The actual word 'Diwali' means 'rows of lighted lamps', however, the festival of Diwali is commonly known as the 'festival of lights.
During the festival, all buildings involved, including houses, shops and public places are decorated with lights and oil lamps. Fireworks are also often involved in the amazing light displays.
As a family with young kids, it is really important to talk about different cultures, traditions and special occasions from a young age. So, if you're looking to educate your kids on the festival of Diwali, then getting them to make some easy DIY Diwali activities and crafts will be a great place to start.
Ceramic Hand Dish
- White air drying clay
- Tools for clay work (knife, skewer, etc.)
- Acrylic paint and paintbrush
- Roll out the clay to about 5mm thick and then cut around your own hand with your fingers touching.
- Once cut out, use your knife to draw the lines of the fingers to give it some shape.
- Then, curve the clay hand up into a dish shape as though it is holding something.
- Decorate the hand with repetitive geometric patterns - you can search for some pattern inspiration.
- Once dry, cover in your chosen paint colour and it's done!
Diwali Paper Lantern
- Black card
- Craft knife
- Coloured tissue papers
- Flameless tea-lights
- Decide the size and shape of your lantern and make it out of the black card accordingly - making sure you leave a whole in the top.
- Once you've got the net cut out, you can cut some Diwali themed shapes into the black card, these could be candles or fireworks etc.
- On the inside of your lamp, fill the cutout shapes with coloured tissue paper.
- Then, you're ready to erect the lamp and put your flameless tea-light in the centre!
Henna is a type of dye, usually put onto the skin to create patterns before celebrations such as weddings. Don't worry too much if any gets on the hands as it will go away eventually, but maybe best to wear gloves if your kids like to get hands-on with their art.
- Encourage the kids to research some traditional patterns and then draw them onto the tea-lights around the wick using henna to complete these easy Diwali crafts. Perfect for the Festival of Lights!
Mandalas are traditionally spiritual symbols to aid with focus, so this is a great craft to keep them busy.
- Colourful play-dough
- Assorted seeds and nuts
- Create a shape out of the play-dough, such as a thin circle or star.
- Then, push the seeds into the soft base in a pattern (there are many examples online) to create this Diwali craft.
Ultimate Firework Painting
- Start by pouring paint onto a plate, you can mix a few colours and get experimental!
- Then, dip the back of the fork heads into the paint and press them into the paper - spewing out from a centre point - to be left with a beautiful fireworks painting showing the festival of light.
Paper Plate Rangoli Craft
Traditionally, rangoli is art made from coloured rice or sand, flower petals, and other small, colourful materials. Often seen on porches or outside doors, maybe hang your plates near bedroom doors as a bit of colour to see around the house.
- 6 different coloured pieces of paper
- Paper plates
- Cut triangles out of the border of the paper plate all the way around, ready to form the base.
- Then, cut out one shape per colour - for instance, cut the blue paper into triangles and orange into circles.
- Then, create a Diwali inspired pattern on your paper plate by sticking them onto the paper plate using glue.
Toilet Roll Tube Lights
- Toilet roll tubes
- Cut the toilet roll tube in half to create two smaller tubes.
- Then, make 5 vertical incisions halfway down the tubes and fold them out to create flaps.
- Trim the square flaps using your scissors to form petal shapes.
- Paint and display your flameless tea-lights in the centre of the flowers!
Punch Out Paper Lanterns
- A4 coloured card
- Shape cutters
- Craft knife
- Take your A4 coloured paper and fold it in half longways.
- Then, make 12 incisions the opposite way, leaving a gap around all of the sides of the paper - for it to remain one piece.
- Finally, punch out any holes you wish using your shape cutters in patterns.
- When this is done, loop your paper round to gluing the two short sides together to form a circle - and you're ready to put your flameless candle inside!
Paper Leaf Garland
- Coloured card
- String or thread
- Use a leaf template or draw them by hand and cut them out.
- Decorate your coloured card leaves as you wish and then punch a small hole in the thicker end.
- Using your thread, join all of the leaves together and it is ready to hang!
- A hard surface to decorate
- Look at some rangoli and mandala patterns online for some inspiration and then you can start to build up your pattern onto your surface using the colourful play-dough.
- When you've finished the 2D display, add tea-lights and enjoy your beautiful creation for the Festival of Lights.
- Card or paper
- Pens to decorate
- To create your lovely shaped Diwali cards, draw your design along the fold of the A4 paper and cut it out. We would recommend drawing: a candle, a lantern, a firework or similar!
- Decorate and sign your Diwali cards ready to send to your friend.
Coloured Sand Rangoli
- Powder paints of different colours
- PVA glue
- Paper or card
- Using your PVA glue, create a rangoli pattern on your paper or card.
- Then, using your premixed sand and powder paints, sprinkle the colourful sand over the glue.
- Once all of the glue is covered, blow the excess sand off and leave to dry - then it's ready to hang.
DIY Firework Sprinklers
- Coloured cellophane sheets
- Cut the coloured cellophane sheets into thin strips, widthways across the sheets.
- Then attach the colourful strips to the top of the straws using the sellotape so that they create a firework effect (they should look like cheerleading pompoms on sticks)!
Drawing Pin Pillar Candle
- A tall pillar candle
- Colourful drawing pins
- Take your candle and push the colourful drawing pins into the wax to create beautiful patterns - the more colourful the better!
- Colourful ribbon
- Double sided tape
- A length of gold trimming
- Measure and cut your ribbon to size.
- Using the double sided tape, attach the trimming to both sides to finish the long edges.
- Then, using the tape again, attach it to your wrist and it's ready to wear!
DIY Collage Art
- Colourful and patterned fabrics or cards
- This craft is really open ended and kids can create whatever they want using the collage pieces, by cutting the patterns into shapes and gluing them down.
- Some ideas could be: fireworks, candles, garlands, lanterns.
Diya Fuse Beads
Diyas are lamps that often come in beautifully designed holders in all different shapes, so plenty to be inspired by.
- Colourful fuse beads
- An iron
- Find some pictures online of a beautiful diya lamp to copy and use that as inspiration to make your own using the colourful beads.
- When it's finished, a parent or guardian can iron it to fuse it together and display!
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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