Katha's Christmas @ Chennai
Katha's collection of stories make for marvellous reading - especially when there's a storyteller to read it out to you, with the actual characters right beside them - as woodcuts.
We did a series of stories for each day of the five-day module - each with a different activity. Two hours practically flew by, and no one wanted to go back home. The first day's story was The Runaway Puppy, followed by an activity with making signs. Kids also made an excursion downstairs to the vet clinic, a visiting place for many animals - a combination of theory and practice.
The next day's story was The Magic Raindrop - a particular favourite, as it has a magic kite that grows enormous. We kicked off with a story-telling session, where our workshop coordinator used woodcuts to add colour to the story.
One of the youngsters with a kite she designed and drew - isn't it pretty? We thought so too.
There was also a session of flag-painting going on, side by side. Kids got the flag of the country they wanted painted on their hands - and some even opted for imaginery countries! Pink flags were a particular favourite.
Katha's kids came up with their own kite song too.
Day three's session was filled with scarecrows - we did The Song of a Scarecrow. Everyone had a grand time designing their own versions of the crow-scarers. And it happened to be Christmas Day as well, so it was extra special. Day four was another fun day with The Magical Webbridge ... and our workshop coordinator brought with her a wonderful bhaya bird nest!
Naturally, this excited a lot of curioisty. How did the bird even build such a nest? How did they get in? How did they sleep? Eat? What if they fell out while they were sleeping? How long did these nests last? So many questions, so many answers. And plenty of imagination. Here's what one Katha kid came up with, for her very own bird:
Day Five saw the grand finale - Hanuman's Adventures in the Netherworld. Today, it was masks galore, with every kid being Rama or Ravana, and much role-playing ensued. At the end, everyone was given a certificate - and we wished the workshop could have gone on, day after day.
We broke for the New Year, with hopes of lots more workshops, and thrilling books to come.
Here's to a great, Happy New year from everyone at Katha!