Babies and Krishna
Updated: Feb 2, 2021
Krishna is such a fun and playful Hindu deity and I feel that he’s synonymous with mischief and babies. 😊 Even though most part of the world would have celebrated his birthday i.e. Krishna Jayanthi by now, I anticipate the celebration in our home to continue a bit longer. Babies absorb everything by being in the environment, which is one of the fundamental principles of Montessori. We’re weaving cultural elements to our daily routine, while celebrating the spirit of Krishna and creating opportunities for cultural immersion for LO to stay connected to our roots. In this blog post, I will be sharing Krishna Jayanthi themed DIYs and activities.
Music is an integral part of our day. As I’ve mentioned in one of my earlier blog posts, I sang to LO in the delivery room right after she was born. 😊 Music helps not only with auditory development, but also facilitates language development. These are some of the ways we’ve been integrating music to our day, especially on lines of Krishna theme.
Slokas: LO typically joins us for prayer times if she’s awake and she listens to our chant of simple 2 or 4 line slokas. Today we recited a couople of elaborate ones such as Krishna Ashtakam.
Devotional songs and bhajans: After our daily prayers, we usually play a few devotional songs. This week we’re playing Classical songs such as Alaipaayuthey Kanna and Krishna bhajans like Jaya Janardhana Krishna, which LO seems to enjoy.
Lullabies: Quiet and melodious background music can be soothing to infants, especially at bedtime. LO has a few favorite lullabies, both in Tamil and other languages. We try to introduce new lullabies for some added variety; some of them works for her and some don’t. This week we’ve added a couple of Krishna songs such as Aayarpaadi maaligaiyil and some flute instrumental.
Regardless of the baby’s gender, most Hindu babies are dressed up as Little Krishna at least once during their childhood. With simple supplies from home – a chart paper and a gift wrapper - we whipped out a quick crown for Baby Krishna. Since we had a couple of peacock feathers at home for decor, we repurposed it for the crown. Check out the free activity kit by Culture Groove Kids which has instructions of how to make Krishna crown along with other craft ideas and activities for children.
It’s a tradition to draw footprints using rice flour from the entrance of home to the prayer room to symbolize the welcoming of Krishna. As much as I had loved to make the footprints using LO’s feet, the floors here are not water friendly. Instead I printed clipart of footprints, cut them and laid them on the floor. LO was keenly observing as I positioned each footprint on the floor.
A discovery basket / treasure basket is a collection of few items of interest to babies in a basket or a bowl; they could be of different textures, colors and sizes. It is important to ensure that they are safe to mouth. Discovery baskets are usually a hit with babies since they find absolute joy to discover each item and explore them. When I think of Lord Krishna, the first imagery that comes to my mind is the mischievous Bala Krishna (Little Krishna) stealing butter from pots. I’ve blended this activity with the concept of discovery baskets and introduced “discovery pot” to LO. I filled a stainless steel pot from the kitchen with some of her favorite toys such as grasping beads, sensory ball, bell rattle which resulted in an extended period of engagement and exploration. Even though the pot is safe, this activity requires adult supervision.
My Divine Friends by Talegari tales has been on our bookshelf for almost a month now and it sparks interest to LO to explore the different textures on each page every time we read it. This has been a very apt read to continue our theme for Krishna Jayanthi.
Apart from the religious aspect, I believe that Krishna Jayanthi rekindles the inner child in each one of us.
How did you celebrate Krishna Jayanthi with your little ones?