Kids love to help out in their own little ways, it makes them feel important and nice about themselves. Now here are some little ideas that could make Ganesh Chathurthi special for your family.
There are a lot of clay Ganesh modelling classes that are happening in most of the cities. You can enroll yourself and your kid in one of those workshops and get home your very own Ganesha made by those little hands.
Build a small house/pandal for the idol with the things available at your home. You can use colourful cloth, small tables, sticks or iron frames from foldable laundry baskets, some fairy lights, strings of flowers etc. My son used to love this the most.
Decorating Puja platform/room:
This could get interesting. The Fabercastle water colors are easily washable even on the marble floors; you can draw the outlines and ask them to fill in with their paint brushes. Add the lovely flowers and leaves used for puja. They can get innovative with patterns and colours (and also a little messy, but am sure it will be worth it, but do limit the area to keep your sanity)
Making simple dishes for offering during the puja.
You can enlist their help in making easy things like modaks, lemon rice, crushing cashews and garnishing the kheer etc.
Teach them or make them sing along with you for simple chants and bhajans.
If not anything, the slow pace and repetitive chants have a calming effect on them. And also makes them stretch their vocal chords in cute funny ways.
This is a simple book that has good reviews – Popular Bhajans
You can also get some good ones off the internet, I usually do that. My son adds his own words and does the puja; it’s kind of nice to see him feel all important and earnest when he is in the act.
Here are some simple chants that you could teach your child this festive seasons: Six simple chants to teach your little ones
Visit to the local puja pandals in the colony.
Take the kids to visit the local pandals where they put huge Ganesha idols. It’s so colourful and bustling with activity. Remember not to go in peak hours; it might be tiring and too noisy.
You can show the kids about idol immersion either at home with some water in a huge bowl and your clay idol. Or taking them to actual location of idol immersion in your city could also be fun (check safety before you go, and also pack some water and snacks).
PS: Don’t forget to ask them to put their little books at puja. And click a few pictures to capture the whole experience, as you look back at the photographs over the years, its priceless memories that you are gathering for them.