Celebrating Independence Day with Toddlers
Indian Independence Day is just around the corner and here are a few pointers to help keep the celebrations appropriate for the toddler group.
- Toddlers learn by concrete experiences and the idea of freedom and independence may be quite abstract for them. Don’t explain too much, instead show them the Indian flag and talk about the colours. You could also show them pictures of the national symbols like the tiger, peacock, banyan tree and mango, and talk about them.
- If there is a flag-hoisting ceremony planned in your community or school, take your toddler along and show them (following all safety precautions). If this is not possible, do show them the celebrations on the television or through a video.
- Dressing up for special occasions is always fun and a concrete way to experience the celebrations. Give your toddler two choices of comfortable and practical clothes either ethnic clothes or clothes in the tri-colours. Let them choose. They can wear this to the flag hoisting or just at home on August 15th.
- You can set up simple painting or craft activities using the 3 colours of the flag – finger painting, stamping or free style painting using a brush are most toddler appropriate mediums. Remember the focus is on the process and not the product.
- If you are talking about the concept of India and country – use visual aids like a globe and map to show them where our country is in the context of the world.
- Food preparation is another great way to celebrate any festival.
- You could prepare a three colour sandwich together (tomato chutney, pudina chutney and butter or cheese for white)
- You could prepare three chutneys (tomato, pudina and coconut) to be eaten with idli or dosa
- You could put together a simple salad with tri-colour vegetables (carrot, grees/cucumber, and radish.
- Flower arranging is another great activity to involve toddlers – if you can find flowers which are the colours of the flag, you could show your toddlers how to arrange them into a vase or even on an urli with water.
- Make simple rangolis or kolams on the floor or even just a large plate and get your toddlers to fill the inside. Although they may not be able to do this perfectly, they will enjoy the sensorial experience of the rangoli or kolam powders and draw immense satisfaction of having created art.
- Toddlers seek out ways to use their hands and clay or play doh is another lovely, open-ended medium to let them create and explore. To keep this activity aligned to Independence Day, you could offer play doh or clay in orange, gree, white and blue. Remember to let them explore and not provide too many instructions for this.