This Janmashtami, my social media feed was filled with pics of super cute kids dressed up like Krishna or Radha. It feels so beautiful watching such pictures even now! This was my son’s second Janmashtami. Last year, I had also dressed him up as Krishna & my husband fondly clicked lots of pictures. He was less mobile last year so we could get at least two or three decent shots out of the hundreds we clicked that day! This year too, I dressed him up as Krishna but I had to run after him, almost exasperatedly, but still could not manage to get a single picture which was not blurred! Talk about toddlers’ constant movement.
This was in the morning. And then I thought that instead of repeating the same ol’ thing, why not try to make him learn something about the festival without compromising on fun. So I quickly brainstormed within myself & came up with some ideas for Montessori inspired activities based on Janmashtami theme from whatever stuff I had at home. After that, collecting the materials from all over the house & arranging them was just a matter of an hour or so, and I did this when he was taking his afternoon nap. The activities basically weave together the traditions, stories and rituals of Janmashtami, and also provide opportunities for the toddlers to practice their skills in different areas. So let me quickly share the main activities that I had set up for my son this Janmashtami. You can try these too with your lil one.
I have used his Velcro set to let him cut out the fruits first with a toy knife & then offer them to Krishna. It is an awesome way to learn some cool fine motor & practical life skills. In addition to that, it is a language building activity as well, knowing & recognizing the fruits by their names. He also learnt that we offer fruits to the Lord during a pooja and got acquainted with some amazing Indian traditions.
I have got these foam stickers of fruits & he has to basically peel them off & stick them to Krishna’s mouth. It is again a very good fine motor activity, peeling off stickers & sticking at a specified place and it is a language activity too. He loved peeling off the stickers & correctly put them into Krishna’s mouth. He even fed a fish (got it from his toy box) to Krishna because he loves fish!
I have kept some real flowers & some rubber flowers that I had as erasers in my home. Both of these can be used to organize a great sensory activity for your kid; he/she gets to experience the texture of real & fake flowers. He loved the touch of a real flower. We counted the number of petals together. I have not introduced counting formally till now but when I say 1,2,3, he counts like tee, tee, tee! It is so funny! Also, all this while, I explained to him what we are doing & why we are doing it, so he understood the various things that we do in a pooja. By the way, I love collecting erasers of various shapes; they can be used in so many activities in so many different ways before he actually starts to use them as erasers!
It is again a language building & sensory activity. He has to offer the nuts to Lord Krishna. I told him the names of these nuts, even offered him if he wants to eat them. He happily ate a raisin!
I have kept a real flute to match with the flute in Krishna’s picture. This matching will reinforce the association of flute to Lord Krishna in your kid’s mind. We are going to play the flute too as it is a great activity for exercising oral muscles. Blowing air into the flute is not easy for a toddler, yet he carried his flute all around the house & loved playing it.
He has to do a teeka (Thus practising his sensory & fine motor skills) & offer fake currency notes to Krishna. This gives him exposure to currency notes. Instead of putting a teeka on Krishna, he managed to paint his face red with the kumkum. He applied it all over his face! It was absolutely hilarious!
On a magnetic white board, I have handwritten the name Krishna. He has to match the magnetic letters with the handwritten letters.
It involves scribbling with colour pens & then sticking the papers to form a feather
It is a beautiful book that I got from Iskcon temple.
I have kept a cow figurine to emphasize the association of Krishna with the cows. And an earthen pot which I will fill with curd & a spoon for him to eat that curd & get messy!
I quickly made up a jhoola using a hanger, four pipe cleaners & a trash container & we were ready to rock baby Krishna in his own cute jhoola. My son enjoyed playing with this jhoola a lot. I also explained to him why we put baby Krishna on a jhoola.
We created some beautiful memories with these exciting activities, which we will cherish forever. And we had lots of masti too! I sincerely hope that I was able to offer him some insights about Janmashtami & Lord Krishna with these activities. Here is the video that simplifies it all for you :
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