Let's Learn About ન!
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 ન.
First up is ન for નક્ષત્રો (nakshatro, constellations):
With all the pollution in the world it isn't always easy to see constellations, but with this activity you can bring them back into your home! You can either make a traditional constellation like the Big Dipper (AKA Saptarshi in Gujarati) OR you can make a constellation based on your kid's rashee.
Find some thick cardboard. We just cut an old box into notecard-sized pieces.
Draw circles to represent stars for whichever constellation you chose. We decided to draw the Gemini constellation to represent my kid's raashi.
Use a hole punch or some scissors to make a small hole over each of the above circles.
Thread some string through a plastic needle. (Plastic needles are a great way to help your kid practice hand-eye coordination through sewing in a safe way).
Use your plastic needle to weave in and out of the holes to connect the "stars" and create your constellation.
**Check out this blog for more instructions on how to sew with your kid: https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/53553/star-sewing-cards-kids
Next up is ન for નિસર્ગ (nisarg, nature) and નામ (naam, name):
This activity is a really simple way to bring nature into your home and practice writing names!
Go on a walk. While on your walk, point out different things you see in nature, like trees or flowers.
Scavenge for some art supplies while on your walk. You don't need to pick leaves or flowers off of trees, there are plenty flowers/sticks/leafs on the ground that have already fallen that you can use! Try to find a variety of things since you will use these to create letters and ultimately your kid's name!
Write your kid's name in both English and Gujarati. Then have your kid look through the nature art supplies you just found to recreate his/her name using nature!
Last up is ન for નખ (nakh, nail):
Who doesn't like nail polish! Even if your kid is not old enough to put nail polish on their own nails, they can still participate in this fun activity.
Make outlines of your kid's hands on a piece of spare card board.
Draw nails on the hands.
Paint the nails with nail polish!
** This is a really simple activity, but it will force your kid to practice painting within the lines in a fun way.
Let's practice our opposites! Say the following words that start with ન and have your kid guess the opposite of each word!
નીચે / ઉપર (neechu, down/ upar, up)
નવું / જૂનું (navu, new/ juunu, old)
નાનું / મોટું (naanu, small/ motu, big)
નબળું /તાકાત (nabalum, weak/ taakaat, strong)
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 ન share the story of the Nachiket, the boy who knocked on Death's door. You can read this stories (and more) under the “Gujarati stories” tab on our website.
You can also share the store of Naataal (Christmas)!
While learning letters is super important, learning character is even more important. So why not do both simultaneously? Associating letters with characters and qualities helps pique my kid’s interest in great historical figures while also allowing her to practice saying the letter out loud.
નરસિંહ મેહતા (Narsinh Mehta)
નિર્ભેય (nirbhay, fearless)
નિશ્ચિત (nishchit, determined)
નમ્રતા (namrata, humility)
નિસ્વાર્થ (niswarth, selfless)
નિયમિત (niyamit, regular/consistent)
નાતાલ (Naataal, Christmas)
નાગપંચમી (Naag Panchmi)
**Check out the main site for some worksheets and stories about Navratri
The best way to learn a new letter is to sing it! This week check out these two songs:
Nani maari aankh: https://youtu.be/dkrPZM_lSlo
Nani teri morni: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrynT4T55Xc
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 ન!
ન for નારંગી (narangi, orange)
ન for નિશાળ (nishaal, school)
ન for નદી (nadi, river)
ન for નવગ્રહ (navgrah, nine planets)
ન for નાહવું (naahvu, bathe)
ન for નળ (nad, faucet)
ન for નીલગીરી (nilgiri, eucalyptus)
ન for નોળિયો (noliyo, mongoose)
ન for નમસ્તે (Namaste)
ન for નગારા (nagaaro, drums)
ન for નાક (naak, nose)
ન for નેત્ર (netra, eye)
ન for નેતા (netaa, leader)
ન for નાટક (naatak, play)
ન for નાગ (naag, snake)
ન for નાતી (naati, grandson)
ન for નર (nar, man)
ન for નારી (nari, woman)
ન for નેતર (netar, cane)
ન for નવ (nav, nine)
ન for નારાયણ (Narayan)