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8 Ideas on how to celebrate Diwali in your classroom

Here are some fun activities that you can celebrate and teach about Diwali in your classroom. Kindergarten and Preschool Students learn best through play. Incorporating these activities allow all students to feel represented and seen throughout your school day.

What is Diwali?

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is a vibrant and joyous festival celebrated by millions of people across the globe, particularly in India. Symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil, Diwali is a festival that brings communities together in a spirit of unity and festivity. The name "Diwali" is derived from the Sanskrit word "Deepavali," which means a row of lights, and the coolest part the celebration is the illumination of homes with lamps, candles, and colorful lights.

Held over a period of five days, Diwali is marked by various rituals and traditions. Families come together to clean and decorate their homes, exchange gifts, and prepare delicious sweets and snacks.

Fireworks and colorful rangoli designs add to the festive atmosphere, creating a spectacle of light and color in the night sky. Diwali is a time for reflection, gratitude, and renewal, as people express their hopes for a brighter and more prosperous future. It is a cultural kaleidoscope that showcases the rich heritage, traditions, and diversity of the Indian subcontinent while spreading a message of joy and goodwill to all.

  1. Sensory Bins

Here are two types of Sensory bins. One for preschool/kindergarten students and the other is a taste safe option for toddlers or students who put non food items in their mouth.

Sensory bins are a valuable and engaging tool in early childhood education, offering a multisensory approach to learning. These bins typically consist of a container filled with materials that stimulate one or more of the five senses—sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell. Incorporating sensory bins has several benefits: cognitive development, fine motor skills, language development, social skills, emotional regulation, inspire creativity and imagination.

This sensory bin is for preschool/kindergarten students. It includes sand to represent the rangoli, gems and scooping materials. Students will be inspired to make their own rangoli.

This Sensory bin is taste safe made with Fruit Loops perfect for toddlers or students who put non food items in their mouth.

2. Rangoli Symmetry Center

This is a great math or STEM center. I put out light boxes and translucent shapes for students to make the rangolis, however you can use regular pattern blocks as well. The students will love making their own rangoli. These Posters are a part of Jackie from Pocket of Preschool and My Holidays Around the World Resource

What is a Rangoli?

Rangoli is a traditional Indian art form that involves creating colorful and intricate designs on the ground, typically in courtyards or entrances of homes during festivals and special occasions. They are made using various materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand, or flower petals.

3. Build a Light Up City for Diwali STEM Center

This is one of my favorite STEM centers. The student love building a city and and watching it glow. The Posters are available in my Global Awareness Centers Resource. Even adults love building a light up city. During my session, At the Get your Teach On Conference (pictures below), I gave preschool teachers cups, foam blocks and glow sticks to build a city. This is a great way to do it with your entire class.

4. Rangoli Videos for Brain Breaks

If you need a calming activity for your students, your students will love watching making rangoli Videos. It is so calm and the artists are so talented. It is a great way to connect your brain breaks to your content.

5. Diwali Books

Below are my favorite Diwali Books to read:

Epic! which is a free app for teachers to use, has several Nonfiction Texts as well. I made a collection (Click Here) of all of the Diwali Books.

6. Diwali Literacy centers

For the month of December instead of having Christmas themed literacy and math centers. I have Holidays Around the World themed centers that way all students feel seen and represented in my classroom. For this literacy center it is Diwali themed, I put the CVC cards in a sensory bin with bright colored beads and magnetic letters. The students have to match the missing beginning letter before they write it. This center is a part of Pocket of Preschool and My Holidays Around the World Resource.

7. Diwali Play Dough Letters

These play dough cards are so cute and great way to practice making letters with play dough or writing them in sand in a sensory bin. These cards are a part of Pocket of Preschool's and My Holidays Around the World Resource as well.

8. Watch Mira the Detective Diwali Episode on Youtube

Check out our Holidays Around the world Resource


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