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Puzzle – Indian Girl in Sari 


A simple 6 piece wooden puzzle from the Children of the World Tuzzles range. The puzzle depicts an Indian girl, wearing a traditional Sari, with a bindi on her forehead and holding her hands together in a prayer position.

Cultural notes


Sari is one of the most common outfits used by the women of India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The exact origin of the sari is not known but researchers have successfully shown the existence of sari during the Indus Valley civilization.

Sari is the national dress for the women of India. A sari is basically a long strip of cloth and the length of the sari varies from four to nine meters. There are a number of different styles in which you can wear a sari and in the most common style, you need to wrap the sari around your waist and you are then required to drape the other end over the shoulder baring the midriff. The petticoat and the blouse are also used with a sari. The blouse forms the upper garment while the sari is worn over the top of the petticoat. The blouse has short sleeves, low neck and it can be backless or of a halter neck style. A blouse is also known as a choli.


bindi is a colored dot worn on the centre of the forehead, commonly by Hindu and Jain women. A similar marking is also worn by babies and children in China and, like in South and Southeast Asia, represents the opening of the third eye.

Bindis are popular outside the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia as well. They are sometimes worn purely for decorative purpose or style statement without any religious or cultural affiliation. The appropriateness of such uses has been disputed.

Namaste greeting

Hindus fold their hands in the namaste greeting and touch their forehead as a sign of respect. To perform a proper namaste, one should hold his or her palms together, with the fingertips at chin, level and nod rather than bow and say “ Namaste.” “ Namaste” literally means “I bow to thee” or “I honor the godhead within.” The gesture is a sign of respect and is used by men and women when meeting members of the same or opposite sex. It is similar to praying gesture performed before an image of a deity at a temple.

Suggested activities

Books/ Story time:

  • Explore ‘I is for India’. This photographic alphabet explores India’s customs, religions and culture, focusing both on the rhythms of the bustling cities, and on day-to-day village life.
  • Read ‘My Mothers Sari’. – A little girls sees her mothers sari as “”long like a train”” and that it “”fills the air with color when I dance and sing.”” A blue sari is a “”river””; a patterned one is a place to hide with her friends. Best of all, the youngster wraps herself in the vivid cloth because she loves how it makes her dream. The endpapers demonstrate how to wrap the garment. Full-spread illustrations capture the colors and textures of the fabrics and the little girl’s wide-eyed playfulness and love of her mother’s attire. Extend on this story in to music, movement and dramatic play through the inclusion of saris, scarves and materials.

Group/ Circle Time:

  • Read through ‘The Clothes we Wear’, borrowing items of clothing to reflect those discussed in the book. Discuss the differences in the clothing, touching on the climate in each country, materials, cultural beliefs etc. Discuss children’s favourite items of clothing and why this is their favourite.

Music and Movement:

  • Extend on ‘My Mother’s Sari’ story by introducing Indian music and pairing this with cultural clothing including sari’s and scarves
  • Introduce children to Bollywood dance through videos and instructions on Youtube. Teach the children the moves one step at a time before combining the moves in to a Bollywood dance.

Food and Cooking:

  • Introduce some Indian dishes in to your menu. Items such as butter chicken and rice, roti breads and raita are perfect options to introduce children to Indian foods.

Language and Counting: 

Community Engagement:

  • Invite an Indian parent/ community member to come and share their culture with the children
  • Take children on an excursion to a local indian restaurant where they can try different Indian foods

Puzzles/ Games:

  • Create a puzzle piece scavenger hunt – hide the pieces around the room

Sensory Play: 

  • Create a puzzle tray using rainbow rice – put each of the pieces of the
    Puzzle in the tray so children have to find each piece first before they complete the puzzle. This can be made more difficult by adding pieces for multiple puzzles


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The research for this resource was made possible through a grant from the Central Coast Council.