Mumbai for Kids – Activities for November 2010

Here are the recent and interesting ones – The Mumbai for Kids articles in Times of India (usually comes in print edition on Fridays) 

From Times of India dated 6 Nov 2010

A round-up of the month’s activities for children in the city (in November 2010)


Learn a bit about history and natural history at Vasai Fort, current home to a variety of butterflies and migrant birds like the Asian Openbill, Baya Weaver and Brahminy Kit. Charges: Rs 650, includes transport and BNHS expertise Sun, Nov 21 (2287-1202, 2282-1811)
It’s the perfect time to spot several species of waders on Sewri mudflats and learn about this difficult group of migrants. Birds like the Broad-Billed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Whimbrel and Common Redshank can be seen here. You could spot some flamingos too. Bring your binoculars. On Saturday, November 27. Charges: Rs 100 Call: 22821811
Explore the forest trails of this hill station to spot the White-Cheeked Barbet, Vigor’s Sunbird, Malabar Parakeet and Orangeheaded Thrush. You’ll also see butterflies like the Blue Mormon and reptiles like Green Vine Snake, Bronze-Backed Tree Snake and Deccan-Banded Gecko. If lucky, you’ll see the Indian Giant Squirrel. Nov 27 to Nov 28 Charges: Rs 2,250, includes transportation, accommodation, food at campsite, entry fee to Matheran and BNHS expertise (2287-1202, 2282-1811)
Countryside Adventure Holidays takes groups of children on camps to Rajmachi, where they’ll have a spot of rock-climbing, rapelling and thrilling games over three days and four nights. There will also be nature trails and fun around the campfire. 9 to 14 years (2444-1513/ 2444-2944)

The Guitar Hall will hold hobby classes for children aged six upward, teaching them on mite-sized guitars, the different chords and the techniques of playing. The twomonth course carries over 18 one-hour sessions at all of their 11 centres. Charges Rs 3,500. (98335-18423 /98204-28423) Visit
Crossword is the place to go every Sunday for stories and art and craft workshops. Every Crossword outlet offers a slew of activities for kids from vegetable and thumb painting to making character paper clips and Nehru caps and roses. Stories this month take in the legends of Goddess Laxmi and Pandit Nehru, as well as the tales of Roald Dahl and Aesop. Each Crossword store has a different set of activities, so call your nearest one for details. Sun, 11.30 am to 12.30 pm Visit
This Diwali, Amar Chitra Katha takes children on a journey of discovery into the lives of Ram, Laxman, Sita, Hanuman and Ravan. Through story-telling, drama, roleplay and debates children understand what made these epic characters heroes. The week-long programme (two and half hours a day) is designed to build emotional intelligence through the lead players of the epic. 8 to 14 years Charges: Rs. 2,500 per child (inclusive of material) Nov 8 to 12 at Bhakti Vedanta School, Juhu; Nov 15 to 19 at St Stanislaus School Bandra. (98202-81487)
Learn everything you ever wanted to know about robots but didn’t know whom to ask at the Robotics workshop conducted by experts at the Nehru Science Centre. Topics include: what is a robot, history, uses, types, sensors, static and pre-programmable mobile models. There’ll be games and quizzes too. There will be two groups: one for Stds 5 to 7; the other for Stds 8 to 10. Each group has 30 seats only, so register soon. Nov 15 to Nov 19; 10 am to 12.30 pm Nehru Science Centre, Dr E Moses Road, Worli (2493-2667), visit
Jumping Genius’s Diwali workshop will teach kids to make lanterns, paint pots, craft candles and boxes and other festive decorations. There’ll be games and storytelling as well. Nov 8. 2 to 10 yrs Bandra (W) and Worli Seaface (98207-51811)
Kids take over the kitchen at this Jumping Genius workshop that teaches them to make chocolate, coconut ladoos, salads, pastas, crackers and more. Begins November 10. 3 to 9 years Bandra (W) and Worli Seaface. Contact 9820751811
Learn about the origins and journey of paper at the Bombay Paperie’s Saturday workshops. At these hour-long sessions, learn also about different kinds of handmade paper, including ways to craft them into lampshades, mobile hangings, sculptures and stationery like cards and envelopes. Charges Rs 100 per workshop. Every Saturday, 3 pm to 4 pm Bombay Paperie, Bombay Stock Exchange, Phiroze Jeejeebhoy Towers, Dalal Street, Kala Ghoda (6635-8171)

International Clown Festival 2010

Twelve international clowns and one from India are descending on the city this fortnight, hosting performances, workshops and special events for adults and kids. The troupe will not just display their clowning talents—which includes juggling, acrobatics, pantomime, gags and unicycling at St Andrew’s Auditorium, Bandra—but will also hold workshops at St Xavier’s College on Nov 9 and St Andrew’s College on Nov 10. The workshops, which are free, are suitable for kids aged nine and up, and must be signed up for in advance. For more informal interactions, the clowns will be at the Oberoi Mall on Sunday, Nov 7 from 6pm to 8pm and R City Mall on Saturday, Nov 13 from 6.30pm to 8pm. They will also participate in Childline’s Walkathon on Sunday, Nov 14, to which all are invited. Visit Sat, Nov 6 to Thur, Nov 13

From Times of India dated 29 Oct 2010
Kids put up a good fight with Kali, Iaido – New Martial Arts Are Giving Old Styles A Beating
The Karate Kid has serious competition from the new sword-drawing, stick-fighting kids on the block. Exotic martial arts you may never have heard of are being taught in Mumbai and some children are opting to learn these over karate. Esoteric styles like Ninjutsu, Escrima and Iaido are fast gaining popularity among those who want self-defence with a difference. Think Matt Damon-style Filipino stickfighting, ninja-style bonebreaking and Japanese swordsmanship, which aim to maim, or at best, impress. We break it up for you.

   Afew seven-year-olds from Mumbai can seriously dream of becoming master ninjas for they have already started learning Ninjitsu in a Khar dojo (training space). The martial art of stealth, invisibility and espionage is being taught by India’s ninja grandmaster and 9th degree
black belt holder, Cyrus Rustomji. “The golden rule of Ninjutsu is that there are no rules,’’ he says. Rustomji imparts lethal training in stick arts, blades, chains and projectiles to his students. On an average, it takes around seven years of training in Ninjutsu to earn a black belt. “Since young students are more flexible and have better stamina, they can grasp the art faster than most adults,’’ he says. The training imparted to a child and an adult is the same. Legend has it that rich Samurai landlords were tackled by poor peasants using various martial art techniques, which have now been combined to form the Ninjutsu method. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening, Ninjitsu classes are held in Khar from 7pm to 9pm. As students advance to higher levels, they are trained in lethal striking and throwing techniques, locks, chokes, nerve and pressure point attacks. Besides these, disguise and impersonation are taught as well.
   AVile Parle-based martial arts teacher trains students in a sacred and obscure Japanese art called Iaido. The youngest students in Mehul Vora’s class are 13-year-olds who have no martial arts background but have come to the master to learn the exotic form after watching films like The Last Samurai or Kill Bill. Iaido is the contemporary Japanese art of quickdrawing a katana (singleedged sword) and striking an imaginary opponent. “The most useful space in a bowl is its emptiness,’’ he says pointing out that kids are the best students of the art because they are enchanted by the sword and can fully concentrate on it. Iaido or moving meditation helps them improve their concentration too. At three, Mehul was sent to karate class because his mother thought he was a sickly child. Today, at 32, after having learnt karate and sword martial art techniques in Hashimoto, he trains hundreds of students in Iaido, Karate, Krav Maga (Israeli mixed martial arts) and Kenjutsu (Japanese sword art) all over India. Vora’s Iaido classes are held eight times a month for a fee of Rs 1,000 in Mumbai. It takes around 15 to 20 years to master the art. Parents worried about these forms inculcating a combative attitude in their children ought to know that none of these are without their attendant lessons in discipline, self-control and patience, and of course, personal safety. It’s not karate, but it’s got more kick.

Mehul Vora’s Iaido class: 9820055730
Radhika Shaikh’s Escrima class: 986973374
Cyrus Rustomji’s Ninja class: 9821075735
PACKING A PUNCH: Radhika Shaikh teaches children Escrima at Gamadia School, Princess Street
In case you need to access earlier columns, here is the link – Mumbai for Kids articles from Times of India

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