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Getting the kids involved in the lead-up to Diwali

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Diwali is just around the corner, and it is a festival that has a great significance to all Indians. Living in a land far from home, it is not always easy to get our kids involved in the build-up and all the fanfare, like it was for us growing up in India. But it need not be so: with a little bit of thought, we can create ways to include our children in the festivities. The idea is, to make the festival meaningful – and therefore memorable – for them.

Tip 1: Talk to your kids about the festival

A great way to learn about any festival is to share stories about the festival with your children. You can talk about how you celebrate Diwali and why it’s important to you. This is a great way to bond with your children too. You can also read stories on Diwali so that children can relate to the festival. Reading stories will also make it easier and simpler for our children to learn about the festival, the duration of the festival (5 days and what each day is about) and how different families celebrate the festival.

In my own family, we have a book called “Diwali” which talks about the festival as well as the different elements of the festival and this has given a better understanding of Diwali to my child.

diwali books for kids

READ ALSO: Play-based experiences to teach your kids about your cultural festival

Tip 2:  Make Diwali delicacies with your children

Food and Diwali go hand in hand. A great way to include the entire family in the celebration of Diwali is to cook together. You could make mithais (sweets) together, or savoury snacks like chiwda or mathri. Each family has their own traditions for Diwali and the special foods that they enjoy.

Usually a few days before Diwali, my child and the family will make some date laddoos, kulfi and barfis together. These treats taste even more delicious since it’s a joint activity.

Tip 3: Creative activities for Diwali

When our children get to do play-based activities that encourage their creativity, it enhances their learning. With regards to Diwali, this means doing activities like making diyas together using playdough/clay and sequins or paper, or making lanterns together using cardboard rolls and paper, or making rangoli together by using rice flour. In this way, children will learn more about what rangoli is, or what a diya is and how and why its important.

READ ALSO: Announcing the winners of Indian Link’s Diwali Art Contest 2021

Diwali is usually celebrated over five days and each day has its own significance and meaning. A clever way to learn about Dhanteras in Australia is to learn about the Australian coins and notes and also how to use them. A way to celebrate Bhaidooj is to create a greeting card for your siblings.

Tip 4: Prepping for Diwali 

Prior to Diwali, we do a lot of preparation for Diwali such as cleaning the house, buying new clothes or decorating the house. We should include our children in all these activities so that they feel as if they are a part of something special. It helps them to learn how to do things collaboratively.

For Diwali 2021, my child and I have made some paper lanterns, some craft diyas and also some paper rangoli. Here are the pictures below:

I usually decorate the house with my family, and we will use the décor that my child has made for Diwali in the craft activities to make everyone feel included and special.

Tip 5: Make up your own traditions

As a family, Diwali is a good time to create our own family traditions such as a countdown calendar for Diwali or a Diwali brunch with friends and family. When we create our own traditions, it makes the festival unique to us, and also more memorable for the children.

I hope the above tips have been useful to you and I hope you do incorporate some of these tips to make Diwali a very special and significant time for you and your families.

Let us know what you and your kids are doing for Diwali this year in the comments below!

READ ALSO: ‘Lucky to be so multicultural’: how mixed families celebrate Diwali

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Neha Jain
Neha is an educator and a mum based in Sydney. She writes on parenting and lifestyle.

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