When I was a young kid, I grew up in a small town very close to the sea. Like any kid growing up thirty years ago, my only hobbies were playing outside. My parents had the opportunity to drag us inside the house instead of kicking us outside, like most parents of this generation need to do. Evenings were spent finishing homework and bugging my grandmother for stories. Sometimes, she obliged at others, she used to shoo us away.
But we had a few rituals in the family that still bring tears of nostalgia in my eyes. The first one was Sunday breakfast, it always had to be pongal, dosa and vade ( or vada ) . If on some Sunday due to any misfortune vade was not available, the tantrums were so bad that this misfortune never occurred for really long stretches of time J.
Coastal India is humid, anyone having lived there swears by “Ponds / Cuticura”, the talcum powder that keeps us human enough to stay with other human beings. The terrace was a very important part of our family ritual, jus so we could air ourselves out . We would finish dinner and climb up to the terrace. My brother and I would play and my parents would sit on their “easy” chairs and talk or just soak. On the full moon night, without fail we would eat “ Nila Chor”, which meant that we took our dinner upstairs and ate under the moonlit sky .
It was during this period that we developed a great inquisitiveness towards the night sky. My father taught us about the big bang and showed us constellations and told us so many interesting things about the sky. One day my dad told me that I would weigh only 6 Kgs on the moon. From here he lead us to concepts of gravity and the difference between mass and weight! We were totally fascinated by the sky and wanted to know more. Even to this day, any activity in the sky — a meteor shower or a rare comet visiting — can throw me back by 20 years I excitement and anticipation.
It was this night time ritual I had in mind, when we set about conceptualizing the Solar System Poster we have. At ekdali, we have always believed that the most important responsibility of adults is to ensure that the child’s curiosity is kindled. The minute that happens, little ones have a way of getting to know so much about the topic that it can pleasantly surprise us. Anthropomorphising can help children relate better, which is why each of our planets has a face and features that closely depicts the key feature of the planet. Beautiful graphic depictions and colors always make children curious, but in addition to this we have also added some cool facts about the planets and the solar system in general. The poster was built with the hope that each time a kid looks at it, she asks a few questions and her curiosity builds further so that she can delve deeper into the subject and become a young scientist!
About the Author:
Meenakshi T — Mother to a 6 year old girl & 1 year old boy | Science Buff | Loves to play Badminton| Part- Time content editor at ekdali.com | Still trying to perfect the vade for the Sunday ritual of her family