A workshop on local flora for kids will be imparting knowledge through various fun activities and storytelling.
Of the many summer workshops taking place in the city, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum’s Summer Storytime with its informative approach to learning in unlike any other. While audiences will be regaled with stories as one can expect, the major part of the workshop focuses on spreading the knowledge of flowers.
Organised in collaboration with Kathanika, Summer Storytime will feature four distinct workshops that will introduce participants to local flowers that grow in the city. Founded by Dr Sherline Pimenta and her husband Krishna R. Kumar, Kathanika is a melting pot of stories and design. And having organised such theme-based workshops for three years now, Kathanika honed in on this year’s theme — local flowers — with the participation of children from the ages of six to 10 years in mind.
However, what really prompted Dr Sherline was the lack of knowledge about flowers among children.
“I asked a few kids to name the flowers they know. They could only name the common flowers such as the rose, hibiscus or lotus. They could not name any other flower constantly around us. Further, when I asked them what an orchid looks like, the kids mentioned a school in the vicinity by the same name,” sighs Dr Sherline.
In each of the four workshops, Dr Sherline and her husband will focus on ten flowers and will narrate various stories on each of them. And to make it light for the students, every session has been divided into colours of flowers — red, yellow, blue, pink, purple and so on.
“We will also be discussing the day and night blooming of flowers. Apart from this, the course of pollination will be extensively discussed with participants,” says Dr Sherline.
Every workshop will be followed by a walk around the museum and the botanical garden next door. On a concluding note, there will be an art activity aimed at building appreciation of flora.
“To keep the kids engaged, we will also have drawing, painting, storytelling and reading activities. Also to make sure that the kids do not feel bored, and that they get an out of the classroom experience, they will be given pressed flowers to make jewellery, birthday cards and bookmarks,” she smiles.
Talking about stories, the organiser says they will be narrating stories from Indian mythology, fiction, and folklore to fairy folks regarding flowers.
Apart from studying flowers, the painting exercise will be done using the Japanese ‘Oshibana’ technique. This involves using pressed flowers and other botanical materials to create a picture in an artistic composition.
The walk will involve observing the different floral patterns on the ceiling, floors, tiles and vases in the museum after which the participants will be asked to abstract those patterns and have fun with them using their imagination.
Meanwhile, Dr Sherline is also planning to publish a book wherein she will enlighten kids about the importance of knowing and understanding local flora.
“It is extremely overwhelming to see kids trying to connect with nature at such a tender age, and it gives me a ray of hope that they are willing to learn about local flora. Even if one kid learns about two new flowers and passes on the knowledge to a friend or family, I will be content,” concludes Dr Sherline.
—On May 4 and 5, At Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla (E),