30 Aug Krishna conscious literacy activities and memory games for kids
For this Janmashtami, I want to share with you the activities that will boost up memory, literacy, and creativity of children while focusing their attention on Krishna’s pastimes. These games are ideal for warm-up thinking icebreakers at the beginning of a class. They are also great content for quality time spent with your kids out of school. They are playful and offer a bit of thinking challenge that kids love and need from time to time. At the bottom of this post, you will find a FREE printable resource that you can use for one of the activities listed in this article.
Oral memory game
This is a fun game for developing children’s memory and thinking processes. You need to have a minimum of two players for it (but more players make it more fun!). The first player starts a sentence: I’m walking through the forest of Vrindavana, and I’m seeing… then he says what he sees. The next player has to repeat the sentence of the first player and add what he sees. Each player has to repeat the full sentence of the previous player and add one more thing. For example: I’m walking through the forest of Vrindavana, and I’m seeing Krishna’s footprint. Next one: I’m walking through the forest of Vrindavana, and I’m seeing Krishna’s footprint and a lotus flower. And so on…
When a player omits to repeat everything listed in order, he is out of the game. The winner is the one who stays in the game until the end, leaves nothing out, and does not confuse the order of the listed things.
It is quite a challenging game, even for a parent, to remember it all after many turns. When I play this with my kids, we usually come up to the eleven or twelve things to repeat, but after that, we lose track. Some children will find it more challenging than others. My daughter usually falls out in the middle of the game and sometimes does not want to play at all, but my son is very enthusiastic about it. It is a helpful tip (I always do this) to count the listed objects on your fingers during the game. It helps us by connecting the object with a finger in our memory.
Visual memory game
There are many ways of doing this activity. The essence is that we should create an image of something, for example, a plate with fruit offerings or a simple rangoli design, show it to children for a few seconds, and let them copy what they have seen. They can draw a picture of what they have seen (for rangoli design) or write down the list of fruits in the case of the fruit offering. To add more challenge to the game, you can start with a very simple design, show it to the children, let them copy it. Then you add more shapes, show them again for a few seconds, and let them find and copy what is added.
Composing the parts of the story
You can do this activity using any spiritual story, but for this Janmashtami, I’m giving you a FREE printable resource for the appearance pastime of Lord Krishna. You can use it with children ages 7-12, or younger if they already know to read.
You can begin by reading a pastime of Lord Krishna’s appearance in this material world (story PDF included in the FREE printable). After that, you just need to print out a short description of the story and engage the kids in some of the following activities.
Reading and writing practice
Cut each of the sentences separately. Mix the sentences and ask the child to arrange them in the correct order of the story. You can do it in a few ways.
- Give a set of sentences to each child separately and let them sort them out (for the good readers)
- Place the sentences on a table facing down and let the children take turns drawing one sentence at a time, reading it aloud, and placing it in order. This collaborative process will make it easier for beginning or struggling readers.
- Write sentences on a blackboard or a big sheet of paper but randomly, not in order. Ask the children to write the story description by copying the sentences in order (for writing practice).
- For practicing cursive writing, do the same as above but in cursive letters.
Retelling the story
Ask the children to retell the story of Krishna’s appearance using the sentences in the description. You can do this both orally and in writing. With more children, each one of them can write one part of the story. In the end, everybody can read their work, following the flow of a story.
Another option is that children draw a part of the story instead of writing about it.
Drama and pantomime
Mix the sentences in the box and let the children draw one by one.
Each child should pantomime the sentence they have drawn, while the others should guess which part of the story is that.
With more children, you can divide them into couples or groups and let them dramatize the parts of the story in front of others.
Click on the button below to print out the story and description of Lord Krishna’s appearance pastime for FREE!
I hope that the ideas and printable in this article will help you engage the children in varieties of literacy, dramatic, and playful activities focusing on the divine pastime of the Supreme Lord for this Janmashtami and beyond!
For more fun ideas check out the article I wrote for Balaram Purnima Activities And Games For Children Inspired By The Pastimes Of Krishna And Balarama
If you celebrate Janmashtami at home it might be helpful to read Janmashtami at home with kids
HAPPY JANMASHTAMI TO ALL!