By Kuhoo Gupta
Ganesh Chaturthi, an incredible festival which is marked by elaborate celebrations, will be celebrated with a difference this year, keeping social distancing norms in place. As one celebrates at home, children can sculpt an idol that is biodegradable, which will encourage them to be eco-friendly as well.
Here are some steps to prepare an idol in its natural colour, complete with embellishments, along with your kids.
* The clay powder is available easily online and offline as it is used by many potters. Guide your child to mix the clay powder with enough water to prepare a pliable dough.
* Help your child to split the dough into three parts and make a shape of a circular ball for the body, round for the base and head. From the dough remove 4 elongated pieces for limbs and four small balls for the tusk, crown and ear (depending on the size, how big you want).
* Cut one big clay ball and flatten it with a rolling pin to make a base. Upon this flattened base, place the second big clay ball to make the body and add some more dough to the front to sculpt a round tummy.
* Take the 2 elongated pieces from earlier and place them to form the legs and remaining two to form the arms. A toothpick is a safer option for your child to make any markings or design on the idol.
* Cut another clay ball for the head and ask your child to place it above the body. Next, ask him to add a small ball in the front to make the trunk, which should look pointed. To sculpt it in place firmly ask your child to use a toothpick and smoothen it out a bit to give a firm shape.
* With two small balls, place it beside the head to form elephant ears to make it look more natural and use toothpick for shaping and marking. Make a crown from the remaining ball and fix above the head using toothpicks. Pierce for navel and eyes. Using the thin dough you can make ornaments for the idol.
* To make it look attractive use natural colours made of flower or turmeric or non-toxic paints which are easily available in the market. You can use poster or acrylic colours to paint your Ganesha. If you want to keep it fully natural, you can use haldi, beetroot, spinach and the likes to give natural colours to your Ganesha. Once the clay dries up, your Ganesha is ready.
* For decoration, homegrown flowers are the best to avoid any kind of infection. You can also go with crystals for decorating your Ganesha. Use kids’ colorful toys to set up a mini pandal for Ganesha. Paper decorations are very popular these days. You can use LED lights to add sparkle to the home Ganesha setup. You can also hang your child’s paintings in your mini Ganpati pandal.
* For immersion, the clay can be easily immersed in any water body. If you immerse the idol in the bucket, the mud water can also be used to water the plants.
(The writer is a healer, parenting coach and founder of The K Junction)
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