Kids Corner

Kids' Corner

Disney, Barbie, Dora?
Here's an Alternative!

by ROMA KAUR

 

 

The recently launched Family Corner page on The Sikh Foundation website is a welcome relief for thousands of parents hoping to provide their kids an alternative to the likes of Disney, Barbie, Ariel and Flounders; and to provide them something more substantial and informative rather han just playtime.

The Sikh Foundation is renowned for its work in the field of Sikh Art, having promoted it for almost three decades now. Today, the foundation continues to do yeoman service in the area of Sikh art and heritage.

This project in the area of children's literature is yet another innovative venture. The idea is to introduce Sikh characters, art and philosophy intertwined together, just as in reality they are for kids.

Family Corner is divided into four main sections: Read, Create, Play and Faith. Each one of these sections provides a lot of stimulating content ranging from articles powered by thoughts from gurbani, printable coloring pages, puzzles and other engaging activities. The spotlight is on gurbani and Sikh Art.

Gurmeet Kaur of Atlanta writes a monthly column on environment awareness. She has done a fabulous job discussing contemporary issues that kids can not only relate to but find their answers in gurbani itself. The latest addition to the site is the  Faith section where Sikhs from diverse backgrounds share their views on what being a Sikh means to them.

This month features Ravinder Kaur Dhillon, a teacher of Punjabi.

Three women from diverse backgrounds have come together to create this interactive space for families and develop resources for parents that will facilitate curiosity and learning of Sikhi.

The templates and designs were done by Jui Didolkar - an architect who volunteered her time to work on this project; Miz Cozma - the webmiz for The Sikh Foundation site and Sonia Kaur Dhami, the project co-ordinator for The Sikh Foundation. The site is well-designed: excellent color schemes, attractive text and visual organization along with innovative content. The site also allows you to access the archived content and resources from past months.

On being asked about how the site will serve the foundation's purpose, Sonia explains: "We hope to make it more than a "mother-child" experience. Something that the whole family can engage in together, and learning takes place without the lecturing part. For example, putting together a 12 /24 piece puzzle can be entertaining as well as an engaging activity for the child.

"The same artwork is further reinforced through a Spot 5 differences game, where you actually get to study the artwork and look intently for the differences. The word-find is another such thematic fun exercise which can be printed and worked on later."

At The Sikh Foundation, the team hopes that these fun games, excellent artwork and informative articles will allow young minds to imbibe Sikh history and philosophy quite naturally. Each month, the Family Corner picks up a relevant theme. April, for sure is about Vaisakhi. So, this neatly-packed fun and information corner can actually make the task of any parents easier when it comes to teaching about religion, art and culture. The informative articles help children discuss topics of universal interest. What would be good is to gradually introduce more interactive elements focusing on inspiring stories from fans and discussing Sikh school children issues from around the world.

But, as they say, "It's the first step that counts". The Family Corner has proved it's here to bring families together to read, create and play!

 

For more info, please go to SikhFoundation.org

November 16, 2010

Conversation about this article

1: Jasbir Singh Sethi (Houston, Texas, U.S.A.), November 17, 2010, 8:15 AM.

Heartiest Congratulations to Dr. Narinder Singh Kapany and the devoted and committed team members of the Sikh Foundation. What a fantastic idea to bring children, art, story-telling, Sikh values together in a wonderfully interactive environment. This needs all the publicity world-wide to connect the children all over. I can share my personal experience. When my children were growing up, I wished for such a tool. In The Sikh Council of North America meeting in 1980 in the El Sobrante Gurdwara, a paper was presented that Sikh families should avoid TV-watching, else the children will be lost. I vehemently opposed it as a defeatist suggestion that would drag us down into the dark ages. Instead, I proposed that we produce excellent children documentaries that they can enjoy watching and learning from. Now with the advancement of technology the stage is set. With animation technology having come of age, now to open such horizons, wow! the sky is the limit. As always, the Sikh Foundation, has shown superb vision and I am sure this humble beginning will bring multiple rewards.

2: Jaswant Singh Sachdev (Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.), November 17, 2010, 10:06 AM.

It is beautiful and a great effort. I appreciate. What was somewhat disconcerting to me was to introduce our little children to negative things. Obviously as a Sikh I may not have much love for Indira Gandhi but see no reason to talk about her wickedness, etc. Positive issues breed happiness. Negativity leads to anger and frustration. This was my humble suggestion and I hope it is taken in that sense. [Editor: If you are referring to the Indiro Video, it is posted by sikhchic.com.]

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Here's an Alternative!"









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