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 ઢ.
Creating Corner: First up is ઢ for ઢીંગલી (dhingli, doll)!
While not all kids like playing with dolls, I think most kids will enjoy this activity. Because this isn't just any doll-- its a dancing doll AKA a bobble head doll! All you need is a cup, some construction paper, a pipe cleaner, markers, and scissors! Depending on the age and interest level of your kid, you can either make a completely original doll or you can model the doll after a family member!
Find a plastic/paper cup. Paint this cup whichever color you would like the bottom of your doll to be. Poke a hole through the center of the cup. (You can use a toothpick or a knife, but the hole should not be too large).
Cut out two identical circles (these will be the front and back of your doll's head). Draw a face on one of the circles. Then glue some hair onto the face. You can use yarn, string, or construction paper for this. We cut thin pieces of construction paper and folded them accordion style to make the illusion of curly hair!
Take a pipe cleaner and wrap it around your finger so it curls up, but leave around 1 inch uncurled/straight at one edge of the pipe cleaner. Glue the straight edge between the two circles. Stick the other edge into the hole in your cup. Make sure to twist the pipe cleaner into a knot on the inside of the cup to ensure your doll stays up right. You can also glue the knot on the inside of the cup using a hot glue gun to really make sure the pipe cleaner does not start falling through the hole.
Cut out a piece of paper in the shape of Pac-Man (a circle with a triangle missing from it-- similar to when you have taken 1-2 slices out of a pizza). This will be the shirt/dress of your doll, so decorate the paper as you wish! Then, wrap the paper around the top of the pipe cleaner and glue it into place. If you are making a boy (or a girl who wants to wear pants instead of a dress) you can make some pants out of construction paper and glue those onto the bottom of the cup.
Cut out two rectangles (these will be your arms), and glue these onto the sides of your doll.
Turn on some music and dance with your dancing dolls!
Check out the complete instructions on: https://thepinterestedparent.com/2017/09/bobble-head-dancing-dolls/
Next up is ઢ for ઢોળવું (dhodvu, spill)!
Okay, I'm going to be real honest here. This one is a bit of a stretch-- but there aren't too many ઢ-related words we could think of! If your kids are like mine, they spill ALL the time (seriously, what is the point of even cleaning?) Here's an activity that makes spilling a little more fun.
Draw a picture of 2 buckets spilling. Check out the image to the right for a pictorial depiction of what I mean.
Find yellow, blue and red paint. (You can use food coloring if you do not have paint in your house or you can even use pastel/charcoal crayons like we did). Essentially, you just need to use some kind of drawing medium that mixes well together.
"Spill" the yellow paint onto one of the buckets and the blue paint onto the second bucket. Mix them together until you make the color green.
Do the same with all of the different combinations of the primary colors ("spill" blue and red to make purple and "spill" red and yellow to make orange).
Use this activity to teach your kid about the difference between primary and secondary colors.
** If you are worried about wasting paint-- don't! Use the paint that you have "spilled" to make a painting. Your kid can paint the story below or other words that are related to ઢ!
Storytime: 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 ઢ, share the story of the hypocritical crow AKA the crow and the peacock ( ઢોંગી કાગડો / dhongi kaagado AKA કાગડો અને મોર/ kaagado ane mor). You can read this story (and more) under the “Gujarati stories” tab on our website.
Now its time to stretch our minds with these activities based on the letter ઢ!
First up is ઢ for ઢગલો (dhaglo, pile).
This is a creative version of a memory game!
Find some things around the house that you can stack to make a pile. You can use clothes or even colored pieces of paper from some of the art projects from above.
Slowly make a pile by putting one thing on top of the other. Give enough time for your kid to watch and remember.
Cover the entire pile with a blanket.
Ask your kid to recall the order of the items in the pile.
Switch! Now have your kid make the pile and you try to remember.
** You can make this game easier or harder based on the number of things in your pile. Either way, this is a great game to help your kid learn how to concentrate!
Next up is ઢ for ઢાંકણ (dhankana, lid).
I don't know about you, but any Indian household I have ever been to has an entire cabinet dedicated to stray containers and lids. Its time to put that cabinet to good use! Raid the cabinet for all the ઢાંકણ you can find. Have your kid arrange the different ઢાંકણ from smallest to largest!
** Low key, this may just be a trick to make your kid help you organize your house a little better
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 is a nursery rhymes that you can sing that centers on the letter ઢ!
Ek maari dingali ne (એક મારી ઢીંગલીને)
એક મારી ઢીંગલીને એવી સજાવું
Ek maari dingali ne evi sajaavu/ I will decorate one of my dolls
બે એના કાનમાં કડી પહેરાવું
Be enaa kaanmaa kadi paheraavu/ I will put 2 earrings in her ears
ત્રણ એના નથડીમાં હીરા જડાવું
Tran enaa nathdimaa hiraa jadaavu/ I will give her a nose ring with 3 diamonds
ચાર એના હાથમાં સૂડી પહેરાવું
Chaar enaa haathmaa sudi paheraavu/ I will place 4 bangles on her hands
પાંચ એની આંગળીઓમાં વીંટી પહેરાવું
Panch enaa angadiomaa veetee paheraavu/ I will place 5 rings on her fingers
છ એની વેણીમાં ફૂલો ગુંથાવુ
Cha enaa venimaa phulo gunthaavu/ I will braid 6 flowers into her hair
સાત એની સાડીમાં કલર પુરાવું
Saat enaa saadimaa color puraavu/ I will decorate her sari with 7 colors
આઠ એના ચણિયાંમાં મોર ચીતરાવું
Aath enaa chaniyaamaa mor chitaraavu/ I will paint 8 peacocks on her skirt
નવ એની ઝાંઝરીમાં ઘુઘરી મેલાવું
Nav enaa jhanjharimaa ghughari melaavu/ I will put 9 bells on her anklets
દસ દશેરાએ ગરબે રમાડું
Das dasheraao garbe ramaadu/ We will do 10 rounds of garba together for Dashera
**If you don't know the tune, don't worry! Head on over to YouTube where you can find lots of different versions of this.
Word Salad: The best way to learn another language is to hear as many words as possible. We already went through a lot of words (see above!), but here is one more word that starts with ઢ:
ઢ for ઢેલ (dhela, peahen)
**Now, if you are like me you are probably asking: What is a peahen? A peahen is the female version of a peacock! If your kid is in the creative mood (and not tired out from all the activities above) then you can draw a peahen as another activity!