I moved abroad after marriage. After facing my own deal of initial hiccups, I have more or less settled down in this life. Although I am quite content but there is something that keeps tugging at my heart. I am a true blue desi and I want to stay connected to my roots. Rang Art Shop is a small attempt in that direction. I strongly believe in passing on my cultural values and beliefs to my children. I often discuss this with my Indian friends here and the feeling is mutual.
Festivals are a huge part of our culture. The entire ethos surrounding them is so spirited that it is hard to not miss home. We cannot recreate the same atmosphere here but we can surely put in some efforts to make the festivals memorable for them. This Diwali, engage your children in these activities so that they learn the importance of festival of lights.
8 Activities to help your kids learn more about Diwali
Now this is a tricky thing to get your children to do. I have tonnes of Diwali memories surrounding Diwali ki safai. I am sure you do too. Let’s not deprive our children of these beautiful memories only because we are not in India. You will meet some resistance but explain the importance of cleaning homes at Diwali. Get them to help you out and give them important tasks to do. If possible, schedule your yearly declutter before Diwali to give them the same feeling that we had.
Diwali gifts and cards
An exciting aspect of Diwali is meeting people and exchanging gifts. Involve your children in this process. Get them to choose gifts and wrap them in decorative papers. Tell them about the little things that carry a huge meaning on Diwali. Like diyas, sweets, crackers, pooja, rangoli etc. Ask them to create Diwali cards around these themes. They can be made with their existing supplies and won’t require much effort. For a greater impact, post them to their grandparents in India seeking their blessings.
The intricate and beautiful Rangoli laid outside homes is another fond memory that we associate with Diwali. If your children are too small to help you with a real Rangoli, you can get them to colour Rangoli pages. This is an activity that is a favourite amongst children. These prints are easily available on the internet. It is an excellent activity to engage other kids on your Diwali get-together.
Indian mythology is a treasure box of stories. You and your friends can take turns in organising Ramayana story sessions at your homes. Children love stories and you can get creative with them. You can include pictures or prepare a slideshow to make it more interesting. If this is not possible, you can read stories to your kids in the days leading up to Diwali. Encourage them to ask questions to engage them more.
Diwali ki mithai
What is Diwali without food! Remember how our moms would spend hours preparing dry snacks and sweets before Diwali. I understand that doing all of that is not possible in these times. However, you can still create a lot of excitement around food. Discuss and plan your Diwali menu with your kids. If they enjoy cooking, involve them with the preparations. Introduce them to different kind of mithais that are made during Diwali like laddoo, sheera, kheer, gujiya etc.
kids love anything surrounding art and crafts. Diwali is when we like to decorate our houses without colourful knick-knacks. Ask your kids to make paper hanging decorations. There are several ideas available on the internet to execute this. Anything handmade has a different charm to it and your kids will be proud to put it to display.
Although diyas are more traditional but they may not be available in all parts of the world. A good alternative is a candle votive and it can be used after Diwali as well. You can encourage your kids in making these votives. You can use glitter, colourful paper, glass paint, ribbons, stickers, photographs etc. to make these. You will be amazed at how creative kids can be and proudly use them to decorate your house.
This is something that can really teach your kids about Diwali customs and rituals. Ask them to decorate the Pooja space. Give them flowers and different decorative items to spruce up the space.
The key is to involve your kids as much as you can. Our culture will live only through our next generations. Let’s make our best efforts to pass it on to them to keep the desiness alive.