Yesterday we celebrated Dhanteras one of the five days of Diwali. “Dhan” means wealth. “Teras” is the thirteenth day of the Indian calendar. On this day we thank Goddess Laxmi for the various types of wealth that we have been blessed with, it is not limited to monetary wealth. This is also a day, we cleanse & purify the various forms of “Dhan” or Laxmi to remind ourselves to use the wealth we have to do good work in our own lives, for others and for the overall good of society and the world around us. The “dhan” is generally cleansed, and placed in front of Goddess Laxmi along with the offering of other fruits, flowers, water and panchamrut (milk).
Since a lot of our stuff was still in boxes, I had to dig out our Puja items in time for our Dhanteras puja, also known as Laxmi Puja. The last few years, Toddler S has been so involved in the festivities whether it is decorating the house, doing a Diwali craft or participating in our puja. This year, as we prepared for the puja, he was so amused with the various coins we had collected over the years. He asked about each and wanted to know it’s worth and where it was from (we have included many coins from around the world too). Unfortunately, our generation is so used to seeing us transact with our credit cards, that they have NO idea what these coins and bills are (he just sees us swipe our credit cards), at least mine don’t! This was the perfect opportunity to dive deeper and show him what real money looks like! It’s funny because his grandparents will hand him these beautiful green bills for birthdays and of course now for Diwali and he could really care less, it’s just a piece of paper to him. Oh, the innocence!
So, this Dhanteras, I decided to tie together his interest in coins with our beautiful festival where we show our gratitude to the wealth in our lives by introducing to him the concept of currency. He already had a chance to witness us showing our respect to this type of wealth (again, amongst the many other non-monetary forms of wealth in our live) but now I’m hoping he will be able to get a basic understanding of its value. Understanding the value of something not only allows us to be thankful for having it but it should also be a reminder of what we do with it and how we use it. Like many things in our lives, wealth too is a tool which we should utilize for good.
With this many hands to help, we MAY have washed a few coins one too many times.
And a few coins MAY have remained unwashed. Classic too many cooks in the kitchen.
This simple Coin Matching Activity is perfect for toddlers or preschoolers who are learning the early concepts of currency. It can also serve as a simple matching activity for younger kids. It would be great to touch, feel and use real coins but we have two toddlers in the house (and a newborn!) so safety is just as important which is why I’ve included the option to cut out some coins as well. Also, as many of you know, I am all about language immersion for my kiddo(s), so I’ve included a page with the Gujarati numbers which represent the value of each coin. This page can be used for identifying coins which match that value. Alternatively, if your child is already comfortable writing, you can use that space to write out the numbers in Gujarati. If you would like a version in Hindi, feel free to leave me a comment below and I can try to publish a Hindi language one too.
Kids Diwali activity – Dhanteras Coin Matching
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