Hindu Activities for Children

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Hindu Activities for Children
An estimated 950 million Hindus are in the world. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world, and more than 1 million Americans practice its beliefs, according to 2011 data from Harvard University's Pluralism Project. Using activities designed for children can help teach them about Hinduism and diversity in our country and in our world.

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Mehendi

Mehendi is the art of applying henna to the hands and feet, and is worn as a body decoration for special occasions. Henna is a natural dye made from a small shrub found in the Middle East that is ground up into a fine powder. The powder is mixed with water and packed into a tube similar to a cake decorating bag; a very small hole is cut in the tip of the bag for application. Mehendi is not toxic, and eventually fades within two to three weeks.

Hindu Activities for Children
Henna dye resembles mud during application, but flakes off once dry, leaving the stain behind on skin. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Yoga

Most Hindus believe that a sound mind and body go hand in hand, and yoga has been a method of exercise practised by Hindus for centuries. Most Hindus practice Raja, Karma, Jnana or Bhakti yoga, which focus more on meditation than on physical exercise. However, using a more Western version of yoga, such as Hatha yoga, can still benefit children and teach them about a healthy body as well as Hindu beliefs.

Hindu Activities for Children
Yoga can be a fun family activity. (George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Kho Kho

Kho Kho is a game of tag played by many Hindus and is traced to India. Eight members of one team line up down the centre of rectangular area; each one faces an alternating direction. The ninth member of the team must try to tag one member of the opposing team, known as the dodger, without crossing the centre line. If the dodger crosses the centre line, the chaser tags a teammate in the centre and shouts "Kho!" and takes this teammate's place as the tagged person continues the chase. A team wins by tagging all of the opposing team's members as fast as possible.

Hindu Activities for Children
Kho Kho can be taught to children of all ages. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Hindu Camp

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America offers several Hindu camps for children in several locations around the United States. Campers can participate in Hindu-related activities such as Mehendi, yoga, Kho Kho and learning Hindu philosophy, as well as enjoy the traditional camp activities.

Hindu Activities for Children
Hindu camps for kids offer Hindu-specific experiences in conjunction with traditional summer camp experiences. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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