Dussehra or Vijayadashmi marks the beginning for the preparations of Deepawali- the festival of lights. Dussehra commemorates the victory of good over evil. It is observed on the tenth day of the month of Ashvin, as per the Hindu Calendar or Panchang. Hence the name Vijayadashmi, which is made of two words “Vijaya” means victory and “dashmi” means the tenth day. While some parts of India celebrate it to mark Goddess Durga’s victory over Mahisasura, other parts celebrate it as Shri Ram’s victory over Ravana. In several regions burning of an effigy of Ravana takes place that symbolizes the power of goodness is above all kinds of evil powers.
Learning about feelings and emotions is a major part of most pre-primary curriculums globally today. Would have been great if this was taught to our generation too, but as the saying goes “dair aaye durust aaye”. It was in my mind from long to do a home activity on these emotions and feelings subject. I have decided that the focus for our Dussehra learning would be on Ravana, as he was supremely talented, he was the king of Rakshasas and is depicted with 10 heads and 20 arms, giving him the name of “Dasamukha”. He was a Chakravarti king, his ten heads represent his knowledge of the six Shastras and the four Vedas. However, even being such a learned, knowledgeable and devoted king a small mistake to overcome his emotions made him one of the biggest supervillains of history.
Thus is the importance of controlling and managing our emotions and feelings which can quickly transform a Ram into Ravan. But to manage our emotions we first need to identify them and know about when we are feeling what! This Dussehra activity will be a fun way to talk to our kids about all this and prepare a handy mask to display what they are feeling.
For older kids (my 6 years old was eager and did understand these) here is some additional knowledge, if you want to let your kids be exposed to a little bit more on Ravana’s emotions. I explored a bit and went through some of the reading material available online and found a list of 10 emotions possessed by Ravana.
- Kaam (lust)-Loving parts of the body of the opposite gender
- Krodha (anger)-Loving/expecting perfection in others leading to anger
- Lobha (greed)-Loving things – which brings in greed
- Moha (delusion)-Loving your family & friends
- Mada (pride)-Loving your designation, your post or qualifications
- Maatsarya (envy)-Loving/wanting to be no.1
- Ghrina (Hatred)-Loving the past, leading to hatred
- Bhaya(Fear)-Loving the future, leading to fear
- Buddhi (Intellect)- the knowledge, mental power
- Ahamkara (ego)-Loving your false image created by self
It was not that Ravana was a “Bad Person” it was his failure in emotion management, he let all the bad emotions he possessed take over his most dominant and positive emotion, the Intellect!
So, let us get started and make our emotion masks. Once it is ready kids can use this mask to convey how they are feeling. While the kids make these different emotions they can relate to each of the emotions
Material required for making the Emotion Mask
- Emotional Mask Template print out (Download Link)
- Card sheets
- Colour pens
- Glue stick
- Popsicle sticks
- Paper clip
Step 1: Cut and Prepare
Use the template to trace out the circle in different coloured sheets, and cut these out to make faces. Fold the circles into halves and stack away. Now colour the lips, mouth using red and start cutting up the eyes, teeth, tear etc from the template.It will be easy if you sort the cutouts to be put on each circle at this stage. Children will love this stage to sort and identify which eyes go in which expression. It will be a mini-game in itself!
Step 2: Complete faces with Expressions
Start glueing up the expressions on each face. Parents can use pencils to mark the exact spot to stick up the eyes, lips and so on to make the task quick and simple for kids. Complete the face by drawing eyebrows, nose and mouth wherever required, use a gel pen or any other thin point pen to make dots around cheeks.
Step 3: Bring it together
Take four popsicle sticks to make the handle. Fold up the circle faces into semi-circles again and stick them back to back as shown. Let both the arrangements dry completely.
Step 4: Finish off and Enjoy
Once the glue has dried up flip and check if all the faces are perfectly glued and are flipping. Turn it back and stick up the handle. To make this more durable cover the handle and the back with a circular sheet cut-out (we used the circle from template sheet itself). Let it dry completely before flipping and playing around.
This is turning out to be a great handheld toy which is helping my girls understand different emotions, even my 2.5-year-old is now “showing” me HOW she is feeling! She flips the faces and shows me the exact face ( for example she fought with her sister, she came to me with a “sad” face on the handheld mask ) I am sure the kids will enjoy this activity and also learn to identify their emotions.
- Make sure that none of the faces is kept upside down, that is mouth up and eyes down (we did this mistake!!, hence the warning)
- Can use double-sided tape to stick together all the faces, it will be less messy.
- A paper clip can be used to hold together the faces while playing with the hand-held masks as can be spotted in the pictures.
Image Tanvi bhushan