When it comes to interesting after-school stuff, your little munchkins may be spoilt for choice with our list of entertainers who effectively combine work and play.
Expand your kids’ horizons this summer with activities that range from story telling and puppetry to theatre and pottery
Uday’s Magic World
“Kids like magic because thereis mystery, excitement and humour involved,” begins city-based veteran magician Uday Jadugar (born Uday Kumar) who works the kiddie circuit in places like Gambolla Kids Club,or private birthday parties and schools. “They love stuff that is colourful. Or simple tricks like pulling sweets out of sleeves, coins out of thin air or magically linking ropes,” he says.
Also a ventriloquist, his puppet Harry never fails to break the ice at a party or keep little ones mesmerised with his interactive jokes and sense of impromptu humour. He is also adept at telling stories, making shadow puppets dance, and card tricks. And the best part is that he teaches them to the little audience members too.
Tickles & Tales by Aarti Kathpalia captures young imaginations with storytelling and puppetry. “I started teaching primary grades because I adore kids, but work became monotonous. That is when I decided to quit and start my company,” she shares. Her half-hour sessions include adaptations of books and films like Kung-Fu Panda and The Jungle Book with lively song and dance sequences, crafts and games before her puppets Mr Tickles and Mrs Tales take over. “Kids love puppets, especially the character voice-overs I do with them,” laughs Kathpalia. She is available for play dates and parties.
Kirtana Kumar’s Theatre Lab located at the Infinite Souls Artists Retreat offers a comprehensive theatre lab curriculum that’s an annual program for kids who have a serious inclination to theatre. Her approach to training kids in the field is immersive, experiential and intellectually challenging. “I feel that kids are totally up to it,” she explains, adding, “I’m sick of the way entertainment and information has dumbed things down for everyone, not just kids. I also believe that to immerse children in nature and creativity is to give them great inner strength and conviction.” Kumar, who started this venture when her daughter was three years old, believes that theatre helps make kids calmer, happier and more confident.
At the wheel
Claystation at HSR Layout makes sure that your tots enjoy their experiments with clay before they actually start to understand its texture. The flexibility of their classes enables kids to let their creativity run wild. They also give them a strong foundation by familiarising them with the basics of clay modeling before they start working at the wheel. Having turned a considerable number of kids into moulders, Claystation also conducts workshops at schools, educational centers and summer camps.
Ameen Haque will enthrall your little one with the magic of stories and a plethora of workshops and activities centered around the ancient art. The tales with a mix of drama, comedy and adventure are all set to lively music. Plus, a healthy dose of folktales with solid morals. Haque says he keeps in mind three things, “The story is a chunk of old-fashioned wisdom disguised as entertainment. Then, the stories must be age appropriate — simple narratives for little ‘uns complete with singing actions and props, more complex for older kids. And keep the parents engaged at some level.”