Welcome to I is for India for the Global Children’s Book Club! Today we’ll be going on a virtual tour of India for kids. Get ready for a fun and inspiring India virtual field trip – perfect for global education at home or for a India homeschooling unit.
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Here’s the 2020 Global Children’s Book Club discussion schedule!
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I is for India: India Virtual Tour for Kids
Featured India Book
10 Gulab Jamuns by Sandhya Acharya (Author)
Copies of the book are currently being reprinted in their third print! Autographed copies are available at sandhyaacharya.com.
Author Read Aloud
10 Gulab Jamuns Picture Book Discussion Questions
- How did Mamma make the gulab jamuns? What is something you like to cook?
- Have you ever wanted a treat so much that it’s so hard to resist, even though you know you should?
- Have you ever felt like you wanted to hide when you’ve made a wrong choice?
- What did the children do to help fix their mistake? Can you think of a time when you’ve done something wrong and sacrificed play time to help make it better? How do you feel when you apologize and fix a wrong choice?
- Have you ever had so many sweets that you don’t want any more?
Other India Books for Kids
- The capital of India is New Delhi.
- The official name of the country is the Republic of India (Bhārat Gaṇarājya in Hindi).
- The Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) is responsible for running the government. The President (Ram Nath Kovind) is the head of State.
- India has the 2nd largest population in the world after China.
- India is located on a subcontinent in Asia. The peninsula is shaped like a triangle!
- India borders 7 countries.
- There is no national language in India. The official language of the Union is Hindi (note: Hindi is the language, Hindu is the religion), and the official government language is English. States can choose their own languages.
- The currency in India is the rupee. $1 USD ~ 75 rupees.
- Most of India has a tropical climate, which means very hot summers, a rainy season, and mild winters.
- India is about 80% Hindu. Other religions include Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Hinduism has a LOT of deities that are common in Indian culture.
- The primary industries include harvesting raw material from nature, such as logging, agriculture, oil & gas, etc.
- Tamil, an Indian language, is thought to be the oldest language in the world. It is still spoken today!
- The oldest continuously inhabited city in the world is Varanasi, India.
- India has the second-largest English-speaking population (after the USA).
- India used to be an island! About 50 million years ago, that island collided with the rest of Asia to create what is now the Himalaya mountain range, the tallest and youngest mountain range.
- More vegetarians live in India than in any other country in the world.
Color in India on this map of Asia!
Asia for Kids: Flag Activity
There are 3 colors in the flag for the Indian Republic:
- Saffron = courage & sacrifice
- White = honesty, peace, & purity
- Green = faith & chivalry
- Ashoka Chakra (blue) = 24 spokes representing different principles (such as love, courage, patience, etc.) and also the hours of the day
Flag from HERE
HERE is a fun printable India flag coloring sheet!
India Virtual Tour to a Featured Landmark
The Taj Mahal is a beautiful and famous white mausoleum, or tomb, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The whole thing is made out of white marble! She died while giving birth to one of their children and he eventually was laid to rest next to her.
Jaipur is called the pink city because of the hue of many of its main buildings, including the Amer Fort and Hawa Mahal. It has beautiful gardens and a City Palace, and is the capital of the state of Rajasthan.
Featured Indian Artist: Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar was an Indian classical musician. He also wrote a great deal of Hindustani classical music. In addition to writing music, he was one of the most famous sitar players of the 20th century. He also often played with tabla players, a type of Indian drum.
Ravi started out in the arts as a dancer and toured Europe while dancing. But he soon gave up dancing to take sitar lessons. After completing his studies and working as a composer for a short period, he began to tour Europe and the Americas as a musician. He relied heavily on Carnatic music influences, a style of Indian classical music, especially from Southern India.
Ravi was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honor in India.
Featured Important Indian Person: Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas, or Mahatma, Gandhi helped lead India to independence from Great Britain. He was a proponent of nonviolent methods and inspired nonviolent movements for civil rights all across the world.
Gandhi was a devout Hindu and also was a trained lawyer. He lived in South Africa for over 20 years and learned about nonviolent resistance there. Gandhi did a great deal to help with poverty in India, and also supported women’s rights. He also ended sanctioning a group of untouchables, or people who were separated from society due to their background.
Gandhi’s birthday is a national holiday in India and is celebrated on October 2nd. It is also recognized around the world as the International Day of Nonviolence.
Featured Indian Food: Indian Recipes for Kids
Indian food tends to be heavily spiced with chili, cumin, coriander, and more. A food that is flavored with a mix of spices is called a curry. Indians traditionally eat with their right hand, but many now use western utensils. If you don’t feel up to making a whole recipe, consider just smelling a few of the common Indian spices you may have in your cupboard! Many grocery stores also have frozen Indian entrees and naan bread, or you could visit a local Indian restaurant.
Here are some of our favorite kid friendly Indian food recipes!
- Simple and kid-friendly Instant Pot Indian chickpea curry (Instant Pot chana masala recipe). My 9 year old can make this recipe on his own, so you definitely can, too!
- 30 minute dal
- Cucumber raita
- Mango lassi – an Indian mango and yogurt drink
Indian Craft & Culture Activity for Kids
Art in India is very old! It dates back to before recorded history. In fact, the oldest art currently known in the world was discovered in India in 1957.
- The oldest art currently discovered in the world are the Bhimbetka Petroglyphs (290,000-700,000 BC).
- Discussion Question: What is a petroglyph? (rock carvings)
- The art consists of numerous cupules, cup-shaped depressions.
- These rock shelters are located in central India.
- Rangoli is an art form in which colored natural materials, such as colored rice or chalk, are used to make beautiful patterns.
- Sculpture is also very popular and ancient people often made it out of bronze or terra cotta.
- Painting, architecture, and textiles are other important art forms in India through time.
Indian Petroglyph Activity for Kids
- A few large, smooth rocks
- Some smaller rocks with sharper edges
- Paint + paint brushes
Ancient petroglyphs weren’t just used to make a place beautiful. Instead, they were used to share ideas and messages. They used ancient symbols that are different than our own, but they may have shared similar ideas.
Discuss what different symbols mean in your family or culture. For instance, if you included a sun or a baseball bat, what would that mean?
Imagine you’d like to send a secret message to a friend or family member. What would you draw on your rock to send your message?
After discussing the symbols, create a few different rock art images. You may like to paint them, as well. Pass them around and see if others can figure out what they mean!
REFERENCE for doing a petroglyph activity with kids
Other India Activities for Kids: India STEM and Craft Activities
- Learn how to wear a sari or dhoti with an old sheet. You can even design your own with fabric markers!
- Ancient Indian irrigation systems STEM challenge
- Build a Taj Mahal model out of LEGOs
- Design a poster for one of the animals in this National Geographic documentary about the world’s deadliest animals in India
- Create a rangoli design with sidewalk chalk
- India has 3 Official National Holidays
- Republic Day (Jan 26 – constitution came into effect and made India a republic)
- Independence Day (Aug 15 – gained independence from the UK)
- Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday (Oct 2)
- There are a number of important religious holidays, mostly Hindu.
- Diwali – festival of lights (an excellent book HERE, or videos HERE and HERE)
- Holi (spring festival, 7 minute Holi video for kids)
- Ganesha festival
Consider celebrating Holi with your family. It’s surprisingly inexpensive and really fun – here’s where you can purchase Holi powder yourself!
Indian Crafts Activities for Kids: Indian Coloring Pages
- Hindu deities coloring pages
- Rangoli coloring page
Coloring page from HERE
Animals in India
Hindus consider cows sacred. Because of this, they often wander in the streets in India and no one stops them! Some parts of India also ban beef for this reason.
It is also very common to see monkeys in India.
India also has a number of endangered animal species.
India Movement Activities
Cricket and badminton are popular in India. Here’s a simple badminton set if you’d like to play on your own. It’s a perfect backyard activity!
The earliest known predecessor of chess was probably invented in India. If you’ve never played before, it’s a perfect time to try out this Indian game!
Dance is also very popular in India. A couple of popular dance forms are Bollywood and Bhangra. Bollywood dance is typically used in that style of movie. Bhangra is a very active dance form with lots of shoulder and leg movement. Here’s a fun video to learn some bhangra steps!
Children’s Games in India
If you’re looking for some other ideas for Indian games and activities, here are a few simple and fun ones:
- Five stones
Kid Movies About India
Plan a Trip to India with Kids!
After having all this fun, consider planning a virtual or real trip. What sites or cities would you visit? What food would you eat? Here’s a list of 7 reasons to visit India with kids.
India Conversations with a Local: Culture, History, & Food Discussion Video
India for Kids Discussion Questions
- Mahatma Gandhi used nonviolent protest to help India become independent. Do you think this is the only acceptable way?
- What does it mean to be a vegetarian?
- India has many languages. What are the advantages and disadvantages of allowing states to choose their own languages?
- What is an Indian instrument you’d like to try?
- For which Indian animal are you most concerned?
Thanks for Taking a Virtual Visit to India With Us!
We’ve loved putting together this resource to virtually visit India. We’d love to hear if you do any of these activities for a homeschooling India unit, or if you visit in person!
We hope to inspire curiosity and connection through exploring and learning, and we hope this guide helps you and your families. Please share any activities you do with us over on our Instagram. And we’d be delighted if you passed this India for kids virtual tour and homeschooling resource along to others, as well!
IF YOU LIKED THIS INDIA VIRTUAL TOUR, YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE POSTS TOO:
- GCBC Virtual Travel Guides
- 7 Reasons to Visit India with Kids
- 50 Easy and Hard Aspects to Visiting India with Kids
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