diwali kids activities

Diwali Crafts for Kids for 2020

Diwali is widely known as the festival of lights and as 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 also 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!

Diwali Light Lantern

diwali light lantern diwali activity

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 and 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.”

I personally love this activity because it is almost like a science experiment. Children get to learn about how light is able to pass through and also get intrigued by the colors. In addition, this activity combines both art and science which are two important subjects that come up in STEAM (which stands for Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) and is an integrated approach to learning. Lastly, I believe this activity has the capability to provide enjoyment to children as it gives off brightness, beauty and spirituality, and these are all positive and important things to shed light on to children (no pun intended). 

Diwali Sweets with Playdough

diwali sweets with playdough diwali activity

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. The astounding colors that stand out during Diwali will leave children curious like a cat, asking several questions about Diwali and all its yummy desserts. 

This activity just screams out fun because it involves playing with playdough and children love activities that provide hands-on experiences since it allows them to feel belonged and engaged. In addition, children love dramatic play and making things out of playdough to resemble pretend food. The aspect of pretend play is very enjoyable to children and as an educator assistant I always enjoy playing with children when it involves both dramatic and pretend play. 

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. As well, playing with playdough builds on children’s vocabulary and it also allows them to focus. 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?”

Salt Dough Diya

salt dough diya diwali activity

These Diya lamps will definitely liven up any room and can really ignite the discussion around this Hindu holiday. It’s interesting because the activity combines lamps with dough. So, with 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 the 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. Once the craft is complete the children can really enjoy it in all its glory and beauty. 

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 educators classroom. I also enjoy that it is a very interactive activity and that the children can paint the dough as well as decorate it to their liking which allows them to be creative and express themselves artistically while using their favorite colors. 

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. While doing this activity, children can also build on their self-help skills by washing the paintbrushes.


What are your favorite ways to celebrate Diwali? Let us know in the comments!

Vanessa Serrao

Vanessa is a 28 -year-old author, freelance writer and soon to be Registered Early Childhood Educator. She is also an advocate and is passionate about awareness for mental health.

2 comments

  • Leon Mann says:

    This is a very cool idea for children cause they are drawn to lights and Diwali allows them to explore the many variations and colours of light to which they will be fascinated.It really allows them to use their imagination and to be as creative as can be especially with the dough and paint brush! Its a must for every kid to try let their imagination run wild it will bring out the best in them and they will thank you when they are older!

  • Sarojini S Anthonypillai says:

    Fantastic.with our kids last year we made diwali sweets with clay plaudough and put it in real diwali box and gave to the parents from children and dramatic are we had sweet stall for diwali with parents invole ment

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