| ABOUT DIWALI
Explain to your child that Diwali is the five-day Hindu Festival of
Lights, which is celebrated in October or November. Traditionally,
little clay lamps filled with oil are lighted and lined up on building
edges and windowsills in honor of Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity.
Houses are cleaned and then decorated with flower garlands, paper
chains, and good-luck doorstep designs made with colored powders.
Popular Diwali activities include playing card games, dressing up
in special clothes and jewels, and exchanging boxes of sweets.
Give your child several different colors of modeling
clay. Show him how to make "Diwali lamps" by molding the
clay into small bowl shapes. Add pieces of yarn or string for pretend
wicks. If you wish, let your child glue paper flame shapes to the
ends of the wicks or have him decorate the ends with glitter glue.
Then help him line up his lamps on a windowsill for a festive look.
With your child, try one or more of the following ideas for room
|Make flower garlands by stringing flower shapes cut from colored
paper onto pieces of yarn.
| Draw freeform designs on paper with colored chalk for taping
to a doorstep.
|Create paper chains by taping together loops of colorful paper.
| CARD GAMES
Play a favorite card game with your child. Or remove the
face cards from a deck of ordinary playing cards and use the remaining
cards for playing these games.
| Sort the cards by color (red and black), by kind (hearts,
diamonds, spades, and clubs), or by number (twos through tens).
| Line up the cards in one of the suits, such as the hearts,
in numerical order.
| Mix up the cards from two suits, then find the matching numbered
DRESS-UP FOR DIWALI
Set out materials your child can use to make jewelry, such as aluminum
foil or sparkly pipe cleaners for twisting into bracelets and rings.
You might also include paper shapes that can be decorated with glitter
glue or sequins and then strung on yarn for a necklace. Then provide
dress-up clothes for your child to wear with her new jewels.
Check your local library or music store for recordings of Indian music.
Play the music for your child and invite him to dance or move to it
any way he wishes. Or place plastic tubs upside down for drums and
tap out rhythms together as you listen.
Tune: "London Bridge"
Little lamps are burning bright,
See them lighting up the night,
Burning bright, burning bright.
Little lamps are burning bright.
Up the night, up the night.
See them lighting up the night.
Coconut sweets and dried fruits are favorites at Diwali. Let your
child help you make these versions of traditional treats for a snack.
Mix sweetened cream cheese with flaked coconut and roll into small
balls. Use fingers to soften dried apricot halves. Then stuff the
apricots with the coconut-cheese balls