by adding a drop of nail polish to water, creating a thin sheen that reflects differently and creates rainbow patters on paper. Everything about Sunday’s event illustrated extraordinary powers, including the music being piped in: the “Ballad of Davy Crockett.”

But the true power stemmed from the little hands working scissors and glue, turning scraps into earnest expressions of thanks. Ryan Huston, 36, father of six, wore the cape finished by his daughter, Gwenn, who made herself an almost-matching model.

“She wanted an E for hers and an F on this one, so we can tell them apart,” he said. “She’s learning her letters.”

With that, he swooped off into the rest of Sunday, one of 119 missions complete.

Shaffer: 919-829-4818

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