Autumn / Festivals

Early Years Theme: Diwali Activities and Resources

On the 13th of November 2012 Hindus and Sikhs all over the world will be celebrating Diwali, the ‘Festival of Lights’.   It is a very colourful festival and I love the exciting range of activities and learning opportunities that this festival brings to little ones.

Over in our shop you can purchase a Diwali topic web with over 30 activities to meet the 7 areas of learning within the EYFS (suitable for ages 30-60+ months).  BUT if you sign up to follow this blog I will send it you for free!!  Sign up here to get your free Diwali EYFS topic web.

Top 10 Diwali Activities and Resources

1. Make your own Diwali (diya or diva) lamps – these are used to light up houses so that the goddess of wealth Lakshmi can find her way.  The diya lamps are traditionally made out of clay or ghee by coiling a long sausage shape into a small shallow bowl and smoothing out the sides.  Playful Learners has shared instructions on how to make your own salt dough Diwali lamps.  My little ones love painting and decorating the lamps once they are dried in fact the more sparkle the better!

2. Rangoli patterns are used to decorate homes during Diwali, they are traditionally made with coloured rice powder or even petals.  Take a look at some different ways to create Rangoli patterns then have a go at making your own using coloured chalk, paint powders or even colour some rice (click here for instructions).

3. During Diwali people give gifts of garlands, set up a simple threading activity using string, (coloured) pasta, beads,tissue paper flowers…infact anything you can find to thread and make beautiful garlands or bracelets.

4. As Diwali is the festival of lights they enjoy firework displays, take a look at the Bonfire Night Theme for lots of firework activities.

5. Children have fun playing dice games during Diwali, why not make a large snakes and ladders game in the outdoor area for children to play or make your own simple dice games to support early mathematical concepts.

6. There is no reason why babies can’t join in the fun, make a simple treasure basket to represent Diwali.  Your treasure basket could include:

  • Shiny, metal objects to reflect light – spoons, mirrors, CDs, bells, mirror ball, silver or shiny bauble, shimmery shell, silver or shimmer bows (for wrapping gifts)…
  • Colourful, bright or shiny bangles, bracelets and necklaces
  • Bright, colourful, patterned fabric – (Amazon or ebay are a great place to find a variety of Indian sari fabric)
  • Images of people celebrating Diwali

7. Visit Welsh NGfL website it has a  fantastic interactive resource with the story of Rama and Sita plus some games, click here listen to the story or play the games.

8. Sing some Diwali rhymes (Thanks to Nicky’s Nursery Rhymes

Diwali is here, Diwali is here.
Happiness arrives, happiness is here.

Diwas lighted in every house.
Rangoli patterns in every house.

Diwali is here, Diwali is here.
Happiness arrives, happiness is here.

Decorations on every door.
Tiny stars are shining bright.

Diwali is here, Diwali is here.
Happiness arrives, happiness is here.


Look in the sky!
See them fly.
Fireworks shooting up so high!
Red, yellow and green, so bright.
Bang! Pop! Whizzzzzz!
On Diwali Night.

9. Add traditional Hindu dress to the role play area.

10. Make Diwali cards to send to friends and family.

For more inspiration I’ve added a Pinterest board with lots of images for Diwali.

So how will you be celebrating Diwali with your little ones?


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