At early childhood age, though children do not play to learn, they learn through play. Children use everything they see, hear and experience as elements in playing. Recognizing the importance of play in building the ground for children’s social skills, educators in Finland have been capable of making use of the links between play and other areas of activity. At the same time, they leave room for kids’ spontaneous ideas and decisions on what to play.
The diversity of communities ensures that different festivals carry their unique charms, rituals, flavours and fervour. Children in the 0-5 year age group especially have so much to enjoy and learn through festivals that more than celebratory occasions, these moments can become opportunities to enhance the horizons of their knowledge.
Top 7 Skills Children Learn From Festivals
- Social Skills
Festival time is the best time to get together with family and friends. Children learn social skills like greeting others, welcoming them, visiting others, communicating etc. They make new friends, interact more with many people and thus develop essential social skills. Most obviously, through festivals, children learn social skills as family members, relatives and friends get together to mark the occasion in unison. There’s so much knowledge to acquire in these moments as children witness people greeting, welcoming, embracing and communicating with each other. These occasions also serve as opportunities for forging new bonds, friendships and through warm interactions, strengthen existing bonds.
Diwali usually starts with the brahmamuhurta (roughly one-and-a-half hours before sunrise) and that’s usually around 4:00 a.m. This early wake-up is considered to be the first step to a disciplined life and is symbolic of mental and spiritual awakening. It is believed that the sages who started this custom wanted it to become a norm of life. The wee hours of the morning are said to be the ideal time for improving productivity, acquiring knowledge, achieving ethical discipline, developing physical and mental health, and thereby attaining professional and personal success.
3. Emotional skills
While we celebrate festivals and meet our near and dear ones there is so much enthusiasm around. Everyone is happy and that really helps in developing emotional skills in children. Children gain so much from a loving and happy environment. Being happy enhances brain development in the long run and celebrating festivals is the time when there is so many happy emotions around.
4. Cultural Skills
India is a country where diverse cultures, traditions and customs thrive. Children are highly flexible and adaptable individuals. They learn, observe and engage in interactions with parents, friends and also with adults. Festivals are a great way to encourage and educate children about new cultures and languages. Every festival in India has a story behind why and how it is celebrated. When these stories and personal experiences are narrated to children they find a close connection to their culture. You can help your child build a deeper cultural connection by involving them while cooking delicious, traditional delicacies, listening to traditional music, creating and appreciating different art forms related to the festival. When children are exposed and raised with cultural values, they become more self-aware and open to accepting and experiencing new cultures as they grow older.
5. Creative and Life Skills
Celebrating Indian festivals can give children a chance to explore their creative side, don’t you agree? From dressing up in traditional attires to decorating the house to cooking delicacies, there are so many opportunities to get creative while reflecting on the vibrant culture of our country. If you are looking out for activities and life skills to teach your kids while celebrating a festival, here are a few ideas;
- Bring them along when you pick festive clothes and allow them to choose their colours and mix and match their attire
- Involve them while making sweets and savouries and encourage them to share them with their friends and family
- Encourage your child to help you while cleaning and decorating the house. Paint diyas together or make a small rangoli with simple shapes.
- Make simple, handmade gifts for friends and family
- Encourage them to spend time with their grandparents, play games with them and learn important values from their treasure trove of stories
- Share with them some unforgettable memories that you experienced as a child while celebrating the festival.
6. Linguistic Skills
There are so many stories to tell about festivals in India. When children are told the stories behind the celebration of festivals it enhances listening skills and also story telling skills in children. Holidays during festivals provide the child more time to explore their linguistic skills. They can express themselves and share their experiences of celebrating festivals by writing about it. This enhances their vocabulary skills. They learn how to communicate and interact with others which also improves their language skills.
7. Visualisation Skills
Finally, when children learn about the anecdotes and inspirations behind festivals, they indirectly boost their visualisation skills, not to mention learning how to be patient listeners and think while they hear out. Festivals also come with their terminologies, special references and glossary. Kids get to read rich content on special occasions and while doing that they learn how to communicate, how to extend the greetings themselves.