By Sabrina Badal Bharaj @SabBadalB
Teach your kids about Holi with an App!
Holi is right around the corner, March 6 to be exact, and with the arrival of another South Asian holiday comes another round of questions from the kids.
What is Holi? Why do we celebrate it? What do we get to do?
I find these questions come up each time we celebrate something they don’t teach at school. I end up struggling to figure out how I can give my children a deeper understanding of our South Asian heritage without overwhelming them.
Well, there’s an app for that! Holi by Tamarind Tots will help answer some of the kid’s questions about the celebration and since kids love to play with technology, I thought, “why not use it as a learning tool to help navigate me through the process of introducing them to Holi?”
The app is broken down into three sections. “Tell me about Holi”, helps explains the basics of the holiday. It breaks down the information into three chunks; who celebrates it, the history behind it, and some of the traditions associated with the celebration. This section is narrated, but you can always mute the audio and read along with the kids. You can explore questions like:
- Why do we throw colored powder at each other on holi?
- What is the significance of lighting a bonfire on chhoti holi?
- What is lathamar holi and does it really involve women beating men with sticks?
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The next section, “Play Holi”, gives you a chance to teach the kids how to play Holi, without everyone getting dirty and adding to your laundry pile. Kids can load up their weapon of choice and toss some colour at other avatars. You can pick from balloons (gubbaren), colored powder (gulaal), and water pistons (pichkari). This game is a lot of fun; my two-year-old son loved it!
His favourite part is when the avatar dances the Bhangra when it gets another avatar covered with colour.
The last section, “Food Maze”, takes the kids through some of the sweet and savoury South Asian delicacies associated with Holi. My four year old daughter loved matching the avatars with their food of choice. She loves to eat, so she was excited to see what kinds of foods she will get to eat at the Holi celebrations!
We had a great time playing with this app; it was a fun and unique way to introduce Holi to the kids. A few days later we were watching the movie Silsila on TV and the kids both instantly recognized the Holi song and dance number. It was so rewarding to see that they both are interested in learning about their cultural heritage and that the messages I was teaching them had sunk in.
Happy Holi everyone!
Holi with Tamarind Tots is now available through iTunes and Google Play for USD 0.99. The iOS app is universal and will work on your iPad as well as your iPhone devices.
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