Ganesh Chaturthi with Kids
Festivals in India are the most important occasions when we come close to our family and traditions. We get to spend time with each other, cook food for all, sit together and pray to God for the well being of our family and friends. As we all are ready for the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi here I am sharing my thoughts on the same.
Indian rituals and festivals play a significant role in a family. It teaches family values, culture, keeps the mythology alive, and spreads the love.
As a mother, I personally feel that it’s important for kids to know various aspect of life including religion , rituals and its values. Exposing them towards rituals and festivals from early childhood will make a huge difference. Kids are enthusiastic about the festival celebration at home as they get to hear mysterious mythological stories and come more closer to our culture. The learning’s and knowledge of festivals, religion and culture makes kids more aware and empathetic towards humanity and nation.
In schools and at home we teach a child about the greatness of our nation Unity and Diversity. Our Great nation India is a land of multicultural and multi-religious values. We celebrate festivals like Diwali, Holi, Sivaratri, Raksha Bandhan, Buddha Purnima, Mahavir Jayanti, Muharram, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Zuha, Vasant Panchami, Ganesh Chaturthi and Pongal .
Each festival and religion teach us to spread love and equality. As I belong to Hindu family I have seen my mom performing all rituals and celebrating festivals at home.
Today, on the occasion of upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi I am sharing rituals that we can follow at home to bring our kids close to our religion. I respect each festival and I take my kids out to places where different religion celebrate their festivals to show them a new culture and taste new food.
Ways to involve kids in the Ganesha Chaturthi celebration and learning from each step.
1.Involve kids in making a Ganesha’s Eco-friendly idol.
Kids love preparing small sculptures or articles from mud. I am sure you will agree that even we had played in mud in our childhood.
We can make a small Ganesha Idol using Play dough, Try to keep the size as small as possible so that immersion could be easy for kids.
Last year we prepared Ganesha Idol from Dough and Kids colored it beautifully. Ganesha is the best friend and is a lord of wisdom. Kids enjoyed making Ganesha Idol and the creativity they put in the same is just lovely.
Learning from Step 1 :
Ganeshji’s body is a half elephant and half human. It symbolizes the strength and wisdom, Each body part signifies its value Like big ears teaches us to be a good listener etc.
2.Involve kids in Decoration and creativity –
My daughter loves doing flower decoration and making Rangoli. I take her help in all the festivals for decoration and she love this activity.
She just needs a reason of making Rangoli at home. It’s been three years she does Rangoli on almost all the festivals. I always keep the stock of eco friendly rangoli colors.
I leave entire planning and implementation on her this time and she beautifully does the Rangoli and the flower decoration comes out to be just perfect. Her face shines when we all praise her work.
Learning from Step 2:
This helps kids learn the value of cleanliness before Puja, We decorate flowers as they are a gift of mother nature and Flowers bring positivity and freshness to the ambiance. So Plant more trees to continue getting these lovely gifts from Mother Nature.
3.Involve kids in making Sweets and Food:
Ganesha loves Ladoo or Modaks. I remember before starting anything new my mom use to make Ladoos for Ganeshji on Ganesh Chaturthi. I do prepare Besan ladoo at home on Ganesh Chaturthi. I try to involve my daughter in this step as well, I keep everything ready and while making balls of Ladoo I involve my daughter which she loves doing.
Kids from neighborhood planned a small sweet and food stall for all the devotees.They collected money from individual and arranged a lovely feast for all.
Learning from Step 3.
Kids will learn Importance of getting together, planning and teamwork from this step. A sense of responsibility is evident from their faces. The importance of vegan food in our lives.
4.Tell them story of Ganesha
This is such a lovely part we all love – Storytelling.
There are 100s of stories related to Lord Ganesh. The most important for the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi is the Birth story of Lord Ganesha.
Story – One Day Devi Parvati Mother of Lord Ganesha was going for a bath. She made one doll from turmeric and gave life to this doll.
As there was no trustworthy around to guard her she asked this Doll to guard and no let no one come inside. Lord Shiva Came and wanted to enter the House.
Ganesha and Lord Shiva husband of Parvati didn’t know each other.
So Ganesha stopped Lord Shiva to enter the house. Lord Shiva became angry and he beheaded Ganesha. After seeing Goddess Parvati in morning and bereaved state.
Lord Shiva kept ahead of an elephant on the human body of Ganesha. Gave life and blessed Ganesha with wisdom and power.
Learning from Step 4:
Kids love listing to stories they learn values and morals of life very quickly from a story. By telling them the story of Lord Ganesha we help them understand the value of occasion.
5. Bring books of Ganesha for kids:
There are many holy books available with pictures in our religion. I use to love reading them in my childhood. Now the time has changed. Kids may not read religious books they need more interactive books now.
Few names of such interactive reading material for kids I am sharing here which You can order online
Amar Chitra Katha
Favourite Tales – Ganesha
Ganesh from Vedanta Press
Ganesha from Little Heroes series by Tapasi De
Learning of Step 5:
Kids love reading and exploring themselves. This helps to enhance their reading habits.
6. Fancy Dress Competition:
Moms from the neighbourhood can organize a small fancy dress event cum competition on the occasion of Ganesha Chathurthi. Where you can choose characters from Ganeshji’s life and dress up the kids accordingly. So kids can dress up like Ganesha, Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and Brother Kartikeya.
Learning from step 6:
Dressing up and role play is an amazing activities toddlers love to do it. It gives a confidence and motivations to perform in front of a crowd.
7. Involve Kids in Aarti and Prasad distribution:
Every evening for 10 days or 5 days we all do Aarti together. We praise Lord Ganesha and Chant and Sing his bhajans. We pray for the well-being and happiness. During Aarti, we offer food, sweets, water, clothes and flowers to our deity.
My grandmother taught us to lit the lamp before beginning the Arti, she use to say this brings the power to the Jyoti
Aarti is the Expression of love, benevolence, gratitude, and prayers. We thank our God and goddess for this life and his divine kindness. Aarti is done at the end of all Rituals in Puja. Knowingly or unknowingly if we had done a mistakein performing rituals we apologies to God in Aarti.
After Aarti, we all take blessings from the divine Jyoti and Mom use to distribute yummy modaks and Prasad.
Learning from Step 7:
The Aarti and Prasad distribution is a time when Entire family and friends come together. This one time is so special, It helps to inculcate the value of discipline among kids to perform every ritual. And above all enjoy yummy Prasad.
8. Involve kids in Ganpati Visarjan:
Once I asked my mother why do we perform Ganesha Visarjan. She explained me we bring Ganesh ji home we pray and perform a ritual to seek blessings in the form of an idol. But, As we all know God is formless so we immerse idols in water to release God again become Formless and Lord Ganesha then goes back to Kailash.
Many People keeps Ganpati for 10 days and take the idol from homes with the procession and immersed in water in nearby lakes, river or sea. Well, we immerse in a clean tub filled with water and then we use the same water for our plants at home.
Learning from step 8:
It teaches everything in life has a cycle. Each phase has to end and then a new phase will begin.
9. Movies or cartoons based on Ganesha’s life on this Ganesh Chaturthi:
You can play movies for children at home based on Ganesha. This is again an interactive way of learning. Kids grasp quickly from an audiovisual mode of learning.
Sharing few movie names here.
My friend Ganesha part 1, 2 and 3
Atithi Kab Jaoge.
Learning from Step 9:
Kids love watching and memorizing. Audio visual aid helps them understand better.
These are the 9 steps you can plan a celebration at your home with your kids. Do share your thoughts and ways to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi or other festivals with us.
We would love to hear your way of celebrating festivals please do comment below.
Happy Ganesha Festival!
May Lord Ganesha Bring prosperity and happiness to each one of you.
Ganpatti Bappa Morya!
Want to know more about Ganesh Chaturthi read here