Diwali is widely known as the festival of lights and is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. This holiday is celebrated over 5 days and it consists of fireworks, eating great food, colored sand, unique candles, and lamps.
This holiday is a great way to educate and celebrate with children as you can teach them about the culture that their family comes from or that other people come from. To help with this process, here are some fun and interactive activities that you can do with children to celebrate and learn about Diwali!
A fun and engaging activity that educators can do with children in the classroom to represent Diwali is a Diwali light lantern. The great thing about this activity is that it only takes 15 minutes to complete. This lantern craft allows children to examine light through dark paper as well as light tissue paper. The distinction between the two produces an alluring and appealing lantern that will get children excited and intrigued by its manifestations.
While doing the Diwali light lantern activity, you can give children a little perspective about Diwali by letting them know it is a holiday commemorated by 1 billion people all around the world that involves spiritual light. This activity maintains a great connection with Diwali since Diwali symbolizes the aspect of victory light over darkness.
This activity is great to do with children as it is fun and educational and teaches children that all cultures are important and that we should be inclusive. It is a great way to also teach them about lanterns and lights and how it connects to Indian culture. For example, the word Diwali means “row of lights.”
It doesn’t matter whether or not you are Indian, it’s so vital that parents and educators teach young children about the various holidays that individuals celebrate across the world. This activity unites the commemoration of Diwali and gives children the opportunity to investigate the delightful smells that Indian culture brings. It is always nice to pair an activity with a book and you can also do a little extra research about Diwali so that children can get a better understanding of what it entails.
This activity just screams out fun because it involves playing with playdough and children love activities that provide hands-on experiences. In addition, children love dramatic play and making things out of playdough to resemble pretend food.
As discussed, children love to play with pretend food and also make food, so this activity is important for children’s development because it unites the celebration of Diwali and permits children to explore the delightful smells that Indian culture brings. I think it is a great idea to incorporate an activity about food and to use playdough because it’s a way for children to utilize their fine motor skills and also build upon their self-expression. Lastly, this activity is insightful and important as it builds upon sensory play. This activity incorporates the aspect of smell which means you can ask children for example, “what does the smell of cinnamon remind you of?”
These Diya lamps will definitely liven up any room and can really ignite the discussion around this Hindu holiday. In this activity, the children will be making a gorgeous work of art to celebrate the festival of lights.
This activity involves mixing dough and baking it in the oven. It really involves children working with their hands by making dough balls as well as washing paintbrushes which will be used to decorate the salt dough once it is dry and cooled off. The next step is then adding a tea light candle that is battery-powered. Let’s not forget that when the children are working with the dough they have to really use their hands to form it properly into the right shape (into a rim around the dough ball). This means that this activity requires a lot of support and assistance from educators.
I personally love this activity because it involves creating a beautiful piece of art while educating children at the same time. The word Diya really gives off and represents one of the many aspects and traditions of Diwali and this activity is very creative and will brighten up an early childhood educator’s classroom.
This activity is beneficial as it teaches children about the different types of lights and lanterns that are used during Diwali. Diya lamps are actually a great conversation starter when it comes to talking about Hindu culture with children. Children are very curious when it comes to lights, and these salt lamps are a great craft for that reason alone.
What are your favorite ways to celebrate Diwali? Let us know in the comments!