These India art activities are wonderful for getting to know Indian leaders and creators, and learning from their gifts and style. Keep reading until the end for some virtual field trips to some amazing museums in India!
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.
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
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
Holidays in India
- India has 3 Official National Holidays
- There are a number of important religious holidays, mostly Hindu.
Consider celebrating Holi with your family. It’s surprisingly inexpensive and really fun – here’s where you can purchase Holi powder yourself!
India Virtual Field Trips to Museums