Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival that is celebrated almost in every state of India. Kids love this Elephant God Ganesh with his round belly and swinging trunk as he looks cute and friendly to them. Moreover, he is said to be the Vighnaharta – the remover of obstacles and this is why kids believe that praying to him, will make their life trouble-free.

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the month of September with great pomp and show in India by creating idols of Ganesh, worshipping them and finally immersing them in water after the pooja. In Maharashtra, this festival is celebrated for 10 days and in South India, just for one day. Be it one or ten, it is a beautiful sight to see the procession of Ganeshas parading through the town on the final day of the visarjan or immersion.

With eco-consciousness being the need of the hour, people have stopped using paper-mache and plasticine for creating Ganeshas and are instead moving to eco-friendly options like clay, mud, etc. Let us take this opportunity to involve children in the spirit of this festival by teaching them to create Ganesh idols at home or school.

Creating Ganesh idols with kids.

1. Clay Ganesha

This cute Clay Ganesh is very easy to make and is ready within minutes. Small kids love to make this  Ganesha as it involves dabbling with clay.

Materials needed:  Potter’s Clay, Water,  small black beads, a bowl to mix, newspaper to spread

Procedure

  1.    Spread the newspaper on the ground or table.
  2.   Take the clay in the bowl.
  3.   Add water little by little to it and knead it to form a dough similar to the chapati dough.
  4.   Make 2 round balls- one big and one small.
  5.   Place the small ball as the head on the large ball which is the body.
  6.   Make four small balls of dough and shape them into carrots. These are the arms and legs of the Ganesh.
  7.   Place the 2 arms and 2 legs on the  body
  8.   Make another carrot shape and bend it to form the trunk. Attach the trunk to the face.
  9.   Make 2 small balls and flatten them as the ears. Attach the ears to either side of the face.
  10.  Lastly, make 2 small balls and shape them into 2 tusks- one long and one short. Attach them to the trunk on   either side.
  11.  Place 2 black beads as the eyes of the Ganesha.
  12.  Your cute little clay Ganesha is ready. Allow him to dry and then worship him with flowers.

2. Wheat Ganesha

This Ganesha is made solely of edible items like wheat flour, turmeric etc. which are available at home and are eco-friendly.

Materials needed: Wheat Flour, Turmeric, Peppercorns, cotton thread,  beetroot, kumkum, 2 small stick/ toothpicks.

Procedure

  1. Make a soft dough of Wheat flour with water.
  2. Now make 2  balls out of the dough – one small for the head and the other big one for the body.
  3. Place the small ball on top of the big one.
  4. Insert a small stick or toothpick into the head and body so that it goes straight through both, holding them together.
  5. Now merge the lines between the head and body by kneading.
  6. Make a small ball of the dough, knead it into a long tube and attach it to the face for the trunk. Fold the trunk to one side. Merge the trunk to the face and body.
  7. Form the head portion, flatten out the ears on either side.
  8. Make 2 small discs out of the dough – one large and one small. Place the large disc on top of the head covering the toothpick. Now place the smaller one. Cover this with a tiny ball of dough. This forms the crown of the Ganesha.
  9. Now make a small ball and place it in the bent trunk as his favourite sweet- the “modak”
  10. Then take some dough, knead it as a tube. Shape one end of the tube as a snake’s head. attach the snake to Ganesha’s waist.
  11. Place 2 peppercorns as the eyes of the Ganesha.
  12. Now make 2 small tusks from the dough- one long and one short and place it on either side of the trunk. Merge these tusks to the trunk and body by using toothpick gently.
  13. Your Ganesha is ready. Place him on a slice of beetroot as his seat with some rice and a coin underneath.
  14. Worship Ganesha with flowers and kumkum.

Make this Ganesh Chaturthi more special by getting kids to create their own Ganeshas at home or school and worship them heartily.

Letspractise wishes you all a Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

The term “Raksha Bandhan”, literally means, “the bond of protection”.

This is an event that is most looked forward to by the people of India and the only occasion that celebrates the relationship between a brother and a sister. Although there is a story that goes way back to why this practice of tying a decorated rope or a bracelet called ‘Rakhi’ around the brother’s wrist, the whole idea has been forgotten. To the forgotten few, there are a great many myths but this one stands out to honor the brother-sister like relationships is the battle fought by Alexander the Great. The people of India have been practicing this for decades from the Hindu, Jain and Sikh religious backgrounds but in the recent years, it isn’t about it being a religious practice anymore but simply the honoring of this special bond we Indians give the greatest importance to.

So the practice goes like this. After the ceremonial tying of the ‘rakhi’ around the brother’s wrist, the sister applies a tilak, a colorful mark on the brother’s forehead and wishes him a long and healthy life and in return, the brother pledges to protect her and take care of her come what may. The most exciting part is when the brother presents his sister with a gift and the ritual is wrapped up with the distribution of sweets.

Choosing a rakhi for your brother is quite a simple task but for the brother in order to pledge his love for his sister can clearly be done through the chosen gift. Now, this process could be quite tedious and we all know how it could possibly go down when a sister hasn’t been gifted anything close to her expectation. For all those brothers out there confused on what to get your sister this year.

Here are the top 3 items that you could choose from but whatever you choose make sure it’s personal.

Buying a gift for a woman can be quite a task and you could go wrong in a million ways but personalizing anything for a woman sends the message that says ‘you care’ and that you have taken the time to choose and not just something that you have grabbed off the shelf.

1. Photographs

Choose one of your best moments together, be it in your adulthood or when you were kids. Memories are always cherished. ‘Go big or go home’! In order to stay trendy and suit your sister’s apartment choose a canvas wooden frame. It’s trendy with a contemporary look. She could display it anywhere in her home and be reminded of the bond you share.

2. Jewellery

These are a girl’s best friend. From gold to silver to simply choosing from those fancy beady ethic works will bring a huge smile on her face but make sure you choose wisely where the gift is a reminder of your relationship and not just extravagant. Choose from daily wear where she will be reminded of your constant love and protection or jewellery that is to be used on special occasions as a way to cherish your bond on those special days.

3. Wristwatches

It has been a recent trend to gift your sister a watch. It is both symbolic as well as a necessity. When the watch ticks every day it will be a constant reminder that you are always around and only a call away. The watch companies have realized that this is one such gift that tops the list so there are various offers for this auspicious day. Don’t forget to choose based on her personality. If your sister is a tom-boy choosing a delicate feminine one could send the wrong message. Choose wisely!

Giving a gift to your sister doesn’t always have to be extravagant. It is a day where you celebrate each other, therefore, don’t sweat it if you have a low budget simply keep in mind to be that protective, loving and caring brother you ought to be. Take her out to lunch, get to know what’s going on in her life, show her your support. We are all clearly aware that all relationships are not perfect and if you and your sister had a tiff make amends, put the past behind as nothing is as strong as a bond between siblings.

August 15 is here. Schools often celebrate our nation’s Independence day by hoisting the tricolour flag, singing patriotic songs and delivering speeches on the nation’s struggle for freedom. If your child is going to be one of the speakers on Independence Day, you have every reason to be proud of him/her. But surely, your child might require some help here. So it’s time to help your child to prepare an Independence day speech and here are some tips.

Preparing your child for the Independence Day Speech

  1. A sense of pride and honour

First, instil a sense of pride and honour in your child. Yes, the very fact that he is going to deliver a speech on our nation on Independence day shows his contribution to the national spirit.  Appreciate this heartily and ask your child to look upon this speech as an honourable task. Your child will then take extra effort in ensuring a perfect delivery of the Independence day address.

  1. Recall history

Independence day is the occasion to celebrate our sovereignty as a nation and the freedom we gained through non-violence. The uniqueness of our freedom struggle in the Pacific path we tread, adhering to Mahatma Gandhi’s code of ahimsa and non-violence. Recall all the historical moments like the Sepoy Mutiny, the Non-Cooperation Movement, Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Civil Disobedience Movement and Quit India movement to trace the timeline of our freedom’s history. This will help the child to recall the main points while delivering his speech.

  1. Outline the facts

Our nation’s independence was won with great hardships and the united efforts of many leaders. Teach your child the facts about the freedom struggle like the names of the leaders, the important places of protest, the preamble of our constitution, the meaning of our national anthem etc. Learning this would make your child deliver an enthusiastic speech with an emotional overtone.

  1. Introduce sayings of leaders

“Swaraj is our birthright,” said Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Quotations like these had a great impact on the freedom struggle. Introduce quotations like these as part of your child’s speech to make it more relevant and convincing.

  1. Nurture values

Illustrate real-life incidents as examples of the values of honesty, truth, and patriotism from the lives of leaders like Gandhi, Nehru, Netaji etc.  Build a sense of patriotism by inspiring your child with their determination, courage and integrity of character.

Make your child understand that the independence we gained was not won easily. So the freedom should be exercised judiciously without harming others. Teach your child the qualities of equality and justice and how they play a major role in current society.

  1. Prepare rich content

A speech for Independence day must be power-packed with rich content consisting of historical facts, quotations, dates, statistics etc. The content should not only be informative but interactive and engaging. Create a unique and stylized content that impresses the audience.

  1.  Offer an easy flow of content

Help your child compile a speech in a simple and lucid language that is easy for him. Avoid using tough and bombastic words that are hard to pronounce. Using too much mathematical data in the speech also makes the speech boring. Allow your child to enjoy each and every word he speaks.

  1. Encourage inputs from the child

Welcome your child’s inputs and suggestions on the speech. Allow him/her to unleash their creativity and express in their own words. This builds their confidence and morale.

  1. Practise

Every child will be nervous when he/she faces the audience. Get your child to practise the speech in front of your family members and encourage the child to speak boldly. Practice makes the child perfect in the rendition of the speech.

  1. Motivate

Encourage your child to participate and perform in such public activities. Emphasize that participation is more important than winning and also underline the fact that with practice, anything can be achieved.

Prepare your child for the Independence day speech using the above tips and watch him/her emerge a sure winner, wishes from Letspractise

It is during the early developing years that the character building process takes place for a child. It is quite clear to us that educational institutions especially schools play an important role in shaping the personality and character of an individual thus influencing small communities, in turn, influencing the society at large. But is this known fact taken seriously enough to make a change? Let’s look at the current educational system! We are a part of a society that emphasizes on academic excellence and progress which is simply about the end result rather than the journey and it is high time the adults and influential members of the educational institutions actively rise to bring about the change that is needed in our society.

We are often told that it is a ‘big bad world’ out there! Is that the idea we want to instil in the minds of our future professionals and leaders? Instead, we need to create a systematic psychological pattern of behaviour to be developed at an early age to help them face the realities of our world.

1. Emphasis on strong personality development 

Why is this important? Our schools for some reason do not give room for individuality which results in mediocrity. Who would prefer to be a part of a society with a bunch of averaged potential individuals? We strive for excellence and excellence doesn’t necessarily mean it paves a way for unhealthy competition but it allows us to be the best version of ourselves. It is the role of the teacher to embrace each student’s individuality; assist in enhancing their positive aspects and creating activities that best suit their individuality. This, in turn, would result in creating a class of 40 different special individuals with firm personalities which comprise of confidence, a person of moral values and excellence in their areas of expertise. Hence when life throws a curve ball at us we have our character and values to fall back on to make the right decisions.

2. Breaking stereotypical ideologies

Since when did labelling and categorical divisions based on the behaviour of the majorities define a person? Gender differences, caste, and creed, religion or something as simple as one’s own preference gets put into categories thus diminishing the individual’s potential. Breaking these barriers that make these individuals conform to the roles they have been slotted into should be brought down. Thus, when society uses their judgement to label a person these future generations have already mastered the art of breaking down stereotypical barriers and are already on their way to stand out in the society for their true potential and not labels.

3. Mental Health 

There is ample amount of importance given to physical health but have you ever wondered about the need for mental health. There needs to be a balance in schools which give equal importance to academics, physical development, and mental health. Here we simply do not speak of improving the mental health of a student but also a teacher as well. It has been recorded that 300 million of the society has been diagnosed with depression by the WHO out of which according to the National Crime Records Bureau, every hour, one student commits suicide in India and the suicide rate of students has been on a high rise. How do we tackle this situation? Meditation and exercise go hand in hand. It releases a balance of ‘happy chemicals’ in our brain in order to eliminate the slightest signs of mental illness.

4. Emotional Quotient

EQ should be given high importance yet we seldom hear the term. EQ is nothing but the ability to identify, apply, comprehend and handle one’s emotions. With the noticeable rise in mood swings and emotional immaturity among students these days it is essential that educational institution provide students with programs that enhance their EQ levels as it is can be both obtained or acquired with guided programs.

The above points are just the basic strategies in creating a strong survivor of the society. Although the above are important, a teacher plays a major role in the life of an individual. We have vivid memories of how our teachers have contributed to the choices we’ve made in our personality, behaviourisms and even our choices in career.

Educational institutions are making conscious efforts in promoting an all-round development of an individual before he heads off into the world.

The importance of all the above is a subtle part of Letspractise. Overcoming learning difficulties, testing students abilities and areas of weakness, and creating tailormade learning material to best suit their needs is a top priority at this forum.

If you need assistance in areas such as chapter wise assessment, tailormade worksheets, and analysis of teaching methodologies to suit your child, do get in touch with Letspractise and allow us to assist in enhancing your child’s learning experience.

Is there any blueprint for success? There is- it is hard work and practice. Believe it or not, if you question the study habits of the toppers at any school, one commonality that emerges is daily practice. State and school toppers have admitted that studying daily had reduced their exam stress by 75%. They also claimed that they allocated specific hours of the day to study consistently and practise question papers.

Let us try to analyze why daily practice is a successful habit which can change your life.

Why daily practice gives success to a student?

  1. Daily practice lessens the load of studies.

Every school day has nearly 8 periods of study. At the end of the day, a substantial amount of portions has been covered up. If the student does not brush up the chapters every day with daily practice, he is sure to struggle on the exam day. This is because the entire portions will start tumbling on his head like a ton of bricks. This causes stress and tension as there is limited time on hand and excessive portions to cover.

But with daily practice, lessons are covered little by little and by the time the exam arrives, the student is thorough in his lessons.

  1.    Helps to keep main points in mind

Sometimes teachers give valuable points, references and tips which might be available in the book. The student jots this down and forgets it later. If he adopts the daily practice routine, he is bound to revise this extra information and make full use of them.

  1.     Clarify doubts immediately

Tough concepts in Maths and Science are difficult to understand in the first instance. When the student adopts a routine of daily practice, several doubts arise which he is able to clarify immediately or the next day in class. If the student keeps a backlog of portions, the doubts will get accumulated and he will never be able to comprehend the chapter fully.

  1.     Helps the student to review and self-analyze

As a result of daily practice, the student is able to identify his strengths and weaknesses in studies. He is able to assess the extent of portions covered and earmark which chapters need more revision and study.

  1.     Helps the student to plan better

With daily practice, the student acquires the ability to plan better. He is able to chalk out a study timetable and an exam study plan. this planning ability will give him valuable expertise in the long run.

  1.     Helps the student to manage time better

Time management comes easy for a student who has a routine of daily practice. The student is able to manage time effectively and allocate hours for both study and games.

  1.    Builds consistency and leadership

If daily practice becomes a habit, it builds the quality of consistency. This trait is a leadership quality which will shape the personality of the student in the coming years.

Making daily practice a habit -some tips for students

  • Get up early in the morning. This gives you extra time.
  • Allot hours for study- preferably in the early morning and evening.
  • An hour before school and an hour after school will do.
  • Revise the lessons in the morning
  • Work out practice question papers in the evening. Use online sites like Letspractise to navigate your portions in an easier manner.
  • Give an off during Sunday to relax yourself.
  • Scale up the study hours according to the need like exam time or after a vacation.
  • Never miss the routine.

One in a hundred students may be a born genius but the rest of the 99 can become winners too by daily practice.  Become a winner by making daily practice a habit and by using Letspractise to sharpen your academic skills.