Indian Republic Day – Reads and Activity

India’s 67th Republic Day is here and like every year, we decided to do some activities to understand the meaning and the importance of this day in history for us. 17128255

For understanding Republic day and it’s significance we hunted out our copy of We the Children of India a preamble to our constitution by Leila Seth ( Buy on Leila Seth, the first woman judge of the Delhi High Court and the first woman Chief Justice of a state in India – is the esteemed author of this child – friendly book geared for 5 plus kids.  Read full review of the book on Saffron Tree.

Once we read and understood that 67 years ago, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar wrote the longest Constitution (which took him 2 years 11 months to complete), we decided to write our own set of rules for Aaryanjali Mansion. He also set forth, creating his own flag.

We decided next to read Ira, the Dolphin ( Tulika Books). Ira is a River Dolphin ( which is our National Aquatic Animal ) and this beautiful book gives us a glimpse of where it lives, how it survives and what dangers it faces on a daily basis. All the images used in the book are real.

We then play the National Symbol Memory Game. I just downloaded our natinal symbol images from the internet, cut them out and stuck them on thick cardstock.

Aarya knows them all but still gets confused with a couple, and this game was a great reinforcement. Anjali, played for a while then just sat there with the Tiger. She loves Tigers. While playing, we tried to remember the various facts about our Flag. The Colors in our Flag –  saffron, white and green represent courage and sacrifice, peace and truth, and faith and chivalry respectively. And that the Chakra has 24 spokes.

Our 2nd President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan once explained our flag in the below terms ( copied from Wikipedia)

Bhagwa or the saffron colour denotes renunciation or disinterestedness. Our leaders must be indifferent to material gains and dedicate themselves to their work. The white in the centre is light, the path of truth to guide our conduct. The green shows our relation to (the) soil, our relation to the plant life here, on which all other life depends. The “Ashoka Chakra” in the centre of the white is the wheel of the law of dharma. Truth or satya, dharma or virtue ought to be the controlling principle of those who work under this flag. Again, the wheel denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. India should no more resist change, it must move and go forward. The wheel represents the dynamism of a peaceful change, what better read than the very popular and singular book on the

Moving on to our 3rd activity, we did a Me on the Map activity. Its basically 4 paper-plates. And I printed out :

  1. World Map ( with Asia highlighted)
  2. India Map – I asked him to color Maharashtra in this)
  3. He put a dot on Mumbai in the Maharashtra Map, I printed out.

The 1st paper which has the biggest diameter will have the world Map ( I have Asia highlighted here for Aarya to understand that we are in the Asian Continent. He identifies India on the continent ( pretty easy!!). Then we take the 2nd paper plate which is smaller than the last plate ( I cut off 1 cm from the outer edge) and glue the Indian Map. He right away tells me which one is Maharashtra ( we also point to Karnataka, where he was born and Kerala where his parents are from). He color Maharashtra. Next we take the 3rd paper plate, cut off 2 cms from the outer edge and glue the map of Maharashtra – we put a dot on Mumbai and write the spelling ( still learning). On the last paper plate, I cut off 3 cms and attach 2 small pieces of paper for him to write our locality’s name and our address. We are still learning the spellings, but he knows it verbally now.

This activity brings into our place in the world. Later he pointed out on the world map, where Mumbai was, pretty awesome – right?

For our next activity, we decided we needed to learn the names of ALL the 29 states in our country ( not focusing on Union territories this month ). And for that we created this game. PicMonkey Collage.jpg

For this game you will need :

  1. Print out of this Map from Wikipedia
  2. Print out of the Name of the states ( with corresponding numbers). Laminate it for durability
  3. Number token from 1 to 29 ( We used the number tokens from Housie game we own)

Rules :

  1. Pick out number token
  2. Identify number on the map
  3. call out the corresponding state name
  4. if it is correct, then keep the state name card, else the chance passes to the next player.
  5. whoever gets the maximum card wins!

You can take it a step forward by including the capital names. Also include the union territories. Aarya doesn’t know even 5 yet but he is learning and walks around with the map. It is fascinating to see his interests. I hope to expand and make Geography fun for him ( because i found it boring and never was good at it.)IMG_5039

For the Republic day, we hope to see the Parade on TV. Make new Rules for Aaryanjali Mansion and maybe also create a FLAG! We also intend to do some gorgeous India- themed activities, from this super – awesome post from Artsy Craftsy Mom. All in one place, and pretty much has it ALL.

50 Ideas for India Republic Day or Independence Day party

There is a republic Day Blog-hop hosted by the wonderful Artsy-Craftsy Mom, and I am part of it. Visit all the fabulous Mommies, and be inspired.

Happy Republic Day!


Picture Books about Lord Ganesha!

ganesha-collageWe all celebrate Lord Ganesha’s birthday and it was a special treat to hear all the stories that Grandparents lovingly told about the naughty yet wise Elephant God! This year along with Lord Ganesha’s idol, bring home some Picture books about Lord Ganesha and enjoy them! Just like icing on the cake, nothing can be better than listening to your Granny telling you stories, but books will add to the lovely experience!

1. Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Emily Haynes and Sanjay Gupta


Sanjay Gupta’s illustrations in this adorable story about Ganesha’s sweet tooth makes it a notch irresistible! Who doesn’t like the laddoo gobbling baby Ganesha! And haven’t you called your laddoo gobbling little kid, a Ganapati lovingly? And how did little Ganesha help Vyasa in writing Mahabharata, when read and find out!

Description :

The bold, bright colors of India leap right off the page in this fresh and funny picture book retelling (with a twist) of how Ganesha came to help write the epic poem of Hindu literature, the Mahabharata. Ganesha is just like any other kid, except that he has the head of an elephant and rides around on a magical mouse. And he loves sweets, especially the traditional dessert laddoo. But when Ganesha insists on biting into a super jumbo jawbreaker laddoo, his tusk breaks off! Ganesha is terribly upset, but with the help of the wise poet Vyasa, and his friend Mr. Mouse, he learns that what seems broken can actually be quite useful after all. With vibrant, graphic illustrations, expressive characters, and offbeat humor, this is a wonderfully inventive rendition of a classic tale.

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2. It’s all the same by Nina Sabnani


“Mama, why is Ganesha always worshipped first in any Puja?”

No worries! In this tale from Apno Rajasthan 2 storytellers Pappuram and Kojaram (who are kaavadiya bhaats) tell us there own version of why Lord Ganesha is always worshipped first, before any other god or goddess.

The fantastic thing is that the concept of Storytelling Boxes (kaavads)  is as old as the legend, and it is heartening to see it depicted so well in a Picture Book! These 2 story actually make us realise that at the end, all the stories are end! Does your culture ave a story about why Lord Ganesha is worshipped first! Mine has, and I will share it with you in another post 🙂

Description (from

Pappuram and Kojaram are kaavadiya bhaats, storytellers from Rajasthan. Each has his own favourite story about why Lord Ganesha is always worshipped first, before any other god or goddess. They open their kaavads, the beautifully painted storytelling boxes, and begin – only to realise at the end of it that the stories may be different, but are still really the same!

In this is captured the nature of myths and their telling, that there is no one story about anything, it can always be this as much as that, across cultures or within the same, as here. Typical of kaavadiyas is the flat manner of narrating even improbable situations – anything can happen, that’s how it is…

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3. Amma, Tell Me About Ganesha by Bhakti Mathur


Bhakti Mathur has an excellent series of books devoted to various festivals and Gods, and each one is well crafted to include just enough info for the 3 to 5s. We have bought her books on festivals and now are exploring the ones about the Deities!


Ganesha s birthday is celebrated With fun and lots of fanfare His idols are placed on the rolling seas With ardent prayer and gentle care. Ganesha, loved by all Is the son of Shiva and Parvati. This is the story of his birth and how His elephant head came to be.

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4.  The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow by Sanjay Gupta


This book is not just about Lord Ganesha, but almost all the popular Gods, monsters demons, battles, everything! But the most attractive things about this little book are the illustrations and the fun way the story is told! This book would make a wonderful gift to any age group! Introducing our young ones to our Gods is not an easy task, but Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth author does a commendable job! Can’t wait to get our hands on his Ramayana book.

Description :

In The Little Book of Hindu Deities, Pixar animator Sanjay Patel brings to life Hinduism’s most important gods and goddesses in fun, full-color illustrations, each accompanied by a short, lively profile. The stories of Hindu mythology cover everything from love and jealousy to petty grievances and epic battles, with characters ranging from monsters and demons to noble warriors and divine divas. Find out why Ganesha has an elephant’s head (his father cut it off!) and why Kali, the Goddess of Time, is known as “The Black One” (she’s a bit goth).

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A very Happy Vinayaka Chathurthi to you and yours from us! I hope you find a way past all the hurdles in your journey to your fulfillment.