Toybank’s workshop was dotted with fun activities and games at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2020. As we promoted the importance of play, sticking to this year’s theme of ‘Dots’, children indulged in ‘Join the Dots’, card making and ‘Dots and Boxes’. Preparations for the event jump back a few weeks, as team Toybank created activities that would be enjoyable, give the kids something to take back home and lead to learning something new.
Our first activity was Joining the Dots to complete a picture and filling it in with crepe paper pellets for color. Each child spent time selecting shades to use and patterns to design. The arena was filled with laughter and squeals. Little Vanshika pointed to her design and exclaimed, “Me and my friend that I play with!”
One of the upshots of play is self-expression and confidence to share your feelings. The second part of this activity was making a card and writing a letter to the person we enjoy playing with. While most tots wrote to their friends from school or parents, a girl wrote a letter to her pets for playing with her and another to herself because she likes to play alone. Turns out, this activity served a deeper purpose when one of the kids wrote a letter to say sorry to her ‘bestest’ friend — and favorite person to play hide-and-seek with — as they had fought. This proves that play evokes accepting one’s mistake. We do hope they’ve made up and start playing together again.
Here’s also a shout-out to the kiddo who chose all shades of pink to color his drawing! We love gender stereotypes being shattered and play being the medium. But we were thrilled to learn that the colour was an unusual choice only for us and not him, as his favourite hues are red and pink.
The children also played ‘Dots and Boxes’, with 4 children in each group. Interestingly, kids reacted differently to the same game. Play invoked a sense of healthy competition as well as fostering a bond where you allow a complete stranger to win so that you are better friends at the end of the experience.
Not just the children but we also made merry. The little ones kept us pumped up with their mad energies. So much so that one kid didn’t want to leave because he was having so much fun!