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 ર.
First up is ર for રીંછ (rinch, bear).
All you need for this is some construction paper and a brown paper bag.
Grab a brown paper bag.
Cut 1 large circle and 2 small circles out of brown construction paper. The large circle will be the head of your bear. Glue this onto the base of the brown paper bag. The 2 small circles will be the ears of your bear. Glue them onto the top of the head where the bear's ears would be.
Cut 1 medium sized circle out of construction paper. Use a lighter color than you used for the rest of the bear. This will be the nose/mouth of your bear. Glue it onto the head of your bear.
Draw a mouth and nose in the middle of the medium sized circle. You can use a pom-pom as the nose as well!
Draw on some eyes onto your bear (or you can use googly eyes like we did).
*** You can use this bear to act out the story of the "Three Little Bears".
Next up is ર for રામાયણ (Ramayan).
The Ramayan is full of some of my favorite stories. Bring these stories to life by making some puppets out of them! Now, you can make fancy puppets (similar to the bear puppet we made), or you can use this hack to make some simpler puppets.
Print out photos of some of your favorite Ramayan characters.
Glue these photos onto a popsicle stick.
You can color the photos to help them come to life!
***Make sure to tell your kid stories about all of the characters you made puppets out of.
Let's put the ર into રંગ (rang, color).
Its time to learn about colors (and shapes) by playing Bingo!
Make a 4 x 4 grid on a plain white sheet of paper.
Have your kid draw different shapes on each square of the grid.
Color the shapes different colors.
Play bingo! (Us pieces of scrap paper as marker pieces so that you can use the same sheet for multiple games).
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 ર share the story of રામદાસ સ્વામી (Raamdas Swami). 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 and qualities helps pique my kid’s interest in great historical figures while also allowing her to practice saying the letter out loud.
The best way to learn a letter is to sing it! Below is one of my favorite songs about everyone's favorite રાજા (raajaa, King)-- Rama.
એક હતો રાજા, Ek Hato Raajaa
એક હતો રાજા/ Ek hato raajaa/ There was once a king
રાજા વગાડે વાજા/ Raajaa vagaade vaajaa/ The king played a musical instrument
વાજા બોલે રામનું નામ/ Vaajaa bhole raamnu naam/ The instrument sung Rama's name
કૌશલ્યા નંદનનું નામ/ Kaushalya nandan nu naam/ The name of Kaushalya's son
રામ ચાલ્યા વનમાં/ Raam chaalyaa vanmaa/ Rama went to the forest
સાથે લક્ષ્મણ સીતા/ Saathe Lakshman Sita/ Lakshman and Sita went with him
ત્યાં આવ્યો રાવણ/ Tyaa avyo Raavan/ There, Raavan came.
સીતાનું કર્યું હરણ/ Sita nu karyu haran/ Raavan kidnapped Sita.
હૂપ હૂપ કરતા વાનર આવ્યા/ Hoop hoop kartaa vaanar aavyaa/ The monkeys then came, shouting "hoop hoop"
સાથે હનુમાન લાવ્યા/ Saathe Hanuman laavyaa/ Hanuman came with the monkeys
હનુમાને માર્યો ભૂસકો/ Hanuman maaryo bhusko/ Hanuman took a leap
રાવણના ઘરમાં ઘુસ્યો/ Raavan na ghar ma ghusyo/ Hanuman snuck into Raavan's house
હનુમાને બાળી લંકા/ Hanuman bhadi Lanka/ Hanuman burned down Lanka
રાવણના મનમાં શંકા/ Raavan na manmaa shankaa/ Raavan thought of Shankar Bhagavan
રામ રાવણ યુદ્ધ કરે/ Rama and Raavan fought
સીતા રામ રાજ કરે/ Sita and Rama ruled
Word Salad: 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 ર!
ર for રમણીય (ramniya, scenic)
ર for રવિ (ravi, sun)
ર for રણ (rana, desert)
ર for રમકડાં (ramakadaa, toys)
ર for રમત (ramat, game)
ર for રસ્તો (rasto, road)
ર for રક્ષણ (rakshan, protection)
Question of the Week: Take a break from learning about ર and stretch your mind with the question of the week!
What are the different seasons/ rutu/ ઋતુ?
શિયાળો (shiyado, winter)
વસંત (vasant, spring)
ઉનાળો (onaado, summer)
ચોમાસુ (chomaasu, monsoon)