Tonight at midnight many Hindu’s will celebrate the birth of our enamored Lord Krishna, I won’t lie he is my favorite Indian deity (yes, even though there is just really one!) In every phase of his life he impacted those around him, it didn’t matter if it was a friend, family or foe. His actions were to serve righteousness, his words were sweet, his friendship was loyal, his love was unconditional and his presence won the hearts of anyone near and far. And today we celebrate, remember and try to imbibe these and many other characteristics and qualities Lord Krishna has exemplified throughout his life.
In our home, we celebrate Lord Krishna all year round! I have passed on my love for Krishna Bhagvan to Toddler S and the twins in many different ways through stories, prayers, bhajans and folk songs from Gujarat. The twin babies (18 months old), if they find any small ring like object which is shaped like a chakra (also called the Sudarshan Chakra – the spinning, disk like weapon often seen on Krishna Bhagavan index finger), they will raise their fingers in the air and wait for me to say, “Hu Krishna Bhagvan chu” (I am Krishna Bhagvan). This was something I used to do with Toddler S as well when he was their age and it has since continued.
Every year for Janmashtami we try to do something eventful to celebrate with the kids. When Toddler S was a baby (and last year with the twins) we kept it simple and had them all dress up as baby Krishna’s, little Kanaiya’s. We also read a lot of short children’s book about Lord Krishna’s life and the celebration of Krishna Janmashtami (I’ll try to share these titles if I can grab a picture of them!). As Toddler S went from “toddler” to preschool aged, I wanted to look for ways to spark and maintain an interest in our Indian culture as well religion outside of just books. He needed something hands-on!
So, last year I decided to add to his interest and make him Montessori 3-part cards in Gujarati for him. These cards are generally used for teaching/exposing toddlers & preschoolers to vocabulary, and gradually it serves as a pre-reading tool as well! Even though he was already familiar with most of the vocabulary, the cards really helped him remember things that he had read without having to depend on the illustrations from the book. Some of the new words sparked his curiosity and had us researching and looking for answers to some of his questions. The best part was because he was seeing all these words in a language other than English, he took a greater interest in attempting to read it!
As I said in my last post, I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally be sharing this first set of 3-part cards with all of you! This Janmashtami set of 3-part cards can be downloaded in Gujarati or Hindi for FREE and it includes images & vocabulary related to Lord Krishna which you can use with your toddlers, preschoolers, and older kids. Simply download and print this free printable at home (there are additional instructions to prepare the printable in the downloadable file as well). You can use these cards to tell His story, introduce them to new vocabulary, use them to play a game of memory or matching and of course use them the traditional Montessori way as well. There are LOTS of videos online that share and show how to use 3 part cards with a 3 part (period) lesson. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, but I did! We had fun creating a short video to show how to introduce these cards to your child. The video is in Gujarati because that is what Toddler S speaks but you can use the same exact method in your own language! Additionally, I’ve added a pronunciation guide to help those who may not be familiar with Gujarati or Hindi but are still eager to share these with their kids! Please note, the cards in this video were created over a year ago for Toddler S and they do have some typos! These have been corrected in our digital files, I just haven’t had time to make a new set of the cards because I have (kind of) been busy crunching out new materials for Toddler S and now all of you!!!
Who know’s maybe one day when our kids meet, they will all be chatting up a storm about that little Krishna and his mischevious ways of “stealing” maakhan (churned butter) while he woo’ed Maiya Yashoda with the sweet sounds of his vaasadi (flute). Hey, this Maiya (mom) could dream, right?
Share pictures, videos and your experience of using the Gujarati or Hindi 3-part cards with your kids! Don’t forget to tag or link-back to my post, I would love to see them in action!
P.S. This year, we are so blessed to be celebrating Krishna Janmashtami on the same day as India’s Independence day (August 15th), stay tuned for our India Independence Day 3-part cards launching later today!