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 ત.
First, go fishing and learn about ત for તારા માછલી (taaraa maachli, starfish) and ત for તળાવ (tadaav,lake).
Find some pipe cleaners. It's important that you use pipe cleaners since the metal in the pipe cleaners will come in handy when we "fish" later on.
Mold the pipe cleaners into the shape of a star fish first, since today is all about the letter ત!
Then mold the pipe cleaners into the shape of regular fish as well.
Place your star fish and regular fish into a bowl. This will be your તળાવ (tadaav, lake).
Tie a pipe cleaner or a piece of string around a magnet. This will be your fishing rod.
**You can turn this into a game and have your kid only "catch" the fish that start with the letter ત AKA the તારા માછલી!
Now, its time for ત for તોરણ (toran, garland). Make a toran that you can hang on the door!
Take a stroll outside and collect some leaves and flower petals from the ground.
Use a needle and thread to string the leaves into a garland.
If you want, jazz up the garland with some glitter!
Hang up the garland on your mantle or the door.
Let's play મોળું તીખું (modu,tikhu/ mild, spicy)
Start off by drawing different foods on a whiteboard or piece of paper. If you aren't an artist, then you can cut out photos of food from your local newspaper, pull up photos on your computer, or print out photos!
Have your kid categorize each food as either મોળું or તીખું.
** This game is a really simple way to help your kid understand categories.
Now it's time for a scavenger hunt!
We have run our minds enough. Now its time to literally run during this scavenger hunt for words that start with ત!
તરબૂચ (tarbhooch, watermelon)
તપેલી (tapeli, pot)
તબેથો (tabhetho, spatula)
તવો (tavo, frying pan)
તજ (taj, cinnamon)
તુરીયા (turiyaa, ridge gourd)
તમાલ પત્ર ( tamaal patra, bay leaf)
તલ (tal, sesame)
તેલ (tel, oil)
તુલસી (tulsi, basil)
Scavenger Hunt instructions:
Write down the above words on a piece of paper.
Read the first word on the list and have your kid search the kitchen for that item. Once he/she brings you that item, repeat the same process with the next word.
Once your kid has found all of the words, re-read the words on the list one more time. This round, each time you read a word, have your kid put that item back in its rightful place.
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 ત, share the story of the તારા માછલી (taaraa maachli, starfish).
You can read this stories (and more) under the “Gujarati stories” tab on our website.
While learning letters is super important, learning character is even more important. So why not do both simultaneously? Associating letters with characters helps pique my kid’s interest in great historical figures while also allowing her to practice saying the letter out loud. Here are a few of my favorite characters associated with the letter ત.
તાનાજી (Tanaji). Tanaji was a general for Shivaji
તુલસીદાસ (Tulsidas). Tulsidas was an Indian poet.
તાનસેન (Tansen). Tansen was an Indian classical musician.
તારા (Tara). Tara was the Queen of Kishkindha and the wife of Vali.
તુકારામ (Tukaram). Tukaram was an Indian poet and saint.
તિરુવલ્લુવર (Thiruvalluvar). Thiruvalluvar was a Tamil saint and philosopher.
** If you want us to go into more detail about these characters, let us know in the "comments" section of this blog!
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 ત!
1. એક બિલાડી જાડી (Ek bilaadi jaadi, 1 fat cat)
એક બિલાડી જાડી (Ek bilaadi jaadi, There was once a fat cat)
તેને પહેરી સાડી (Tene peheri saadi, She wore a saari)
સાડી પહેરી ફરવા ગયી (Saadi peheri faravaa gayi, She went out wearing a saari)
તળાવ માં તો તરવા ગયી (Talaav maa to taravaa gayi, She went to go swim in a lake)
તળાવ મા તો મગર (Talaav maa to magar, There was a crocodile in the lake)
બિલ્લી ને આવિયા ચકકર (Billi ne aaviyaa chakkar, The cat felt dizzy)
સાડી છેડો છુટી ગયો (Saadi chedo chuti gayo, Part of her saari came undone)
મગર ના મોમાં આવી ગયો (Magar naa moma aavi gayo, The saari fell into the mouth of the crocodile)
મગર બિલાડી ને ખાયી ગયો (Magar biladi ne khayi gayo, The crocodile ate the cat)
** Now, this nursery rhyme does not start with ત but it has a few lines within it that start with ત! Also, does anyone else think that Indian nursery rhymes are a little too intense sometimes? Why did the cat have to die in the end?!
2. तितली उडी (Tittli Udi, The Butterfly Flew)
This is a Hindi song, but it is always good to expose your kid to new languages. You can check out this song on Youtube at: https://youtu.be/tf0MjB00mBE
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 ત!
ત for તલવાર (talvaar, sword)
ત for તબલા (tabalaa, indian drum)
ત for તારા (taaraa, star)
ત for તકિયો (takiyo, cushion)
ત for તરસ (taras, thirst)
ત for તાળું (taalum, lock)
ત for તમરું (tamaru, cricket)
ત for તૃપ્ત (trupt, satisfied)
Question of the Week:
Take a break from learning about and stretch your mind with the question of the week!
Q: How do fish breathe underwater? ?
A: Fish do not have lungs like humans. Instead, they have gills. As the gills are exposed to water, they act like filters, removing the carbon dioxide and capturing the oxygen molecules to pass onto the bloodstream. This is a little complicated, but don't worry. There is this awesome blog that breaks down this answer in a kid-friendly way, and also compares gills to coffee filters in a fun experiment.
Check it out at: https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/how-do-fish-breathe/