Montessori activities and crafts are very beneficial in many ways for the development of children. Montessori places particular emphasis on self-directed activities, hands-on learning and collaborative play. And as Republic Day is fast approaching, it is the best time to give our children the opportunity to cultivate amazing India themed activities that will help them understand and explore more of the world. essence of the Indian Constitution and its importance.
January 26, 1950 gave India a massive paradigm shift with the application and establishment of the Indian Constitution. As Republic Day draws closer each year, our toddlers and many other children often tend to confuse Independence Day with Republic Day. As parents, we can explain that while India gained independence from British rule on August 15, 1947, it did not become a republic by adopting its new Constitution until January 26, 1950.
So let’s take a look at some Montessori inspired activities and crafts that you can do with your toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and older kids.
Although it is a national holiday, let’s make sure our kids attend the flag hoisting ceremony somewhere and tell them about the Republic Day parade happening in front of India Gate in Delhi. And these can be used as conversation starters for more activities that give them a hands-on experience of the whole celebration.
India themed books
First of all! Expose your children to Indian themed books. The ideas they contain can foster engaging conversations and be informative as well.
Corresponding States of India
Toddlers might not understand what exactly a state is, but this game becomes a great visual discrimination activity for them in general. This trivia game is an excellent visual aid which greatly facilitates the learning of States and Union territories.
Read | Fun facts from 29 Indian states and union territories
Learning regional dances
I bought foam sheets and Indian dance sheet from a local stationery store. Cut out some of the main regional dances and laminate at home to form cards. The activity consists of placing these cards on the correct state. It is a great way to expose children to India’s rich cultural diversity.
Pretend / free play and gross motor skills
I organized and organized a Republic Day parade setup using my son’s building blocks and army themed figures from a pretend game. There are army tanks, soldiers, etc. I also placed regional dance cards representing the “jhankis” seen in the parade. Let it be a free play session for the kids and let them explore this on their own. Your child may ask many questions: “What is this? “, ” Who is it ? And “Where did it come from?” So be prepared to answer a lot of questions with this setup.
Also go back to the fundamental activity of “gross motor skills” with your child: doing the parade. It develops the sense of rhythm, discipline and coordination in children. And it should also be fun if you can play the toy drums with the parade at home.
Architecture of India
I picked up two sheets of various architectural wonders of India from a stationery store. I laminated one sheet as is and cut individual pieces from another and laminated them to form cards. The activity is to match them, again a phenomenal way to expose children to the great architectural wonders that we have in India.
A sense of rhythm with the national anthem
Listening to music is great for kids and adults alike. Why not introduce some rhythm with our national anthem on Republic Day? You can sing Jana Gana Mana and play any percussion instrument like drums, dholak with your child. It is great fun for children to play musical instruments. Even if you don’t have an instrument, your cooking utensils and spoons would serve the same purpose.
Boys and vehicles are inseparable, I believe! Besides, I also saw a lot of girls obsessed with cars. Toddlers are very keen on learning everything they see – vehicles, pillows, vegetables, anything. So, you can create a tricolor using your child’s vehicles to provide a fascinating learning experience.
Flag making and coloring
We can also make the Indian flag using a ruler and Stockmar colored pencils (a typical Waldorf art supply). So just keep a thick sheet of paper attached to the notepad (as a handy tool to support the whole creation) to get colors on it. The Indian national flag represents the hopes and aspirations of the nation, which imbues your child’s good values.
Air show painting
To simulate the air show that takes place during the Republic Day parade, I used a mixture of all-purpose flour, water, and food coloring to create saffron, white, and green. Then my son poured the paints onto paper and used miniature jets to form patterns with these colors. We talked about how fighter planes fly in the sky and create colorful patterns. After that, we also watched YouTube videos for more realism.
(The writer is the founder of The K Junction.)