Every community and religion have their own festivals and celebrations. Each festival has its own distinct flavour and customs. India being such a vast and varied country we are infact lucky that we get to celebrate not only one or two but many festivals and of course we also get the holidays for each festival!
Now more than ever the dividing lines between people have been reduced, maybe thanks to technology or the mixed community living in cities and towns, whatever the reason, more and more people are now participating in each others festivals. This is good for our children. It will also be good if we use festivals as a way of talking to children about our culture, our dress, our food and our customs and not only use festivals for promoting blind practises and customs.
The celebration of festivals help children in a variety of ways, let’s understand how-
- Intellectual development- each festival can be linked to the state that it originates from and children can learn the name of the festival, the state, the month, and the customs and this will help them cultivate memory skills, knowledge skills and learn the essential skills of connecting known to unknown. A teacher or parent can even play a game of linking the festival to its food or festival to its month or festival to the community that celebrates it.
- Creative skills- Each festival has some unique decoration that signifies its celebration. Children can be taught to do that decoration and this will help cultivate their creative skills and learning of design, colour, shape etc
- Physical skills- Most festivals have some dance form or a special way of greeting associated with it. Children can be taught these which would help their growing physical skills.
- Emotional skills- Festivals are about happiness and joy. The more opportunities that children get to celebrate festivals, will create opportunities for joy and togetherness. Let’s also not forget that positive emotions enhance memory, so happy emotions will be beneficial in the long run for their overall brain development!
- Social skills- Festivals are the right occasions for children to learn social skills like greeting, prayer, manners, eating, dressing, visiting others, welcoming others etc. Hence festivals must be used to enhance the growing social skills in children. Afterall, children learn by imitation.
- Language skills- How to speak, what to speak and when to speak are all skills that children need to learn at this age and what better time than festivals to learn it from adults. Also, the more children enjoy something the more they will want to talk about it, draw about it and share about it. Hence festivals are a time of enjoyment and it will impact their language development, as they will have lots of things to describe and help expand their vocabulary skills.
- Mathematical skills- Festivals are about shapes, colour, quantity, size etc. The right time to help children develop their growing awareness of the world of numbers Like: Count the diyas, make a big Id card, colour the Santas, etc etc.
So let’s begin the festivities and enjoy the season of festivals with our kids!
Dr. Swati Popat Vats
Parenting Mentor and Coach