Deepawali, this grand festival stretches beyond cultures and religions, embracing and enveloping all achieving the status of one of the biggest festivals celebrated in India. It commemorates the return of victorious Shree Ram along with his wife Sitaji and brother Laxmanji. They returned home after fourteen long years of exile, after defeating the demon king Ravana. On this day, when Lord Shree Ram returned to Ayodhya, his people lit up his path so he could return. Today diyas, fairy lights and candles are lit to show the triumph of good over evil and homecoming.
“Diwali aane wali hai” was a statement which would bring a huge grin on our faces when we were kids. Days before the preparations at home begin we the younger generation started knitting our plans for Diwali, what sort of crackers to buy, what design for rangoli this year, what will be my new dress like, what do I want in Bhai-dooj as gift this year, where are we going to get together for bursting the crackers, what meethai is Mumma making, what all nashta she will prepare this year and many many more whats and hows!
To generate that sort of excitement in our kids is difficult while we stay far away from “Home” but it is not impossible. I can say this with confidence as with little extra efforts I have managed to see the same shine in the eyes of my child which once I had when I heard the statement “Diwali aane wali hai” She is all excited about, decorations, cleaning, cooking, rangoli and diyas days before Diwali.
Being consistent with the traditions like cooking certain food, doing small rituals etc year after year will build up memories and then the kids will sure look forward to the festivities. Also involving the kids in cleaning, and decorating the house, doing little craft activities together and reading to them about the festivals will help in building up the excitement for the celebration.
Here is a Family Activity, to make Diwali countdown calendar/planner for your little ones, all the templates are included so what you need is to take out the prints and get set for putting up this countdown calendar for your little ones. A fun-filled family activity, where you can sit together with kids and create something which will keep the kids occupied for the next 10 days. Kids will surely love this idea and parents can plan how to spend these days with kids so that the kids get into the festive mood.
Material Required for Diwali Countdown Calender
- Template printouts: Countdown sheets, Activity cards, Puzzle cards, Calendar sheet (Download Link)
- Card sheets, various colours
- Empty Tissue box ( or any other box)
- Paper cutter
- Glue stick
- White Glue
- Pipe cleaner crafting stick
- Materials for decorating ( glitter stones, stickers, glitter glue etc)
Step 1: Prepare the Base
Take a cardboard and cut it into the desired shape, divide it into three segments ( so that it can stand) Refer the images. Key image with dimensions is included for making it easy. You can skip making steps on the right side and curved centre.
Cut a card sheet with same measurements, into three panels and stick on the board to complete the base.
Now take an empty tissue box ( or any other empty box will do ) cut it into half and cover it with some bright coloured card sheet.
Step 2: Cut the Templates and colour
Cut the Countdown Sheets, Activity Cards, Puzzle Cards and the Calendar.
Let the children colour the countdown sheets and the calendar if they wish to. I have knowingly included “Swastik” and “Om” signs in countdown sheets repetitively so that the kids can practice these by copying over the prints using coloured pens.
Save the Puzzle cards and activity cards with you (so that these are a surprise for kids)
Step 3: Make the Components
Colour and cut the Excitement meter from the template sheet. Cut a small square from the cardboard and make a hole in its centre. Now take a pipe cleaner stick and pass it through the coloured sheet and the board as shown in the image.
For the Quiz tally, take three different coloured sheets and cut stripes and stick together. Use a bold pen to mark 10 rows and write numbers from 1 to 10.
For feedback on yesterday’s activity: Use a pipe cleaner piece to stick an Arrow over its one end and glue on the other end on the board. Make two choices “It was fun” and “ It was ok” on sheet cut-outs and glue these. Kids can point out the choices using the arrow.
Step 4: Stick up the Components
Once all the components are ready to start glueing these on the base. Refer images and use the glue-stick to stick on. Glue the “Happy Diwali” countdown sheet and then use a stapler to staple all the other countdown sheets together on top of it, so that as the days go by, kids can tear-off the sheets one by one.
Step 5: Glitter it up
After setting up all the components, handover various decorative materials like stickers, glitter glue, glitter stones etc to the kids to deck up their Planner cum Activity centre cum Countdown Calendar.
Secret Step: For Curiosity
This step is especially for parents. Two sets of cards in this are to be kept a secret so that the kids get a surprise activity daily for 10 days and a Quiz time, wherein they pick out a puzzle card and answer. You can mark their answer as correct or incorrect on the tally board.
As for the Activities, we have mentioned 10 general activities, you can add in new or remove a few as per your family plans or wish!
- While making this Countdown Planner, you can discuss and make rules for this activity, for example: “Every morning after breakfast we will give you an Activity Card.” or could be “ when you reach 5 correct answers in the tally sheet we will give you a candy treat” or “ Every night before bed we will have a Quiz time” and so on.
- Finalizing the activities beforehand will be better than ways you can incorporate any of your pre-planned Diwali parties or cleaning schedules or work commitments.
- Keep one activity handy all the time ( say a Diwali colouring sheet ) so if any of the days you find yourself busy, you can just hand over “ Colour Diwali Page today “ Activity Card.
- You can take cues from yesterday’s activity feedbacks about what activity to do next. Say the child had fun making a card, so maybe plan another crafty activity related to cardmaking or if they say making card was ok, plan to read a book the next day.
Image Tanvi bhushan