While summers are getting hotter every year, the vacations are becoming more fun, with wide-ranging activities accessible to kids -- the traditional and the new.
While hopscotch and hide-and-seek are popular games among kids even today, a shop called Kavade Toy Hive in Sheshadripuram has revived kavade, played using cowrie shells, from which it gets its name, and other Indian board games.
Here, 36-year-old Sreeranjini G S has opened up a space, Attic, where children can flock to, with their families if they want, to play some almost forgotten games including, chowkabara, pagade, navakankari, aliguli mane, tangrams, pentominoes and many more.
Envisioned as an alternate space where children can engage with adults, Kavade, which was started in 2009, has also been designed to let kids read, create, play, sing and climb, says Sreeranjini.
“It’s a vibrant, exploratory space, and also also eco-friendly,” she adds. And this is mirrored in the boards and the natural material they are made of too, ranging from palm leaves, wood fabric to elephant dung.
“I usually get the pagade board stitched and embroidered. We have some that spread like a scroll, which takes you back to the Maharajas’ times. These are affordable and excellent while travelling,” says Sreeranjini.
People who visit Kavade are often taken with the array of games. “Some of these traditional games are fast disappearing. We also have brainteasers, fun-filled learning aids (they require hand-eye coordination), all of which bring you closer to nature and culture.”
Shreeranjini conducts workshops for children at schools, office spaces, apartments, orphanages and angadwadis to introduce these traditional games to them.
“I also have stalls where I conduct gaming sessions,” she tells City Express.
And the fascination doesn’t stop with children. Grown-ups in and around Seshadripuram head to Kavade for 2-hour-long board game tournaments, which is a fast gaining trend.
“Kitty parties are more or less turning into board game parties. They’re a hit among both men and women. However, in my opinion, these games should not involve money or become too competitive,” she adds.
design, Build and fly your own plane
For the more outdoorsy, especially those above ten years of age, flying too can be a hobby. You don’t have to be a pilot to fly these remote-controlled planes which are sold at R C Bazaar in Jayanagar 9th Block.
For those interested in electronics or mechanics, including engineering students, there’s another activity that calls -- building your own airplane or helicopter using the collection of accessories that the store offers.
Walk in, and the staff asks you to try your hand at assembling and throwing a balsa chuck glider. Much like the paper planes or rockets that we’ve all made during school or college, this is one of the few products that can be flown indoors.
Your next stop is the simulator -- where you learn the controls for the model that you want to buy.
According to proprietor Noor Syed, this is a hobby for anyone who has an adventurous streak in him or her.
“Be it cars, helis or multi rotos, this hobby is for all of us, but it requires absolute hard work, patience, creativity and dedication. The age range extends from 4 years (under an adult experienced flyer’s supervision) all the way to the grave.
“Building these models could help kids better grasp concepts and application of physics and principles of flight. This apart, they also learn to cope with failures as they repair damaged flying models,” opines Noor, adding, “These models are to scale of actual aircraft with high quality mechanical and electronic working parts he says, listing Sky Surfer V2, Blazer (dual wing system) and Hiller, as among the most suitable models for beginners.
Well, the store caters to the advanced flyer too. “We have planes or models that are made for an aerobatic flying experience, which will ready the hobbyist for the next level of flying. We encourage modellers to come up with their own designs,” says Noor, who is a flyer himself.
Most learning happens online, believes Noor. “We have a dedicated channel on Youtube, where one can upload building videos,” he tells us.
This hobby has a niche market, one that is seeing growth over past two years, admits Noor. But as models and accessories become more economically viable, it’s likely to gain more market penetration, he feels. “Compared to three years ago, this hobby has already become affordable. Earlier, a 6 ch 2.4 gHz transmitter was sold at about `9,000. Now, we sell the Avionic RCB6i, which is a 6 ch transmitter at less than `3000,” he informs.
Since these models are all unmanned gliders, they require large open spaces. The current hotspots for Bangalore are a few locations near Hoskote, Kankapura and Electronics City.