Every year Ganesh or Vinayaka Chaturthi is celebrated all over India as Lord Ganesha’s Birthday! In Maharashtra, there is the best 10-day affair for Ganesh Chaturthi. Where almost every house or society welcomes Lord Ganesha. Now that, it’s time for the arrival of Ganpati Bappa, are you looking to make this Ganesh Chaturthi special for kids. Are you looking for some Ganesh Chaturthi crafts and activities to keep them engaged? Do you want them to enjoy fun games and learn about the festival? If yes, you should consider reading this post till the end.
The Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations
The festival starts with decorating colourful idols of Lord Ganesha at home or society building. There is a platform or the pandal for the idol, which is decorated with garlands or lights. On Ganesh Chaturthi, the idol is welcomed and worshipped for 10 days. On the 11th day, with a lot of dhoom-dham, the idol is carried through the streets and immersed in a river/pond or the sea nearby. This ritual represents a send-off for Lord Ganesha. It is said that as he travels to his home in Kailash, he takes away the sorrows of all devotees with him. Also, during the 11-day festivities, the main prasad is Ganpati Bappa’s favourite sweet- Modak.
Crafts and Activities for Ganesh Chaturthi
Activity 1: Start with reading books on Ganesha
You might be aware that there are so much to explore when we talk about Indian Mythology. So, why not start getting your child’s interest in the Elephant God with a book.
In fact, every time as I read more, I found some interesting twist or versions of a story. so basically everything boils down to the interpretation. I have read many articles and books. And found this one with so many simple yet interesting stories. All the stories are so easy to tell kids, do give this a read- Tales of the Elephant God.
We have this book called “Amma tell me about, Ganesha” by Bhakti Mathur. The illustrations in the book are really interesting.
Another book I would recommend a book is, “Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth” by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes. The illustrations of this book are also very appealing for young kids.
Activity 2: Drawing and Coloring Lord Ganesha
You can find a lot of printables, activity books and colouring books* or pages online. I found this colouring book at a local book store and we enjoyed colouring and knowing more about our elephant God. It was fascinating for Tuggu to see so many looks of the same god.
You may also try some activities with paper plates etc and make Ganapati idols for Ganesh Chaturthi crafts and activities. Such activities could be a good starting point for many discussions related to the Lord Ganesha idol, the celebrations, the puja essentials etc.
Activity 3: Make creative Ganesha with play-doh!
Kids love dough and the colourful play-doh could definitely help to catch their attention for long. There are plenty of fun Ganesha pictures available online which you can replicate with your kids. Here, I found this interesting Lord Ganpati clay idol on Pinterest.
Use plenty of vibrant colours to add more detail and make the idol. You may also try making the coconut, ladoos, mouse and the other puja essentials. Kids could definitely like the idea and would be engaged for good.
Activity 4: Make your own eco – friendly Ganesha Idol!
You may also try clay or even chocolate to make an eco-friendly Ganesha idol.
Let me tell you that this may seem very difficult, but it is actually quite simple. While I was searching for some easy ideas, I landed up to find this easy tutorial, which explains the entire process!
Activity 5: Decorate the platform/ Room for Ganesha!
This would be really interesting for kids especially if they enjoy colouring. There are a variety of colours available today which works well even on marble floors and are washable too. You may draw outlines and ask them to fill colours.
There are various stencils also available which even the kids could use and draw interesting patterns with colours. Though this may get messy, I am sure, it would be totally worth it experience for them.
Activity 6: Involve them in preparing some sweets or prasad for the puja.
Kids love to mix and make a mess. Give them the task of washing rice for kheer, mixing flours for ladoos, crushing cashews or almonds. They may even help you cutting sweets with a cookie cutter.
In fact, there are moulds available for modaks* too, which even the kids could use.
Activity 7: Teach some Shlokas or Ganpati Aarti
Teach your child some shlokas and aarti. Involve them while you pray to the Ganesha Idol, let them pray and chant with you. You could also let them help in decorating garlands, drawing a Rangoli, lighting a Diya or an incense stick.
While you teach them some shloka on Ganesha, do explain the meaning to them too.
Activity 8: Listen to songs or watch a Ganesha movie
Play some Ganpati songs meant for children. There is a big collection available on Youtube. You may also find some in vernacular languages.
Activity 9: Visit a local Ganesh Pandal
You can also take the kids to visit the local Ganesh pandals where they get huge Ganesha idols. A lot of places nowadays follow a certain theme and it could be interesting to experience such things.
Also during peak hours, some fun activities also happen at almost every pandal which the kids may enjoy. But it may be noisy and tiring for young kids.
Activity 10: Finish the Celebrations with Immersion story
It would be great if kids understand the full cycle of the celebrations. You can show the kids how an idol immersion in done either at home or taking them to an actual immersion pond in your area.
You may show them the idol immersion with some water in a huge bowl and immerse your clay idol in it. If you plan to take them to an actual location, we sure of the safety instruction one need to follow. It’s better to join the society pandal immersion group and experience with friends and family.
PS: Don’t forget to click a few pictures of all the activities done and paste them in their craft book. It would be fun to revisit the whole experience, as you look back at the photographs over the years. These would be some priceless memories that you would be gathering for them.
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