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 શ.
First up is શ for શિવલિંગ (Shivaling).
A Shivaling is a representation of Lord Shiva. You can find them in mandirs across the world, but, with this activity, you can bring a Shivaling straight into your home. All you need are some steel cups, steel bowls, water, and a refrigerator.
Check out this YouTube video for more detailed instructions on how to make a Shivaling out of ice:
In honor of Shivaratri (an Indian festival which just passed) you can also do aarti and pray to the Shivaling with your kid!
Next up, is શ for શિયાળ (shiyad, fox).
Make a fox out of your handprint by following these instructions: https://www.crazylaura.com/fox-crafts-for-kids/
Let's put the શ in શોધ (shod, search)
Write the letter "શ" on five blank pieces of paper or sticky notes.
Hide these papers around the house (for example, in the kitchen, playroom, sofa, bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, etc).
Have your kid go on a scavenger hunt and find the different pieces of paper. You can help your kid out by giving them hints. For example, say "hot" when your kid is close to the paper and "cold" when your kid moves away from the paper.
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.
શક્તિ (shakti, strength)
શક્તિશાળી (shaktishaali, strong)
શાંતિ (shaanti, peace)
શુચિ (shuchi, clean/pure)
શીતળ (shital, cool)
**Shivratri just passed, so in honor of this, we did aarti for Shiv Bhagavan, shared a few stories about Shiv Bhagavan, and prayed to the Shivaling we made in his honor!
Sing-A-Long:The best way to learn a letter is to sing it! So, bring the letter શ to life with these songs:
શિવાજી નું હાલરડું (Shivaji nu haalradu) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40U_xR6I7pc
શ્રી કૃષ્ણ શરણં મમ (Shri Krushna sharanam mama) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYw_Zfr4Ls8
શિવજીનું ડમરુ ડમ ડમ વાગે (Shivajinu damaru dam dam vaage) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MKnzV17-n0&ab_channel=RDCBhaktiSagar
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 શ!
શ for શાક (shaak, vegetables)
શ for શરદી (shardi, cold)
શ for શરણ (sharan, refuge)
શ for શિકાર (shikaar, hunting)
શ for શિકારી (shikaari, hunter)
શ for શ્લોક (shlok, verse)
શ for શિયાળ (shiyaad, fox)
શ for શંખ (shank, conch)
શ for શનિ (shani, saturn)
શ for શેરડી (sherdi, sugarcane)
શ for શીંગડા (shingadaa, horns)
શ for શરીર (sharir, body)
શ for ઈશાન (ishaan, northeast)
શ for શિયાળો (shiyaado, winter)
શ for શરબર્ટ (sherbert)