Speech Therapy Activities for Janamashtami
Speech Therapy Activities for Janamashtami
Festivals bring us all together. They are moments of joy and happiness to celebrate with your family and friends. At festivals everyone comes together as a community to dance on the same tune and enjoy the same vibe!
Moreover, children enjoy festivals more than adults. Festivals mean holidays, sweets, games, decorations, dressing up and loads of fun! Using festival themes to teach children is a great way because children enjoy and imbibe the concepts faster. Teaching and revising speech and language concepts is no different.
In this blog I will cover some easy speech therapy activities for Janamashtami. Furthermore these speech therapy activities can be used by parents as well as educators or professionals. Children with speech delay or autism will also benefit from these activities.
What is Janamashtami?
Janamastami or Krishna Janamashtami is a popular Hindu festival which marks the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. Janamashtami, also called as Krishna Jayanti celebrates the birth (janama) of God Krishna on the eighth (ashtami) day of the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada (August–September). This festival is fondly celebrated by Hindus all over the world with great fanfare and enthusiasm.
Speech Therapy Activities for Janamashtami
1. Krishna/Radha Dress Up
You can dress up your child as Krishna or Radha with minimal items at home. You can simply use a fancy dupatta, peacock feathers, some ornaments and light makeup to do this activity.
Name all items used in the activity (vocabulary building)
Teach the sequence of wearing clothes. Demonstrate the order and then ask the child to tell the correct order. e.g : First we will wear the vest, then the dhoti, after that we will wear the dupatta, then the ornaments. etc.
Click photos after the dress up and ask the child whom all he/she wants to share the pictures with. Talk about grandparents, friends and identify names of relatives
Make a video of the little Krishna/Radha playing the flute. Encourage him to say a few lines or sing a song. Further, show him the video and praise his confidence.
2. Krishna Flute
Getting a simple flute on this Janamashtmi can do wonders for your child. Blowing a flute works on breath support, rounding of lips and coordination of the speech oral motor muscles. Read more about oral motor exercises for children here.
Practice blowing skills with the flute.
Check how loud the child can blow the flute.
Get two flutes and have a flute playing challenge : who can play the loudest flute!
Use a stop watch to measure for how long the child can blow the flute.
Encourage the child to have a good posture, and inhale deeply before attempting to blow.
Breathing muscles aid in speech
3. Art Craft & Decorations
Involving kids in doing hands on crafts is an amazing method for speech language stimulation and practice. Crafts invite repetition, create structure and produce an awesome tangible reward for task completion. Additionally, doing the craft the child can ask for help, use sounds and words and make requests. Furthermore crafts create more opportunities for language expansion in a fun way.
Dahi Handi / Curd Pot :
Paint and decorate an earthen pot with lace or mirror. Krishna and his friends in Gokul used to love eating curd and butter. You can talk about dahi – handi and gopis with the child.
Make a crown at home with cardstock paper/glitter and crayons. Additionally, involve the child in making it.
Janamashtami Greeting card:
Create a Happy Janamashtmi greeting card with your child. You can encourage the child to draw and colour with minimal prompts. Give simple instructions and choices. Give the card to a family member or friend.
Krishna’s play dough idol:
Use play dough or clay to make Kirshna’s idol. By all means, exercising the little fingers, children will be able to practice their fine motor skills with this fun activity. Talk as you make the idol together. Ask simple questions to take the child’s choice into account. “Which colour shall we choose?” “Shall we add white for the curd in the pot?”
Make a colourful rangoli together! Use eco friendly colours or flowers. You can first draw and colour the rangoli on paper. Then referring to it, ask the child about when to use which colour.
Print out Krishna colouring sheet here and encourage your child to colour it. By and large, you can revise all the colour names and give simple directions while colouring.
Aarti Thali Decoration:
Encourage your child to help you in decorating the aarti thali. Get him to pluck flowers, put them in the thali. Arrange the prasad and sweets, put Krishna Idol and make the swastika with red vermilion.
You can make a Krishna Jhoola at home and decorate it with your child. Moreover, you can revise prepositions by putting the Krishna idol in/on/behind/under the jhoola!
Peacock & Flute Bookmarks:
This is a simple activity which you can do with your little one. Draw peacok feather heads and a flute. Stick them on Ice lolly sticks and you’re done. Give choices to your child and take his lead while doing this activity. Use the bookmarks meaningfully to add more to this creation.
Cut out Krishna’s feet on blue card stock paper. Decorate and stick the foot prints on the floor leading to the temple in your house. Tell your child about the significance of the footprints.
4. Reading Krishna Books
Books are a treasure house of learning new words and practising speech sounds. They additionally help to strengthen the foundations of early literacy and reading. Here is a list of books that you can get for your little one on Janamashtmi. Coupled with speaking strategies, books are a powerhouse of knowledge for kids. Read here to learn how to use books in speech therapy.
5. Visit to the Temple
All hindus visit Krishna temple on this auspicious day. Firstly, take your child along with you. Secondly, talk about the different deities, the prasad, the long queues, the decorations in the temple. Finally, let your child explore the festivities! If the child is very young, then take him and narrate and expose him to different new words. For older children, prepare them before hand. Henceforth, ask them to look at all the things in the temple and come home and name any 3 things he liked.
6. Krishna Bhajans & Songs
You will find various Krishna bhajans on YouTube. Play the songs and dance along with the child. You can expose the child to new vocabulary in your mother tongue with this activity. Eventually, listening to the same songs again and again strengthens the vocabulary.
7. Kitchen Activities
All festivals in India call for sweets and savouries. Many Indian households prepare lavish sweets at home as well as order from a local sweet shop. Kitchen activities will provide novel real time opportunities to connect with your child, model correct language and expose him to a variety of meaningful conversations.
Make laddoos/modak at home. Involve your child in helping mix the ingredients, pick up plates and henceforth store the sweets in boxes.
Create a grocery list. Ask your child what he wants to eat on the day of the festival . Put that in the list as a word or a drawing. Additionally, encourage him to tick it off when you go shopping.
8. Krishna Vocabulary
Krishna is said to have 108 names. Teach these common and easy ones to your child.
9. Krishna Sensory Play
Krishna Village Scene: Making a Krishna village scene with sand and small figurines is probably something that we all have done as children. This activity can be used to achieve tons of goals. Collect sand together, make mountains, place the figurines, build small houses and have so much fun together.Let your child explore the sand/ grains/ while doing this activity. Let it get messy but supervise at all times. This activity can be used for identification, naming, command following, sentence building, sitting tolerance, task completion and other goals.
Learn more about how sensory activities facilitate speech and language development here.
I hope these ideas will give you plenty of opportunities to engage with your child! Genuine emotional moments when you connect with your child, foster joint attention. Such occasions lay the foundation of correct modeling of language. All these activities can be done at home. Remember to take the child’s lead. Do not waste money, but make use of items at home. Involving your child is all that matters. Let me know if you find these activities useful! Leave a comment below.