I write this post as I hear the beats of drums on the streets of Mumbai city in the background. The beats remind me of the various festivals I celebrated as a child. I reminisce the wonderful time I spent with my relatives. Staying in a nuclear family, festivals provided me the time to be with my extended family and I used to look forward to celebrating festivals with them.
India is one of the most vibrant countries of the world. India’s different cultures, languages, art forms, music, folk art, varied food, customs, religions showcases so much diversity.
But what I like most about Indian culture is celebration of festivals. Every community and religion of India celebrates different festivals and each festival has its own distinct customs, rituals and flavour.
And since celebrating festivals has had a huge impact on me during my childhood; I feel celebrating festivals is a good way to talk to children about our culture, customs. But more than that, it also gives us an opportunity to develop various skills in our children and also a chance to hone their interests and talents.
As we celebrate the Ganesh festival In India, I realise there is so much scope for children to enjoy and learn. My daughter’s school is closed for Ganesh holidays right now and this year she expressed her wish and was very eager to make an idol of Lord Ganesh from non-toxic clay.
A day before the commencement of the festival she made the idol.
We talked about the use of eco friendly materials to make the idol. She also expressed keen interest in knowing about the materials used to make the huge idols of Lord Ganesh. That led us to discuss about the immersion of the idols in sea. She learnt about the hazards it poses to the environment, sea creatures and sea vegetation. She felt we should be more responsible and protect the environment in every small manner through our day to day activities. So in this process she learnt a lot about the environment too.
She wanted to know more about Lord Ganesh and so her grand -mother told her stories about Lord Ganesh. This inspired her to write stories too.
Read here: Stories On Honesty By A 8 Year Old
As my daughter drew inspiration to make the idol and write stories, many children would be interested in music and dance and the festivals like Ganesh, Navratri gives ample scope to nurture their interests. It’s a great way for them to enjoy and develop life skills.
Skills children develop through the celebration of festivals:
Festival time is the best time to get together with family and friends. Children learn social skills like greeting others, welcoming them, visiting others, communicating etc. They make new friends, interact more with many people and thus develop essential social skills.
Celebrating Indian festivals showcases all forms of art which helps in building creative skills in a child. They learn so much about design, colour, shapes, decoration, drawing, craft, sculpting. The children who are inclined towards dance and music get opportunities to develop this talent and showcase also during celebrations by performing within their communities.
Festivals teach children about the states where the festivals are celebrated so they increase their geographical knowledge. They learn the concept of months and time. They also learn about various customs and traditions. They develop memory skills and learn so much about the country and its people. Children can also be taught various mathematical concepts during festivals.
While we celebrate festivals and meet our near and dear ones there is so much enthusiasm around. Everyone is happy and that really helps in developing emotional skills in children. Children gain so much from a loving and happy environment. Being happy enhances brain development in the long run and celebrating festivals is the time when there is so many happy emotions around.
There are so many stories to tell about festivals in India. When children are told the stories behind the celebration of festivals it enhances listening skills and also story telling skills in children. Holidays during festivals provide the child more time to explore their linguistic skills. They can express themselves and share their experiences of celebrating festivals by writing about it. This enhances their vocabulary skills. They learn how to communicate and interact with others which also improves their language skills.
How do you celebrate festivals? What is the one activity your child did while celebrating festival? Which skill do you feel your child developed while doing this activity or while celebrating the festival?
Pour in your comments and experiences. I would love to hear from you.
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Featured image courtesy: Pixabay