India Preschool Theme
A literature-rich India preschool theme including a map, flag, craft and other interesting facts about India.
Introduce your children to countries, people and cultures from around the world.
Start with this quick Introduction to the World
Locate India on a map of the world or a globe. Let your children colour in the printable map of India provided in the
India Theme Printables
Flag of India
The Indian flag is a horizontal rectangular tricolour of saffron (golden-yellow), white and green; with the Ashoka Chakra, a 24-spoke wheel, in blue at its centre.
Traditional Indian Clothing
The sari is one of the most popular garments worn by Indian women. A sari is made from a couple of yards of fabric, which are wrapped in such a way that one end forms a skirt and the other end is a head or shoulder covering.. A short top called a choli is usually worn with a sari.
These days the men generally dress in western-style clothing, but in rural villages, some men still wear a short sarong called a lungi, a longer sarong called a dhoti which is pulled up between the legs. A lenga is a loose pant-style piece of clothing tradtionally worn by men.
The dot that Indian women wear on the centre of the forehead is known as a Bindi dot. Traditionally it is a dot of red colour applied in the center of the forehead close to the eyebrows, but it can also consist of a sign or piece of jewelry worn at this location, which is believed to be the centre of wisdom.
The bindi was a symbol of marriage, but now has become a mark of beauty and is worn by single girls as well as the married, and can be found in a variety of colours and designs.
Dress up activity
Let your children use fabric or scarves to dress up Indian style. Use a small red sticker to create bindi dots for the girls. Let them wear costume jewellery to add to the effect.
The Taj MahalThe Taj Mahal is a beautiful memorial built entirely out of marble by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz. It is considered one of the most perfectly symmetrical buildings in the world. It consists of the large domed mausoleum and has four prayer towers at the corners.
Take a virtual tour of the Taj Mahal online at http://www.taj-mahal.net/augEng/main_screen.htm
Traditional Indian FoodIndian food is known to be spicy and is usually accompanied by rice. Spices like chilli pepper, cumin, turmeric, ginger, hing and coriander are commonly used in Indian cuisine. Since about one third of the population of India are vegetarian, most of their food is vegetarian, but many traditional Indian dishes also include chicken, lamb, mutton and other meats. The most popular forms of Indian cooking are curries and lentil dishes, usually served with rice or breads.
Traditionally, meals were eaten while seated either on the floor or on very low stools or cushions. Food is most often eaten using instead the fingers of the right hand instead of cutlery. Often roti (Indian flat bread) is used to scoop the curry without letting the curry touch the hands. In South India, cleaned banana leaves are used as disposable plates - as shown above.
Mangos and Bananas
Mangos and bananas are tropical fruit that are native to India's rain forests. Enjoy some of these fruit fresh, in a fruit salad or make a delicious mango and banana smoothie using the recipe below:
Mango and banana smoothie
1 mango, peeled and sliced
Add all of the above to your blender and liquidise until smooth.
Cows are considered sacred animals in the Hindu religion which is common in India. As a result they are honoured and roam free, sometimes even in the traffic! Many Indians are vegetarians and even those who eat meat, seldom eat beef.
Hindi is the national language, but there are 14 other official languages in India. English is commonly used for political and commercial communication, but is not an official language.
Try the following Hindi words:
namasstay - hello
Children's Books about IndiaThe books below are ones that we have read and enjoyed in our India preschool theme.
Monsoon by Uma Krishnaswami
A young girl observes the scents and sounds, dazzling colors, and breathless anticipation of a parched cityscape in northern India that are evoked before the welcome arrival of a monsoon.
Mama's Saris by Pooja Makhijani
This is a beautifully illustrated picture book about Indian culture, beautiful clothing, mother-daughter love and every girl's desire to dress up like her mother in a sari.
Finders Keepers? (India Unveiled Childrens Series, 1) by Robert A. Arnett
The charming true story set in India is about a boy who found the author's wallet and could not understand why he should be rewarded for returning to the author what was his. The book emphasizes values that parents will want to pass on to their children and also provides an excellent opportunity to understand cultural differences and underlying similarities in our diverse world.
Tigers In Terai (Adventures Of Riley) by Amanda Lumry, Laura Hurwicz
In Riley's first book, Riley and his family travel to the exotic and lush Terai Arc region of India and Nepal, where there is much concern over the dwindling Bengal Tiger population and habitat.
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling, retold by Jerry Pinkney
This is the gripping story of a young mongoose, which saves a family from his enemies, two cobras. This adapted version of Rudyard Kiplingâ€™s story is beautifully illustrated in vibrant watercolours.
Girl and Boy from India Paper Dolls by R.M. Lehri
Rani and Munna, a little girl and boy from India, are featured in this accurately rendered paper doll book. The youngsters can be dressed in brilliantly colored festival costumes, modern clothing, saris, and other traditional apparel. Appropriate headdresses, a map of the country, and descriptive notes are included in an entertaining and educational collection. 2 dolls (printed on gatefold cover) and 40 full-color costumes on 8 plates. Map of India. Notes.
Mumtaz of the Taj Mahal Paper Dolls by Tom Tierney
Two dolls, one of the emperor and the other of Mumtaz Mahal, are accompanied by 16 exquisite costumes, including anklets, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings.
Around the World Coloring Book by Winkey Adam
This book introduces youngsters to 30 countries of the world. Maps with names of major cities each country, as well as ready-to-color pictures of each country's national flag, landmarks, and natural resources.
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ABC Fun & 1-2-3
by Shirley Erwee
Less than $1 per week
Shirley's gentle, age-appropriate preschool programme gives you alphabet-based activities each week, alphabet crafts, alphabetized nursery rhymes, number and counting activities, as well as a list of recommended, quality children's stories to read aloud together as you and your children adventure through the alphabet, one letter per week.
All the hard work and planning is done for you - for less than $1 per week, you just open up the book and start the A-B-C fun!
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