The story of how we achieved our independence is a beautiful one, but it’s one your toddler is not going to have much appreciation for. During our childhood, we still had some individuals who had lived through the Independence struggle, but now we are slowly losing touch with the true meaning of patriotism.
Here’s how you can get your toddler just a wee bit excited about Gandhi Jayanti, Republic Day or Independence Day.
So for a little one, the most important thing is getting to do what he/she wants. So ask your little toddler how he would feel if he wasn’t allowed to play when he wanted or to eat his favorite food when he wanted. Tell him, that when he can do what he wants he is free, when not, then it means he is not free. Explain to him that parents are also free to work where they want, go where they want because India is a free country.
After you’re done explaining about freedom, talk a little bit about Britain. Use a map to show them how far Britain is and how Britishers used ships to travel and reach India. You can also give him a refresher course about Britain if you want – London Eye, Big Ben, and the works.
Try to list the strengths and weaknesses of both countries. Say that Britain was very good at making things while India was good at growing things like spices and cotton. Try to gently explain to him that Britain was a small island where many things didn’t grow while India was a very fertile land. So the Britishers came to India and slowly liked everything they saw. They liked it so much that they wanted it for themselves.
Move on to explaining to them that they slowly started imposing their wishes on all Indians, telling them what they could and couldn’t do. While our freedom struggle spanned decades, in fact, a century, it will be difficult for toddlers to comprehend, so stick to Gandhi and the non-violence freedom struggle.
This will be a great moment to teach him that the path to “not fighting” is what helped India get freedom. Explain that eventually, Britishers realized that Mahatma Gandhi was correct and decided to let Indians have their freedom.
So, now finally we come to the celebrations part! You can also do some fun themed Montessori games for kids. Focus on the Indian colors of saffron, white and green as the Tricolor is something your kiddo is bound to see everywhere! You can tell him that Indians together decided that the “Tricolor” was the best flag and adopted it as the national flag, which is why everyone is waving it today!
Get him to wave the flag, and he will definitely feel part something special! How does your family celebrate Indian national holidays? Share in the comment section below.
This is a guest post by Anajana Bhartia from Mommy Republic. For more on parenting follow them on the blog here.