Kids learn best when they are having fun. I have found that my toddler is most excited to learn Gujarati when I associate the letters with fun activities or stories. That’s why each week we feature a Gujarati letter of the week, where we share activities and stories that are based on that letter. This week’s letter is ડ.
First up is ડ for ડમરુ (damaru/drum)! Let's bring some music into our lives and make a homemade drum! There are lots of different ways to make homemade drums, but here is the version we felt looked the most like Lord Shiva's drum:
Find 2 plastic cups. Tape or glue the base of the cups together.
Cover the tops of the cups by taping a piece of cardboard over them. If you really want to go wild, you can add some beads, rice, or beans, inside of the cups before you cover the tops to add some extra noise.
Decorate like crazy. Use paint/glitter/whatever you have lying around the house to decorate the drum.
Thread some beads through a string. Then tie this string around the middle of the drum.
If any of the above instructions are confusing, then check out this link with some more detailed instructions: https://youtu.be/X8I2yb6Ks4c
**If you don't know the story behind Shiva and his drum, we got you covered. Keep on scrolling.
**Make sure you keep the drum handy, because you are going to need it during song time!!
First up, let's play ડાબે અથવા જમણે (daabe athvaa jamane, left or right)! Honestly, I still have to take a minute to decide what's left and what's right. Here's a great game you can play with your kid to practice directions and words in a fun way so hopefully they don't struggle like I do when they are in their 20s!
This game is very similar to Simon Says. I basically shout out different body parts and my kid has to point to or raise that body part. When your kid messes up, then switch spots. Have your kid shout out body parts and you point to or raise that body part!
For example, I would shout, "jamane haath" (right hand), so my kid would have to raise that hand or point to it!
Now it's time for ડ for ડબ્બી (dabbi, container). Let's play a few ડબ્બી related games.
Find the ball! Search your house for three small containers. The containers have to be opaque and look exactly the same. Place a ball inside one of the containers. Tell your kid to remember which container the ball is underneath. Then mix the containers around for a bit and have your kid find the ball. ** I know the most common use of this game is to hustle people on the side of the street, but, when no cheating is involved, I think this is a great game to help your kid practice concentrating.
Bowling! Search your house for 6 small containers. Stack them into a pyramid. Then play a round of bowling by having your kid try to break the pyramid using a ball. You can adjust the distance your kid has to throw the ball from to make this game harder or easier based on the age of your kid. But I'm going to be honest-- even I had fun with this game!
My kid LOVES stories. I have found that relating Gujarati letters to specific stories helps her associate the letter with more words and helps her practice saying the letter out loud.
For the letter ડ, share the story of Shiva nu damaru (શિવનું ડમરુ)/ Shiva and his drum. You can read this story(and more) under the “Gujarati stories” tab on our website.
Let's run our mouths for a bit! One of the best ways to learn new words and practice old ones is by singing. Here are 2 nursery rhymes that you can sing that all center on the letter ડ!
1. Dada no dangoro:
Dada no dangoro lidho
Eno to me ghodo kidho
Ghodo chale rhum zhum
Ghoogari vaage ghum ghum
Dhum dhum dharti jaay
Maaro ghodo kudato jaay
(This essentially means "I took my Dada's walking stick and turned it into a horse. The horse walks making a 'rhum zhum' noise. The bell chimes making a 'ghum ghum' noise. As my horse jumps, the dirt trembles.")
** There are different variations of this nursery rhyme, so you can switch this up. Here is a youtube video to help you with the beats: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cwp60btQMzs
2. Dosima dosima
Dosima dosima kya chaalya
Khetar maa thi shu madyu?
Rupiya nu shu lidu?
Bhariya tamara tatiya!
(This essentially is a conversation between 2 people.
"Grandmother, where did you go?"
"To the farm."
"What did you get from the farm?"
"What did you get with the money?"
"Work is so futile!")
**The last sentence is a little hard to translate, so you may choose to translate it differently!
The best way to learn another language is to hear as many words as possible. Here are just
a few extra words to practice during the week that start with ડ!
ડ for ડુક્કર (dukkar, pig)
ડ for ડાબે (dabe, left)
ડ for ડમરુ (damaru, Lord Shiv’s drum)
ડ for ડબ્બો (dabbo, compartment)
ડ for ડબ્બી (dabbi, container)
ડ for ડગલું (daglum, step)
ડ for ડંગોરો (dangoro, walking stick)
ડ for ડોલ (dol, bucket)
ડ for ડબલું (dabalum, can)
ડ for ડર (dar, fear)
ડ for ડુંગળી (dungari, onion)
Question of the Week:
Take a break from learning about ડ and stretch your mind with the question of the week!
Q: Why does it rain?
A: The short answer is that it rains because there is water in the clouds (see the "Let's learn
about ટ!" blog for some information on clouds). When enough water builds up in the clouds, the clouds become so heavy that the water droplets fall down. The water droplets fall down because of gravity ( see the "Let's Learn About ઠ!" blog for some information on gravity). This process is called rain! Depending on how old your kid is, you can get into the nitty gritty of the water cycle, starting with evaporation and ending with precipitation.
**There is this awesome blog that breaks down everything rain-related in a kid-friendly way. Check it out at: https://www.scienceforkidsclub.com/rain-facts.html