Durga Puja is here & I love to involve my preschooler in the festivities in a hands-on way. If you have seen Durga Puja pandals with your child, you would love to try this DIY Durga pandal that my son created at home. It was a great open-ended play for my preschooler and he unleashed his creativity while doing this & learnt few things about Indian mythology. I will also share some more activities in the coming days for Dussehra & Navratri that you can try out.
We had gone for Durga Puja pandal hopping two days back. Here is one pandal that we absolutely loved. It was setup by Bengali samaaj.
And then, I thought let us make a Durga Puja pandal at home with my 2 year old son. He loves open-ended play & playing with blocks. And he is so fascinated these days with Gods & their savaaris (vehicles) because it is festival season here – Ganpati festival, then Navratri & coming is Diwali & then Christmas. How I love quarter 4 since my childhood!!!
They say that during Durga Puja, Durga Mata visits Earth along with her four children – Ganesha, Laxmi, Saraswati, Kartikeya. And believe me, being a North Indian, I did not know this fact until last year! It was only when I was reading this awesome book on “Festivals Of India” to my son, in the Durga Puja section (How it is celebrated in West Bengal), I came to know about this. Motherhood teaches you so many things!
We are loving these titles & you might also want to check out this ultimate compilation of Indian mythology books for kids to read this Dussehra & Navratri season.
So I took images of these Gods & Goddesses from a cut & paste book for kids, laminated them at home without a laminator using THIS method, gathered the figurines of the animals & birds who are the savaaris of these Gods & a small elevated step to act as a stage of the pandal. Then my son started setting up the pandal. We used the stands from his another play-set to hold the laminated images of the Gods in place.
Then my son matched the figurines to the Gods based on whose savaari it was.
Then he wanted to decorate the pandal as he had seen in the real pandals. So he used his good old Fisherprice Megabloks to make boundaries and decorations around the pandal.
He spent a lot of time doing this while I got to work in my kitchen. This was a great quiet time activity & so therapeutic & unwinding for him!
This is a close-up view of our DIY Durga Puja pandal!
Check out Ganesha with a rat, Laxmi with an owl, Durga with a lion, Saraswati with a swan and Kartikey with a peacock.
Take a look at the decoration that my son did with his megabloks. Such a colorful pandal, along with cars parked on the right!
Read how a preschooler can also make a toran out of Ashoka tree leaves himself to put up on your main door this Dussehra & festival season.
And here is some extended decoration on the left as you can see, perhaps parking area or food stalls!
Needless to say, my 2 year old son absolutely enjoyed this activity. He spent some good 30 minutes decorating the pandal. Here are some learning outcomes of this simple activity.
- Unleashing creativity
- Open-ended play
- Quiet time
- Learning about Indian traditions & customs
- Conversation starter for Indian mythology, Gods, Goddesses
- Memory recall of the pandal visit & recreating something from memory
- Knowing about savaari of Gods
Read more about activities you can do with your toddler this festival HERE. This is a set of activities that I setup for my son last year when he was 19 months old.
Hope you liked this collection. I would love to see what you are doing with your child this festival season.
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