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By Jenni TavenerEarly Years teacher and writer

Creative activities to celebrate the Hindu and Sikh festivals of Diwali and Guru Nanak’s Birthday

Boy and father celebrating Diwali

Activities in this article:

  1. Rangoli patterns
  2. Garland gifts
  3. Helping hands bunting

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1. Rangoli patterns

Make a shared display based on rangoli patterns to celebrate Diwali

Creative Development

Being Creative – Responding to Experiences, Expressing and Communicating Ideas

Development matters: Begin to use representation as a form of communication (22–36 months); Make comparisons and create new connections (40–60+ months).

Early learning goal: Express and communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings by using a widening range of materials, suitable tools, imaginative and role-play, movement, designing and making, and a variety of songs and musical instruments.

Group size: Small groups.

What you need

Autumn festivals poster

Pictures of rangoli patterns (find examples on our downloadable A2 poster, ‘Autumn festivals’, or the A4 activity sheets of individual poster images ); large sheets of paper; chalk, crayons, paints, pastels, glitter; glue; sand.

What to do

Rangoli patterns were traditionally drawn by hand using coloured chalk or by sprinkling flour, sand or grains of rice on the floor to create a pretty geometric design. The patterns are usually symmetrical and can be square, rectangular or circular; or a mix of all three. Sometimes patterns feature designs based on nature such as flowers, fruit and birds.

  • Explain to children that rangoli patterns are colourful designs originally made near the entrance to homes to welcome guests during the festival of Diwali.
  • Provide children with a large sheet of paper and help them to draw or paint a simple outline representing a rangoli pattern.
  • Using colourful materials such as chalk, pastels, paints and crayons fill in the outline to create a beautiful design. Encourage the children to talk about their ideas as they work.
  • Display the patterns in your setting by a doorway as a welcome to your visitors.
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