Diwali Celebrations


As Diwali was approaching ,the preschool children overheard the educators speaking about their plans for the class and asked “what is Diwali? To which the educator replied “Diwali is the festival of lights which is celebrated in south Asian culture. We approached this festival as a way of learning more about each other and understand cultural perspectives.

We started talking about Diwali and viewed a couple of  videos using the iPad which explained why and how is Diwali celebrated. We learned the importance of this festival and why it is called festival of lights-  ‘the festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness’

To support diversity on our classrooms, we provided different activities for the children to choose from that represents Diwali. We gave them the choice to make candles or fill out the colours in Rangoli - "Rangoli is a form of folk art.  A rangoli may be symmetrical and consist of bright colours, intricate patterns and motifs" or make some fireworks (using popsicle sticks) some chose to make the Rangoli, where as some did the fireworks which all represents the very common but beautiful aspects of the festival. We made different coloured Rangoli by using corn-starch and food coloring. Luna and Zyaire enthusiasitcally  filled  out the details on the tuff tray. During this process we talked about how some educators at the child care celebrate this festival and exchange gifts to which Luca said “ I got a gift on Christmas too” not only we accommodated the learnings but also observed how turn taking was accomplished during this process. Preschoolers initially tried to use their two fingers to grab the colour to decorate the Rangoli but in the end finished it off by using their whole hand.

preschool children gathered around a tuff tray with coloured cornstarch and patterns
This whole experience stimulated their fine motor skills and gave them a chance of feel included and provided equal opportunities to participate, contribute and thrive.