Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Balika/Bal Mandal Go To Move #6: The Lawn Mower

Sabha is about to start. The kids have quieted down. You are ready with the Jay Naad and Stuti. But wait! The kids are not sitting in rows. What do you do?

Think back and ask yourself what you have done in the past. When we did this we remembered that many times this is the where we started to go down hill in sabha. In the sense that an over reaction (yell or harangue the kids to sit in a straight line, "I have been telling you guys for the last 3 weeks and you still cannot sit in a straight line") can lead to sabha starting off on a bad footing and we then have to work extra hard to get it back to being a calm and positive experience. If we under react (ignore it) then this can lead to a gradual degradation over time as kids jostle each other. Our default position was to just sit there quietly until the kids figured it out themselves. This took some time and the kids were the ones snapping at each other - to us it really seemed like more of a push than a score. So we are introducing a "Go To" move to get the kids in rows (and columns) or whatever pattern you want. The Lawn Mower.

The simple idea is that you tell the kids that you are a lawn mower and they have to make sure they do not get clipped by the lawn mower. So they have to move while you walk up and down and left and right in rows. They have to keep their hands folded (otherwise it might get clipped by the lawn mower).

This can be extended to almost anything. One day lawn mower, the next week train, if you live up north you could be the zamboni (ask a Canadian if you don't know), or maybe a float in a parade. You can use props - take a broom with you and sweep a path or take a nerf ball and roll it down the columns and across the rows.

This can even extend into sabha. Try to tie what you are using to clear the path with a prasang or idea in sabha. For example an easy one from the list above would be to take the broom and sweeping a row and tie it to Sagram Vagri and his wife cleaning a path for Maharaj. Take this week in Bal/Balika 1 we have the story of Eklavya - you can either pretend to be a dog barking up and down the rows, or have one of the kids be a dog that barks up and down the rows, or grab a toy dog and move him up and down the rows - then relate this back to the story of how Eklavya also encountered a dog who he made stop barking without harming him. A perfect teaser to get everyone ready for the sabha ahead.

This idea comes from a clever Sabha.ologist and former Bal mandal karyakar who will in six years be PhinisheD. Thanks. We have not tried this before, but we will try it this week. If you try it as always let us kow how it turned out.


  1. This worked like a charm in Bal 3 this weekend.

  2. This worked very well. I also tried it at work and it worked there as well. Good job guys.