Diwali activity ideas for early years
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Diwali activity ideas for early years

29 October 2021 By The YPO Team

Diwali paint activity

Diwali, which is often referred to as the Festival of Lights, is the most important religious festival celebrated by followers of Hinduism. The Festival of Lights celebrates the Hindu New Year. It is a celebration of the victory of light over darkness and the triumph of good over evil.

We’ve picked out some of our favourite activities to help your little ones learn about and celebrate Diwali. But first, here’s the story of Diwali that you can use for story time…


The Story of Diwali

Once upon a time there was a great warrior, Prince Rama, who had a beautiful wife named Sita.

There was also a terrible demon king called Ravana, who had 20 arms and 10 heads. He wanted to make Sita his wife, so one day he distracted Rama and kidnapped Sita, taking her away in his chariot. To help Rama find her again, clever Sita left a trail of her jewellery for him to follow.

Rama followed the trail until he came across the mighty monkey king, Hanuman, who agreed to help him find Sita. Messages were sent to all the monkeys in the world, who looked for Sita for many days and nights, travelling across oceans and over mountains.

Eventually, Hanuman found Sita imprisoned on an island. Rama's army of monkeys couldn't reach the island, so they began to build a bridge. Soon, all the animals of the world, large and small, came to help. When the bridge was built, they rushed across it and fought a mighty battle for 10 days.

When Rama killed the evil Ravana with a magic arrow that was given to him by the God’s, the whole world rejoiced. Rama and Sita began their long journey back to their land, and as night fell, everybody in the kingdom lit oil lamps to guide them on their way and welcome them back.

Some say there were more lights shining that night than stars in the sky.


Sita’s Trail

Sita’s Trail

Recreate Sita’s trail and help children develop their fine motor skills as they thread beads and flowers onto string. These trails can be used to decorate your setting for Diwali or to take home.

What you’ll need:

304948  Beads

821527  Threading Laces


Diwali Hand Art

Diwali hand art

Mehndi is a form of body art decoration usually drawn on hands using Henna. To recreate this safely, children can draw around their hands and decorate with glitter, jewels, and wonderful patterns.

What you’ll need:

135534  A4 Black Sugar Paper

741167  Metallic Crayons

713368  Washable PVA

30168x  Mixed Glitter Shapes

898342  Acrylic Jewels


Lakshmi’s Footprints

Lakshmi’s Footprints

During Diwali, Hindus of all lands welcome Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and purity, into their homes by cleaning and decorating. Tiny footprints of Lakshmi are found around the house to show and mark her arrival – why not do something similar in your setting by rolling out some paper and have some messy fun creating footprints with paint?

What you’ll need:

110132  YPO Display Paper Rolls

739678  YPO Washable Ready Mixed Paint


Make your own Rangoli

Make your own rangoli

Traditionally, Rangoli is an art decoration that is thought to bring good luck during festivals like Diwali. Rangolis are used at the front of homes to bring luck to not just families but also guests.

Squish dough to make a flat round surface, then leave out a selection of natural materials and coloured rice for children to make their own unique patterns.

Our unique natural dough recipe:


  • 150g plain flour
  • 75g salt
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 2tbs cream of tartar
  • 1tbs vegetable oil


Place all ingredients in the bowl apart from the boiling water. Give them a good stir and then start to add the boiling water, mixing well until it’s all combined and ready to use.

The dough should keep for one or two weeks inside a sealed plastic bag.

What you’ll need:

334556  Natural Materials Collage Set

427319  Natural Flower Tray

300772  Coloured Rice

303915  Pastel Rice

306214  Coloured Sand Shakers


These activities have been taken from Little Learners, a FREE magazine full of early years resources and activities. Click here to read our latest issue and enter our exclusive competition.

Categories: Education , Early Years

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