With Ganesh Chaturthi around the corner (seems like it’s early this year, end of August!), I thought it was about time that I shared what we usually end up doing to celebrate. We have done this toddler friendly, Montessori inspired (lots of sensorial) activity every year since he was born. It is definitely one of my favorites and so easy to do in celebration of anything Ganesh. It’s your very own, DIY Ganesh murti out of play dough! The first & second time I did this activity I made the play dough at home too! But last year, I had my hands full, and fortunately Toddler S no longer had a tendency to put things in his mouth, so we went with store bought and it worked perfectly!
You can see the progression of our Ganesh murti over the years (as mommy became more hands-off and Toddler S became more hands-on!).
There are probably a lot of different ways to make this beautiful Ganesh murti with your toddlers, but I found it best to prepare the materials ahead of time. I used this video as my guide to making the various body parts! He goes super fast, but I pause and play as I make it. Maybe this year I’ll try to take a proper picture of all the parts and share that so you can glance at it instead of watching a video. Last year, when we were meeting for our Play & Learn sessions, I prepared about 4 to 5 sets of these for all the kids to build their own Ganesh Murtis. It was so amazing to watch the kids put together their own Ganesh murtis, there were so many variations despite the materials all being the same. It was a sweet, little blessing for them to take home with them!
Montessori inspired Ganesh Chaturthi toddler activity: DIY Ganesh Murti out of Play dough
Things you need:
Have a photo or murti of Ganesh bhagvan handy so you can show your toddler all his various parts and talk through the characteristics, qualities of each
Different colored play-dough (store bought or home made)
Paint if you want to paint on any other details (we did not do this)
How to prepare your activity:
Prepare all the parts and place in an air tight container until you are ready to use
Have the picture handy so your toddler can refer to it as he/she puts together the Ganesh murti
Set up a murti or a picture of Ganesh for your toddler to refer to
Like a puzzle, have your toddler toddler try to put together the murti by looking at the picture. This is a great time to sit with your toddler and explain the various body parts, and items that Ganesh has in his hands or around him
Take apart the murti and store it in an airtight container so your toddler can attempt to do it again on his/her own
You can also let the murti dry out and do a visarjan in your backyard or near a tree, if that is a tradition your family follows. (I don’t think doing it in a public lake/pond/ocean would be very environmental especially if you’re using chemically made, store bought play-dough).
So blessed to have had the time to celebrate these wonderful festivals with Toddler S! I’m excited to do this again this year with the twins and big brother! Don’t forget to check out our other Hindu celebrations and activities for Ram Navami and a few others mentioned on this post!