Tips to celebrate Makar Sankranti with kids

 


 Makar Sankranti is predominantly a harvest festival celebrated throughout the country; the traditions and myths behind the festival varies from region to region. It is the only Indian festival which is celebrated on a fixed calendric day. This because the exact day on which the winter or summer solstice occurs remains steady in the solar calendar.

Sankranti marks the arrival of spring. On this day, it is believed that day and night are equally long. On Makar Sankranti, the sun enters the sun-sign of Capricorn or Makara. And the word Sankranti' signifies the movement of the sun from one zodiac sign to another.

Sankranti offers a good opportunity to indulge in lot of activities with kids. You can enjoy the beginning of spring with your family in a colourful, sweet and joyous way. Below are some tips to celebrate Sankranti with kids followed by some safety precautions that are a must to bear in mind.

Plan and organise celebration

Arrange for bright coloured new clothes for the entire family. Decorate your home and perform pooja or the traditions you follow. Include everyone in the family for all the activites.

Entertainment

Find out Fairs and melas that are held in your city. Attending a fair could be a good holiday entertainment for your family.

Essence and significance of the festival

Explain your child the significance of the festival –how it is important for the farmers, significance behind the holy bath, spreading of joy, forgetting bad experiences of the past and strengthening bonds. Don’t miss telling your child about the world famous Kumbh ka mela which is held every 12 years.

Til-gul ghya ani gud gud bola

Til and gud have strong religious and cultural association. Furthermore it is a healthy consumption during winter. The distribution of til and gud laddoos signifies bonding and spreading joy. It goes with the saying Til-gul ghya ani gud gud bola which translates ‘eat these sesame seeds and jaggery and speak sweet words’. You can involve children in til laddoo making process. They can simply roll the ladoo dough into little round balls.  

Host a kite flying competition

Sankranti is widely associated with Kite flying and is rejoiced by kids and adults. You can involve kids to make kites and have a good time flying kites. You can explain kids about the traditional aspects of flying kite and how it helps to reap benefits of the sun rays. Kite flying with kids encourages bonding and also your child will learn tricks from you to cut manjha of your neighbour’s kite.

Decorate your house with rangoli

Rangoli is another popular activity done at Sankranti to welcome wealth and prosperity. Kids can add a lot of creativity and enthusiasm in making rangoli.

 

Safety tips for kids during Makar Sankranti:

Be mindful of the manjha

Manjha is the kite thread tied to it. Most people opt for glass-coated manjha so it is sharp to cut the thread of other’s kite. Opt for glass-free manjha to avaoid any cuts when you are planning to fly kites with kids

Choose a right place

Avoid organising kite flying on roof tops. There are lot of accidents that happen while chasing kites on terraces. Make sure you keep an eye on where your kid is flying kites.

Keep them hydrated

Between celebrations, we forget to make the child drink water at regular breaks. Since kite flying is done under the sun, it is sure to drain them out. Plan to carry energetic drinks to keep the child active and hydrated.

Protection from sunlight

Children’s skin are lot more sensitive than adults. Apply a good spf cream to protect your child from harsh sun light before he/she goes outdoor to have fun.

 

Benefits of Mud Play for your preschooler!

                            

Oh the mud joy!

Children long to be exuberant and messy. And parents voice out concerns about the appropriateness of being messy. Parents, when you look at the benefits, you’re sure to embrace the mess and the joy your child feels.

Reasons why we should let kids play in mud

1)   He/she feels happy

You might have observed that playing in the mud lifts up the mood of children. Did you ever wonder the connection? Studies says that mud/dirt contains bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae which increases the levels of seratonin in our brains, helping to relax, soothe and calm.

2)   Builds immunity

 “Exposure to dirt builds immunity that will provide lifelong protection.” So you don’t have to be a cleanliness freak all the time. However, you should set some rules like- washing hands after playing in the mud or before consuming food and no consumption of mud

3)   Medium for learning

Mud involves the use of multiple senses. When you use such as a medium to teach, the learning is internalized quickly as all the senses are well stimulated. Another reason is that the release of serotonin that occurs when playing in mud helps to improve cognitive function. This is how it works- If it’s messy, it is confusing and the play constantly changes. This gives the child a chance to re-think and re-create.

4)   Enhances skills

Little does the dirt diggers know that the messy play is actually enhancing their skills. You can look at setting up a corner for mud play where the child can pretend play and have various other plays. Just provide the age-apt play tools like shovels, small rakes, buckets, and water. The child will get excited to use all the equipment thereby developing large and small muscles and improving balance, self-control and coordination skills. Not just this, but it inspires social skills such as cooperation, communication, and sharing as they work together.

5)   Open-ended play

Mud is something that we can mold, sieve, decorate and do so much more, such that no child can get disinterested. While a toddler can have sensory experience (the sensation of mud between their fingers and toes,) the preschoolers will have diverse experiences. They can evolve the play, by making mud blocks, digging treasure, making tunnels and have a much more organized play.